Stiles Law: Serving the Massachusetts South Shore Since 1996.After deciding that it’s time to buy a new home, starting the financing process can be difficult. Prospective borrowers have many choices when it comes to obtaining a mortgage loan; for instance, the borrower may utilize a mortgage broker, mortgage originator, loan officer, loan originator, bank officer, or some other loan professional.  For the purposes of this Article, we will use the term “Mortgage Professional” (or “Professional” for short) to describe all of these choices. This article identifies five important considerations when selecting a Mortgage Professional.

 1.  It’s All About the Service (“What’s Your Rate?”):

We are aware that most people rank price ahead of service when selecting a Mortgage Professional (this is true for most types of professionals).  Hear us out.  Suppose you have two Professionals: A and B. A quotes lower fees and B quotes slightly higher fees, but has extensive experience and a reputation for doing everything necessary to make sure a borrower’s loan closes smoothly and on time.  Any savings by selecting A will be very hollow when you’ve had a terrible experience, or worse yet, lost the house and can’t close on your loan. The difference in fees is often marginal in comparison to the purchase price of the house and costs associated with not closing on schedule (or at all, for that matter).  At base, service is the most important factor to consider when selecting a Mortgage Professional.

 2.  Referrals:

As is the case with most aspects of the Real Estate Industry, referrals are King.  Your Real Estate Agent and your lawyer deal with Mortgage Professionals on a daily basis.  They work in the trenches and get a first-hand view of which Professionals are great, and which aren’t.  Seeking a referral from your attorney or Real Estate Agent is a great way to select the right Mortgage Professional. Asking family and friends is another useful way of selecting the best Professional that you can. Quite simply, the way that a particular Professional has treated your friends and family is a good indicator of the way he/she will treat you.

3.  Choose a Professional within Driving Distance:

Choosing a Professional that’s geographically close has two benefits: 1) you can meet with them face-to-face and 2) you can go back and flip over desks and chairs if they happen to harm you. Meeting face-to-face (see more in 4 and 5 below) provides valuable data related to the Professional’s experience, ability, and integrity. Don’t let someone who is so important to the home buying process hide behind their computer screen and an 800 number.

 4.  Ask Questions:

Meet your Professional and ask: how long have you been in the industry?  Who are the other Real Estate Professionals (e.g. real estate attorneys, real estate brokers, etc.) that you work with? How does the buying and borrowing process work? Are you licensed? Will you let me me know when it’s time to refinance? How quickly can I expect to be preapproved? How are you being paid? The Mortgage Professional’s competence in the face of your questions is a good barometer of the Professional’s overall ability.  Additionally, a Professional that tries to avoid your questions or is more concerned with her commission isn’t worth dealing with.  There is one more important thing to remember: you don’t have to apply for a loan to ask the Professional questions. Pick up the phone and ask basic questions.  This is often enough to tell if your relationship should continue.

 5.  Trust your Gut:

You should always be comfortable with your Mortgage Professional.  Just like every other facet of your life, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.  If the Professional is promising unrealistic results, you might consider walking away—quickly. Your perception of an individual’s honesty and trustworthiness is an effective financial tool and can offer protection when selecting a Professional.

Stiles Law, with offices located in Boston and Marshfield, Massachusetts,  is a firm concentrating in real estate conveyancing and mortgage lending services, representing buyers, sellers, borrowers, banks, mortgage companies, investors, builders and developers in all of their real estate and mortgage transactions.

Copyright © 2014 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.