8 Questions to Ask Before Choosing Your Lender
Real estate most likely represents your largest assets and debts. It also likely presents your largest financial risks. Amazingly, most people spend more time picking a movie on any weekend than they spend selecting their mortgage lender.
You usually don’t pick the cheapest doctor or attorney you can find. Instead, you evaluate them based on criteria including education, experience, reputation, and cost. Similarly, you should not pick the cheapest lender. To determine if a lender is qualified to complete your financing, answer these 8 questions:
Is your lender…?
Objective – Does your lender have a proven record of providing objective advice that is in the best interest of their clients even when that means losing business? Can you count on your lender to tell you when a refinance does not make sense or when another lender is better suited to provide financing?
Flexible – Can your lender submit your loan to the bank with the best option for you or are they required to use the banks that are the best for them? Do they have access to all major and niche banks?
Experienced – Does your lender have the experience to guide you through the lending changes and get your loan closed? Most lenders have less than 5 years of specific experience; you want a lender with 10+.
Knowledgeable – Having been in business for several years is simply not enough to develop the expertise you need. Does your lender have specific experience and knowledge of finance and loan underwriting.
Proactive – Does your lender monitor your loan for interest rate improvements alerting you in advance? Does your lender solve problems before they arise and make plans in case you need to change your loan?
An Expert – Is your lender a recognized authority based on their experience, knowledge, expertise, and leadership roles? Do industry and financial publications request articles, interviews, and opinions from your lender? Or are they a relative unknown in their industry lacking professional recognition?
Stable – Is your lender an industry professional with consistent referral and repeat business? Are they someone you can count on or are they dusting off their resume to make another career change?
Accessible – Do you have complete access to your lender including their direct phone, fax, and e-mail? Do they answer your calls and emails promptly or does someone or voicemail screen them?
Selecting a qualified lender will save you far more time and money than you can imagine. If you have ever had the unfortunate experience of working with an unqualified lender, you don’t have to imagine.