Last month, one of our buyers insisted on using an internet lender (against our repeated advice). The lender offered a slightly lower rate, but at what cost? Our buyer’s cost was $9,000! At closing, the lender disallowed a credit from the seller to the buyer; earlier in the transaction the buyer had been told that credit would be fine.

Go Brent Team believes in recommending local, tried and true lenders who have the most control over the process. This means processing, underwriting and closing in a local office. In addition, the appraisal process should be managed locally, with a small panel of appraisers who are interviewed and chosen by the lender and experienced in the buyer’s preferred area.

Choosing a lender can be overwhelming and while the rate is an important factor, it shouldn’t be the only consideration. If you are refinancing a current mortgage and you work with a lender who isn’t responsive, asks for additional documentation at the last minute, sends an appraiser that isn’t familiar with the area, or ends up turning you down, at least the only person who is inconvenienced is you. You can start over with another lender and hopefully get a similar interest rate — all you’ve lost is time and the appraisal fee. But when you’ve entered into a contract to purchase a home, you are responsible for getting to settlement with a loan on time; not performing could mean you are in default and at risk of losing your earnest money deposit. Not to mention that you may have already made moving plans!

Over the years, we’ve seen lenders who make promises without looking carefully at the buyer’s financial situation or lenders who don’t keep in touch during the transaction until they notify the buyer that their application has been declined.

Go Brent Team has recently conducted a formal review of the lenders that we refer clients to. While there are many qualified lenders out there, we know these loan officers will be as detail oriented as we are and are backed by a lending organization that has an efficient process rather than unending bureaucratic red tape. We’ve put together an informational chart, which includes the top questions to ask of any lender you are considering. Whether you are a buyer or homeowner looking to refinance, we are happy to share this information with you.