Clear, Honest Communication is Key
Establishing Current Housing Market Expectations
Victoria Garcia: We’ve been hearing some misperceptions out there from people that may be confused by campaigns from other lenders – online lenders, or national lenders when it pertains to rates and closing guarantees that refer to 30-day closes. People get stuck with the wrong perceptions and expectations and I wanted to ask one of our Loan Officers, Andy Brunner about what he’s seeing and hearing to provide a better understanding of what’s going on in the market right now.
Andy Brunner: Thanks, Victoria. This is a really pertinent topic right now. I’ve been having conversations with borrowers, lending partners, and listing agents to set expectations up front. As people may or may not be aware, the industry is capacity constrained right now. This is primarily due to mortgage rates being near, or at historic lows, which everyone wants to take advantage of.
So, we’ve seen a flood of business coming in. Every company out there is experiencing the same thing. Mortgage lenders and other companies are trying to hire more staff, but there’s a limited number of qualified people. Ramping up and training takes time as well.
We’re also seeing appraisal companies say turn times have lengthened, and our underwriting times have lengthened. As a lender, our responsibility is to let our agents know what’s going on. All my buyers and agent partners understand this. We’re asking them for 45 days or sooner on the contract. When an offer is submitted Nichole and I reach out to the listing agent, introduce ourselves and talk to them about these conditions. Is there a chance we can close in 30 days? We’re not going to be as competitive as someone who is guaranteeing that. My perspective is, would you rather us guarantee 30 days and miss that, OR would you rather we set expectations upfront with everybody, saying 45 days or sooner?
Victoria Garcia: So, whether you’re refinancing or buying a house, having a partner that’s setting a realistic expectation so you’re prepared for any lags in the process is even more important right now. You could make a deadline – 30-day closes are possible, but things do come up whether it’s an appraisal that takes longer or underwriting, or some other circumstance – expectations are huge.
Andy Brunner: Expectations are really critical right now. Obviously we can always go back to the core communication piece of it. If we can communicate up front with the borrower and the agents involved, or just the borrower in a refinance, and set expectations up front, then we’re setting everyone up to succeed and there won’t be a disappointment at the end of the process.
Victoria Garcia: That might be the trap that some people fall into. They’re hearing the great rates, the great turn times, but they’re not being set up with realistic expectations, and they’re not necessarily being told what’s really happening. So, late in the process they experience unexpected surprises or they see the deadline isn’t being met. That’s where we try to be different and prepare you up front so you know we’re in the same boat together. We’re here to help you take advantage of market interest rates and help you prepare to close on time and help you buy or refinance that home.
Andy Brunner: Absolutely. We want to be a resource for all of our clients, our agent partners, and escrow. We always encourage people to reach out to us if you have questions and you’re not sure about something. If we haven’t communicated something to you, reach out to us. We’re here for our clients every day. We want to make this process as easy as possible for everyone involved. Through our communication, we hope to do that.
Victoria Garcia: And through it all our customer reviews for Options Financial are averaging 4.9 with MANY 5-star reviews. In a market like this, in a climate like this with the volume we’re doing, kudos to you Andy. You’ve had plenty of great reviews and I’m so honored to work with this team. No matter the market conditions we work hard for our clients and want them to have a great experience.
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