OK, so again, I know I’m not a lender, but I seem to have plenty to say on the topic lately and well, it just makes me feel better to share and get it all out there! This past year has provided many challenges in real estate and I would say that a large portion of those challenges have come from lending and all the changes that industry has gone through. For instance, I was recently 7 days from closing a deal when yet another major national lender suffered financial woes and closed its doors. That left me, and my clients, scrambling to try to find a new lender who could take over and do the loan. In the long run, it took an additional 4 weeks to close the loan and get the buyer into the house.
Nobody gets paid more for delayed closings, sellers don’t make more money on the house and of course, buyers don’t always get to simply “postpone” moving out of their previous home just because a closing doesn’t occur when it is scheduled! So, needless to say closings that don’t happen on time are not fun for anyone, but unfortunately they are definitely more of a reality now than ever before and here’s a few things you need to know in today’s market of buying and selling real estate:
1. Choosing an experienced real estate agent who can walk you through all of the ups and downs involved in the buying and selling process is truly a MUST! If you don’t have a guide to help you wade through all the mud, you may just get stuck in the jungle.
2. Don’t simply stop into a lender and sign up with them for your loan. Ask questions. Find out what their communication style is like and how often they will call or e-mail you with updates on your loan. Ask whether or not they underwrite their loans locally or send them out to a national lender, and if they do send them out, find out if they have relationships with more than one national lender so there is a backup plan available if the company you are using for your loan starts to experience financial problems!
3. Stay on top of your paperwork. If your lender or Realtor needs something, get it to them ASAP. If you delay, it can cost you days or even weeks in the closing process. I’ve seen loans held up due to a simple missing signature on a document that a buyer or seller never got in to sign.
4. Expect that there may be delays. The days of signing a purchase agreement, and simply closing on the date agreed upon by the buyer and seller, are no longer here. If there is even one bump in the road (and lately there seem to be many!) the closing date will likely be moved. If that’s the case, having a back up plan in place will save you many sleepless nights.
5. Take lots of deep breaths throughout the process and trust that in choosing the right professionals to guide you along the way, you will come out winning in the end!