When looking to purchase a home or refinance your mortgage, there are a lot of Mortgage Loan Originators and mortgage companies out there ready to help, but how do you choose a great representative to work with? Below we will go through many qualities and details to think about when trying to make the tough decision of who to trust with your personal details and finances.
Although you will be working directly with a Mortgage Loan Originator on your transaction and it is important that they pass your review, the company backing them is just as important. There are a lot of different types of companies that do mortgages so we will start off by looking into the differences between banks, mortgage companies, and mortgage brokers.
It is important to understand the difference between each option and think about some important qualities the consultant you choose should have. A Mortgage Loan Originator is a consultant who either works for a bank, mortgage company, or mortgage broker.
Type of Mortgage Company Makes a Difference
When looking for a mortgage there are many types of companies ready to help such as banks, mortgage companies, and mortgage brokers.
Banks can range from large national banks all the way down to local credit unions. Banks focus on things such as savings accounts, checking accounts, credit cards, and all types of loans such as car loans, personal loans, and mortgages. Due to so many services, this often leads to a longer loan process, limited mortgage options, and a less personalized process.
Mortgage companies focus all of their energy on perfecting the mortgage process and it is all that they do. It is important to work with a mortgage company that is a direct lender which means they will control the process from start to finish and fund your mortgage directly. This is different than a broker. Generally, mortgage companies will have a wide variety of mortgage options to help make sure you get into the best mortgage possible and have quicker transaction times.
Mortgage brokers are independent companies that have relationships directly with other lenders. They are more of a third party to help you choose what lender may be best for your mortgage needs. A broker helps take in personal details and manage the transaction with the lender. This may lead to less control over the mortgage process and a slower transaction time.
Experience and Reputation
How long has the company you choose been around for, and what are their customers saying about them? History of the company often leads to more experience so evaluate how long they have been in business. The mortgage industry is constantly changing so a company that has been around for many years can withstand the changes and stay around for the long term. Check their online presence and online reviews. These will provide an inside look about what type of company they are and help make sure your transaction will also be a success if they value happy customers.
Coach You Through
A great Mortgage Loan Originator will take the time to listen to your needs and provide you with multiple options. This should help guide you to the right mortgage that meets your current and future
needs. Are they sincere and does it seem like they have your best interest in mind? He or she will be your representative throughout the purchase or refinance.
Transparency is Very Important
Interest rates and loan fees can be complex, but it is important that your Mortgage Loan Originator discusses accurate interest rates and is willing to explain all potential loan fees. This will allow for proper expectations to be set and lead to less frustration or misunderstandings during the transaction. There are several different loan costs associated with mortgage financing. It is important that your Mortgage Loan Originator reviews each one so you understand why you are paying each fee and what it means. If a rate seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Your lender will most likely charge fees, but there are also other third-party fees such as title and escrow charges. Quite often there are also prepaid expenses such as interest, property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. This can get very complicated and should be explained clearly and in detail to you.
A “no-cost” loan is not actually no cost and normally you will receive a higher interest rate upfront to help pay for the fees. A great Mortgage Loan Originator will be able to evaluate whether it is best to raise the rate in order to give a lender credit to help with the costs, or it might make more sense to increase the loan balance instead and take a lower rate.
Collaborate About Your Credit Detail
Did you know your credit score influences what interest rate you will receive? Sometimes a low credit score may even prevent the ability to receive a mortgage. One of the first things your Mortgage Loan Originator should do is pull a full credit report and review it with you in detail.
Don’t worry, credit reports and credit scores can be confusing, and you should expect expert advice if you need it. There are many quick tips and tricks to help boost credit scores as well as long term strategies. You should be made aware of what credit scores are needed for a mortgage loan and how higher scores may benefit your interest rate.
In addition, your Mortgage Loan Originator should review the credit report with you to confirm accurate information is being reported. Make sure there are no unknown credit accounts showing up on your report, the balances shown are accurate, and if there are any late payments documented. There are certain ways that errors need to be addressed and your Mortgage Loan Originator should know how to help.
Responsive and Available
Are you getting a quick response to your emails and phone calls? This is a good sign that you will be taken care of in a prompt and professional manner throughout the transaction. You should never be left with long delays, unanswered calls, or feeling like you are not a top priority.
Whether it is a phone call, email, or text message, you should know what is happening with your mortgage transaction. The loan process can be a lengthy and involve many different people from the mortgage company, so it is important that your Mortgage Loan Originator is not contributing to the delays.
Also, try to see how quick the response time is “after hours”, after 5pm, or on weekends. Since most people who are looking to purchase a home or refinance are busy during the day, the off hours are normally the most important to get things done and questions answered.
Your Mortgage Loan Originator and mortgage company should understand the entire loan process and different mortgage products available to you. Every product has pros and cons so make sure they fully explain these. Also, they should be able to help navigate you through the Underwriting process successfully and with low burden. Thinking ahead and understanding what you may need to provide and explain during the transaction is crucial for a smooth loan process.
This will also help you take advantage of the best loan programs and find solutions that other consultants and companies may not be able to.
Connect with Other Real Estate Professionals
During a real estate transaction speed bumps can happen anywhere and at any time. Open communication is crucial during the transaction to make sure any issues are solved quickly and smoothly. This can also prevent conflicts and close your purchase transaction quicker.
Agents should be notified early on in the process which builds trust so everyone can tackle potential issues together.
Monitor Your Mortgage After the Close
Your Mortgage Loan Originator should continue to serve you after the close of your transaction. When there are changes in the financial markets, your Mortgage Loan Originator and mortgage company should update you on how this may affect your loan. Financial market changes can even lead to significant saving opportunities on your mortgage.
A good Mortgage Loan Originator will take the time to develop a long-term relationship so that he or she can be your trusted mortgage advisor for life. You should feel comfortable reviewing your details and asking questions even after your transaction ends.
These key tips will may save you time, money, and frustration as you move forward on your home buying or mortgage journey. At West Coast Mortgage Group we strive to be the best we can be, and educate our Mortgage Loan Originator team to sever our clients in each of these areas mentioned.
With over 16 years of residential mortgage experience, West Coast Mortgage Group has mastered the art of helping clients through the loan process. We are here to answer any questions you may have and our team is here to assist you with your home purchase, mortgage refinances, and mortgage planning. Call us at any time for a free live consultation or schedule a meeting today!