by Kabir Mahadeva
Today, shopping for a loan is more complicated. ***Rates and fees mean nothing*** if your lender does not have the people and systems to do the job properly. You need to ask every prospective lender a few simple questions.
1) Do you lend your own money? This means the lender has complete control of the loan process and decision making.
2) How many people will be involved in the loan process? Ideally, it will be the loan officer, processor, and underwriter. That's it. Any more people, including a separate closing department, adds unnecessary complexity.
3) Who will do the appraisal and how will they be assigned? You want a lender who uses experienced, local appraisers assigned on a rotational basis. Many Asheville lenders use third-party appraisal management companies that put the appraisal out to bid. In many cases, the appraiser with the lowest bid, regardless of experience or local knowledge, gets the assignment.
4) How fast can you close? If the lender is lending their own money, they should be able to adjust priorities if necessary. This is particularly important when purchasing short sales where the time frame to close is short after the servicer of the existing loan agrees to the short sale. Many big banks have no control over their closing time frames.
5) Can your loan officer work directly with underwriters? You want a lender with in-house underwriters who answer questions and resolve issues instead of just declining loans. Every loan has individual characteristics that DESERVE PERSONAL ATTENTION and understanding from everyone involved. Underwriting should not be an impersonal machine.
6) Who prepares the closing package and arranges funding? Ideally, every loan processor closes her own files. Many other Asheville lenders have centralized closing departments that are unfamiliar with the file and have multiple conflicting priorities with getting packages out. If your processor is your closer, then she has a commitment to get that file closed. It's her job. SHE IS ACCOUNTABLE.
7) How many days in advance do you typically have the package to the settlement attorney? If they can't get the package out at least 48 hours prior to closing, there is something wrong with their process. Many other Asheville lenders end up sending packages at the last minute which leads to a lot of stress. Settlement attorneys want a lender with a single point of contact because it makes their jobs easy. One person, the processor sends the loan package, approves the HUD, and resolves any last minute issues.
The best rate or lowest fees don't get your loan approved with personal attention and closed on time with minimal complication. These questions will help you find the lender who can be accountable and get your transaction closed.
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