By Kim Parmon, October 29, 2020
Interest rates are at historic lows. Which is great. Right?!
Every lender I know is the busiest they’ve ever been by about 500% right now. Most people in America that own property are refinancing to take advantage of these interest rates, which means that your lending team is absolutely slammed. Imagine having to do five times your normal workload at your job every day for months on end. You’d be pretty tired and stressed, right? This is why a quality lender with a great team is so important.
Here is my advice on what makes a lender good:
- You want to find someone who knows what they’re doing. Everything is complicated on the lending side right now. It’s an underwriter’s job to scrutinize you and make sure you’ll actually be able to make your payments. Underwriting requirements are constantly shifting these days. Can you blame them? With service industry jobs being shuttered, tenants not paying rent, etc, it’s kind of crazy out there. Find a lender that has the experience to ask you the right questions up front before issuing a pre-approval letter. You want to know that you will be able to get your loan before even making an offer!
- Don’t be dazzled by deceptively low interest rates. Yes, getting a low rate is amazing! But if something seems too good to be true it usually is. Read the fine print. Look up reviews online. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples when you get quotes from different lenders.
- Find a local lender that cares about their relationships. Yes, the big online company may have a better rate, but who cares what rate you are quoted if you can’t get your loan closed? Don’t be the buyer that needs to ask for a two week extension because your lender isn’t getting it done. The seller doesn’t have to agree to extend beyond the closing date you originally agreed to, so it’s important that you work with a lender who is as good as their word. When your lender has a reputation in the community to uphold, you can bet that they will work hard to make sure you are happy.
- Find a lender that tells you the truth, even when it’s not what you want to hear. Honesty is so important in every aspect of life! And it truly is something that could make or break a real estate deal. Sure, it’s nice to hear that Lender B doesn’t care about your car payment when Lender A was worried about it, but I’d ask some more questions before moving forward with Lender B.
If you don’t have a great lender already, ask your Realtor for referrals! We all have worked with people we were impressed by and we are happy to share their contact information with you. Your lender is a key piece of your team, so it’s important to find a good one. And when you find that good one, make sure you let them know they are appreciated! They could use some extra love right now.
Happy house hunting!