Q: Is there any way I can assist with expediting the financing process for my client?
A: To make the mortgage lending process move as quickly as possible, first and foremost, direct your client to a lender that you trust, one that is professional, knowledgeable and with whom you have a good rapport. Your goal is to get to the “clear to close” as soon as possible, so to set yourself up for success, we work as an extension of your team. There are a number of things you’ll want to have clarified upfront to make the process more efficient.
For example, your lender will want to know the property condition, and if there are any structural, functional or cosmetic issues that may require a specific type of financing. They want to know that as soon as possible so that we start the loan process correctly and don’t lose time by uncovering these issues during the appraisal.
The lender will also want to know if the property is a short sale, foreclosure or bank sale, and whether it was approved. This will help the loan officer determine the best time to lock the loan, which may save your client money.
For condos, prior to listing, it’s best to establish if the condo is warrantable or non-warrantable, since this will determine the type of program that is available and may limit the potential buyers to be either primary homebuyers or second homebuyers and not investors.
Communicating seller credits will help us meet the customers’ goals – whether it’s the lowest rate, lowest payment or conservation of assets. Knowing the whole picture will help us set up the loan correctly from the beginning.
Lastly, having the phone numbers and emails for all the contacts involved in the transaction will help us keep everyone in communication and save you time.
Q. What are some ways that you, the loan officer, can assist me?
A. There are three ways I can assist real estate agents: communication, extensive knowledge of the loan options and providing tools that make your job easier.
A great loan officer should effectively manage the borrower’s anxiety, have the knowledge to identify and structure the right program to meet the goals, and find the correct investor who will approve, establish the documentation needed for the underwriter and navigate the appraisal process. This should all be done seamlessly, and the loan officer should be in constant communication
with all involved in the transaction in order to meet the deadlines.
Additionally, some companies have websites that can help you. At Guaranteed Rate, our Partner Xchange portal (www.guaranteedrate.com/agent) was designed specifically for real estate agents to sell more. Through Partner Xchange, agents will get leads generated from GuaranteedRate.com, receive customized marketing and social media support and updates on the status of their client’s loan.
We also recently launched our online loan application, where customers can get loan approval in just minutes at GuaranteedRate.com. They’ll also receive their credit scores from the three bureaus and can check their loan status 24/7. This online application is so helpful for agents – if you’re on the road with a client, you can put them in the best position to make an offer and have it accepted by simply handing them your tablet and directing them to GuaranteedRate.com so they can get approved before you even get to the showing. You can also choose the specific loan officer you desire to work with, and we get the automated email which generates a call back from us in moments.
Q. How closely should I “manage” my client through the mortgage process?
A. As the agent, you’re their first, and possibly, one of their only trusted advisors for the most important purchase they may ever make. Your client may have questions about financing that they direct to you first, so to help guide them through the process, I recommend connecting your client with your trusted loan officer before looking at any properties.
Pre-approval is imperative, as some customers have very easy qualifiers and others may not. By connecting your client to a loan officer early, they can help identify a timeline and course of action to get to the “clear to close” efficiently.
Kristine Bestler is a home loan expert in the Online Division at Guaranteed Rate. With over 13 years of experience, bestler has been awarded a top 1 percent mortgage originator in 2012 and is a part of the Guaranteed Rate President’s Club.