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How to Find the Best Loan Officer

Posted by:  Chip Poli
2013-05-27 11:14:17

Thatís the key, isnít it? Regardless if this is your first home, your last or youíre refinancing your mortgage, you want the very best loan officer in town, right? How do you find an experienced loan officer and what are the key traits of the very best?

First, itís not simply asking a loan officer if theyíre any good or not. Really, what loan officer or any professional for that matter tell you something to the effect of, ďYeah, Iím pretty average at what I do but thereís probably other loan officers out there better than me.Ē? Probably none. If a loan officer told you that you can bet they wonít be in the lending business for very long.

Yet loan officers can look the same, have their own list of rate sheets and be able to send you a rate quote and an estimate of closing costs without any discerning feature. Where do you start?

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Agents

One way to find a solid loan officer is to get a couple of referrals from your real estate agent. If you donít yet have a real estate agent or are refinancing your mortgage and donít need one, find one of the best real estate agents in your area and ask who they refer their clients to.

Top real estate agents close multiple real estate transactions each and every year. Year in and year out. That means any business that relies on real estate sales would do well to align with top agents; they provide a consistent referral base. Plus, top producing real estate agents know their reputation is on the line when they provide a referral. Those referrals know to perform at their very best if wanting to stay on the agentís referral list is important.

Top loan officers do business with top producing agents. Find the top agents and youíll find good loan officers.

Experience

Today, most mortgage loan officers are required to take a minimum of 20 hours of initial study, pass a state and federal exam and fulfill annual continuing education requirements. Just a few years ago, this wasnít the case and education and licensing requirements were spotty and varied from state to state.

Yet if most loan officers are licensed, whatís the difference? The difference lies in longevity. Loan officers must bring in mortgage loans to their company month in and month out and if they donít they can lose their job.

Loan officers must produce or find another line of work. Solid loan officers have weathered the financial storms of the last decade, during refinance booms and busts and rode out slumping home sales. Loan officers that consistently bring in the business regardless of the nature of the market mean theyíve established themselves as market leaders and have experienced and counseled most every mortgage approval scenario imaginable.

Loan officers with 5+ yearsí experience are a good choice. Loan officers with 10+ years are an even better one.

How to Find the Best Loan Officer


Communication

Okay, now that youíve identified a top loan officer with years of experience, how do you narrow down your choices?

It boils down to communication but it really is something deeper than that. Yes, you want a loan officer who can explain the mortgage loan process to you in ways that you understand, take the time to answer all your questions in a patient and timely manner and essentially shepherd you through the process.

In addition to all that however is how you feel. Are you comfortable with your potential choice? Do you seem to communicate well? Is the loan officer trusting and do you simply feel some sort of relationship like you would with a new friend? Through all the interviews, the questions and the selection process, it can finally end up with someone that just feels right.

Rates. Integrity. Service.


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