When it comes to purchasing a home or refinancing your existing mortgage, it’s crucial to find a loan officer that fits your needs. A loan officer is an integral part of the homebuying journey, and when it comes to choosing one, you shouldn’t just roll the dice and hope you get lucky—there’s a strategy to finding one who is best for your unique situation.
There are certain traits that a professional mortgage loan officer should have—and there’s plenty of red flags to watch out for as well. Discover some of the traits you should look for in a mortgage professional, as well as the red flags that should send you running in the other direction!
Trait #1: They have experience
Picking a mortgage loan officer and lender who are well-known and experienced is always a good rule of thumb. Consider asking a family member or friend that has a mortgage for a loan officer referral. Just because a loan officer has a fancy license, runs eye-catching ad campaigns, or works for a big-name-company, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the best at what they do. Look for a loan officer that is well-known within their industry with an extensive list of reviews. Word-of mouth referrals and consumer comment sites such as YELP, Facebook, etc., can help you do your due diligence in finding your ideal loan officer. A good loan officer has an abundance of experience, allowing them to know how to maneuver obstacles that may arise along your journey, set proper expectations, and provide you with all of the information that you need for a seamless homebuying experience.
Red flag: The loan officer puts pressure on you to agree to a loan type or amount that you are uncomfortable with.
Trait #2: They work with a reputable lender
It’s always smart to do your homework and check out the satisfaction rates on the lending institution that your loan officer works for. Make sure they have a steady background in the mortgage industry and are well experienced. It’s also wise to make sure their servicing portfolio has a low default rate. A default rate is the rate of borrowers who fail to remain current on their loans. In essence, lenders who have approved buyers for more than they could afford, end up foreclosing on their home as a result.
Red flag: The loan officer guarantees a rate that is significantly lower than the industry average or what their competitors are quoting.
Trait #3: They're enthusiastic and responsive in your home venture
A loan officer who is happy to take the time to sit down with you and discuss your individual goals to help find the right scenario for your situation is always a good sign. With so many options, such as FDA, VA, and Conventional loans, it's important to find a loan officer that is not only knowledgeable about the various programs available to borrowers, but one who is also willing to go over your specific financial situation to find the home loan that is right for you. Remember, a loan officer is a part of your team throughout your homebuying journey. Make sure you find one who’s excited to be a part of your journey.
Red flag: The loan officer doesn't adequately answer your questions in a timely manner.
Many first time homebuyers initially focus on the relationship with their real estate professional, but a loan officer is just as integral to the homebuying process. Without a professional, knowledgeable loan officer, the financing aspect of purchasing a home could be a nightmare. Keeping these tips in mind will help you when making the important decision of picking an ideal loan officer. After doing so, you’ll be one step closer to making a purchase on the home of your dreams!