Where is the money?

Most home buyers use some kind of financing to buy a home. Over the last 15 years or so the home buying process has changed because

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of technology. The shopping process is easier because of the internet. It is easier to do some research and to learn about real estate and about a particular home. There are online home valuations and information about what the previous owner paid for the home and more.

The process of getting a loan to buy a home hasn’t changed much and most of it is shrouded in mystery. Home buyers fill out forms like crazy and send information to the lender.

Once a buyer has a contract to purchase a home the process goes into a kind of black hole. The property is appraised and the process goes to “underwriting”. Sometimes we get to talk to the underwriter but most of the time we don’t get to and they always seem to be on vacation the week of the closing.

When I work with home buyers or sellers I have no control over the mortgage process and a big part of my process is to constantly ask for updates. It seems like it all works out most of the time.

During the great recession and housing market crash financing “fell through” a lot more often than it does these days.

Often when something does go wrong it is people like me who become the “face” of the purchase and end up absorbing the blows and explaining what went wrong even though we do not have any control over the process.

Working with a loan officer who doesn’t return phone calls or give updates can turn a positive home buying or selling experience into a hellish one.

I am looking forward to the day when consumers will start to benefit from today’s technology when they want to borrow money. A day when the process is transparent and the consumer is in charge. There is plenty of room for better customer service in mortgage and finance.

Chose your lender wisely. Get recommendations from real estate agents and friends, relatives, neighbors and co-workers who have recently purchased homes.

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