Mortgage lending is not a complicated industry to become a part of. Success mortgage lenders rely upon a steady stream of referrals from satisfied customers and they typically focus on one particular client segment or another. For example, some mortgage brokers focus on conforming loans while others focus on nonconforming loans, those being good credit and bad credit, respectively. Brokers who gain experience with a particular type of client perform well with them because they understand borrower needs far more readily. Specialized mortgage brokers also provide efficiency that allows loans to be processed in a timelier manner. Communication must take place between the underwriter, the mortgage broker, the real estate agent, the seller, and the buyer. Between all of these parts hopefully there is one good communicator between them, usually yourself, your real estate agent, or your mortgage broker.
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Mortgage lending services have been at a premium in the past five years because of lowering interest rates that spawned a refinancing craze. At one point, major mortgage brokerages confessed they were having trouble hiring enough mortgage brokers to take on more clients. The average time for a loan process that fires without a hitch is 30 – 45 days. Often times the loan process takes far longer and requires far too many signatures in a half hour long process you will participate in with your broker, your real estate agent and your cosigner.
Mortgage lending services exist because firms are much better at dealing with the details of the loan process than individuals are. Because most people only purchase a few, or maybe even one mortgage loan, they have little experience with the finer points of the process. Mortgage brokers handling loans day in day out can better inform you of your options and help you make a better decision than you likely would on your own. Using their years of experience in mortgage lending, mortgage brokers can find a loan that fits your need and arrange the best possible rate they can get with the bank.
A time consuming aspect of mortgage lending that is often overlooked is the underwriting process. The underwriting of the loan works in conjunction with your loan officer (mortgage broker) to ensure that the loan meets all of the required criteria. Often times before approving the loan, the underwriter will contact your mortgage broker and tell he / she to get additional information from you. Additional information requested by underwriters typically includes additional proof of your income or overall financial status to ensure that you qualify. Other times underwriters will look to the actual home inspection papers and mandate repairs that must be made before the house is moved into.
The underwriters job is to thoroughly investigate the loan to make sure it meets the required criteria. For example, if your home inspection reveals that you have above average traces of Radon in your basement, you will be required to install a Radon mitigation system to ensure that the home is safe. This makes sense because if the home was to become unlivable it is less likely that the borrower will repay and the underwriters job would have been all for not.