What to Look for in a Mortgage Lender

Stephen Green By Stephen Green

When choosing a mortgage lender, many people look at interest rates and closing costs to make their decision; however, most lending companies have similar numbers regarding these factors. A major differentiator for mortgage lenders is quality of service. A lender focused on service will:

Keep you informed throughout the lending process

There are going to be obstacles to work around when dealing with the lending process and keeping the customer informed is extremely important to delivering a high level of service. For example, when dealing with a purchase transaction, it is important to order the appraisal only after the customer is satisfied with the home inspection. Good communication here will ensure the appraisal isn’t ordered too soon. Brief status updates throughout the process are important for making sure there are no surprises at the end of the transaction.

Deliver what is promised to the closing table

At the start of the loan process, people are usually focused on two things: how much their monthly payment will be and how much money they will need to bring to closing. When first sitting down with a customer, a lender should work to clearly set expectations about these two things. If any changes are needed to these initial estimates as the transaction progresses, it should be very clear as to why something would change. Great lenders always work with the idea that at the closing table there should be no surprises.

Get things done in a timely manner

The first three days after the initial loan application are critical in getting the loan closed on time. This is the time when your loan application and supporting documentation are prepared for underwriting. The underwriting process can become problematic very quickly if the lender does not pay attention to the details. Having a single point of contact is very important in getting things done in a timely manner. Beware of companies that have different people for each phase of the process as this can cause delays. Using a loan officer as the single point of contact helps build accountability and makes it easier to keep the customer apprised of the status of their loan.

At the end of the transaction, if your lender has done those three things, they have put forth great service.