Dammit. If only my clients would listen to me.
When I advise my clients to use a lender whom I know and trust, it’s not that I have any special ties, receive kickbacks, or anything else underhanded or shady. It’s because I am looking out for the best interests of my clients.
Picture this – client comes in pre-approved by an out-of-the area lender. Great, right? Not necessarily. I express my concerns to my client but the client has already started the process and does not want to start over. Lender asks for my recommendations for attorney/title company, appraiser, etc. (local lenders tend to have pre-existing relationships to take advantage of) I consult with my client to ensure that he approves, and proceed. Time comes for closing … and no closing happens. The lender answers questions with “maybe,” “probably,” and “hopefully” regarding a closing timeline. Both sides – Buyer and Seller – are thrown into turmoil. The house is vacant. The buyers are living in temporary housing, desperate to purchase the house they want. Hopes and dreams have been smashed because an incompetent, unknown lender does not have any reason to work harder, does not have any relationships to maintain, has no concerns regarding accountability. There will always be another internet lead.
With this particular situation, I knew things would be un-recoverable with this particular lender when I called one afternoon and was told that “she’s at lunch.” When I asked for her supervisor/manager/someone!, I was told, “they’re all at lunch.” Not the answer one wants to hear when clients’ concerns and lives are affected.
*I have done transactions with out of state and out of area lenders before successfully – many times. Integrity and accountability are not necessarily just local. The inherent risks are far greater, in my opinion, when choosing to work with a non-local lender. The difference between out of state and local is simple – the local firms are staffed by people into whose eyes I can look. Whose hands I can shake. From or to whom business I can direct.