Whether you’ve just found the home of your dreams, or even better, you’re ready for that pre-approval so you’re clear on your price point, you’re going to need a great lender. But finding the right loan officer may be an even bigger decision. You need someone with the skill set and experience for your type of mortgage program, but you also need someone you can trust. How can you be sure that’s what you’re getting? Easy – just follow these three tips from the Cushing Team here in Reno for finding the right loan officer.
First, Assess Your Needs
To assemble a short list of prospective loan officers, start with a few basics about your situation. Check your credit score for a general idea of where that stands. While it’s likely to be a little different when your loan officer does a hard pull down the road, it’s still important to have a reference point. Your credit score and your income will both help you determine the kind of loan that may be right for you. Will you need an FHA loan so you can put down a lower down payment? Are you buying a home for the first time? Will you need a jumbo loan? Are you self employed? The answers to these questions will help guide your search for the right loan officer.
Second, Ask for Recommendations
Once you have a basic idea about the kind of loan officer you’ll need, it’s time to start shopping. If you’re already working with a real estate agent, or you have friends or family who just bought a home, ask them for a loan officer recommendation. If that’s not an option, a quick online search will likely turn up plenty of options right in your neighborhood. Spend some time doing a little research – a search of individual loan officers should turn up reviews and details about any specialties, like first-time homebuyers, refinances, etc.
Third, Interview Prospective Loan Officers
A loan officer may look great on paper, but just isn’t a great match in person. It’s important to speak directly to a potential loan officer and ask specific questions. Don’t be afraid to inquire about the following:
- How long they’ve been licensed, and how long they’ve been with their current company
- How many mortgages they’ve personally handled that are similar to what you’re considering, and their current processing time for the same
- Their skill level in evaluating tax returns
Listen carefully to their answers, and consider the level of customer service and communication you’re receiving. A loan officer who appears impatient or irritated about being asked these kinds of questions is a red flag to keep looking. Communication plays a big role in a smooth loan process, not just between you and your loan officer, but between your loan officer and their own processing, underwriting, and closing departments. They also need to maintain an open line with realtors, builders, title companies, and appraisal companies, so look for someone who makes you feel immediately comfortable.
A Final Tip
In addition to being excellent communicators, good loan officers are efficient and motivated. These are traits that should make themselves clear in your very first meeting, so pay attention to your gut feelings about a loan officer’s ability to handle your loan properly.
Good loan officers often work for good lenders. A competitive, established lender makes it possible for a loan officer to be successful. If you’ve found a loan officer you feel you can trust to manage your loan efficiently and effectively, odds are good that you’ll be just as happy with the lender.
Looking for the right loan officer in Reno or Sparks? The Cushing Team would love to answer your questions about our experience and specialties. Contact us today.