Choosing Your Loan Officer

What does a loan officer do?

The job of a loan officer is to help you obtain a loan to purchase your future home. Loan officers are the intermediary between lenders and borrowers. They can work directly for banks and credit unions, or as independent mortgage brokers.

The loan officer plays arguably the most important role in a real estate transaction with regards to closing escrow on time — the loan officer is the one responsible for telling you up-front whether or not the financing terms can be provided as requested, setting up the proper expectation for what kinds of paperwork you will need to provide during the process in order to qualify, and communicating with all parties in the transaction as to the status of the financing. A good loan officer needs to have knowledge of a wide variety of different loan products and guidelines while also being extremely detail-oriented and having excellent communication skills.

How to search for and choose a loan officer

Choosing a Loan officer in Los Angeles CADue to how close a role your loan officer will play in your real estate transaction, it’s important to build rapport and a good working relationship with the lender you choose. You should ask friends and coworkers for referrals and interview several loan officers before making a decision on who to work with. Another good place to start is your bank and your employer’s bank since a relationship is already established. You can also search Google for “loan officers” in your area because a credible loan officer will have a visible online presence in today’s day and age.

The loan officer you choose should be easy to talk to, readily accessible, and have a positive history of successful loan approvals. A successful loan officer has good relationships with their lenders and will look out for your loan from beginning to end, which is important to both of you.

Bill Rayman, a mortgage broker in Los Angeles California explains, “A broker is only going to get paid if we make a transaction happen. We have a license and a fiduciary responsibility to our clients.”

The Interest Rate

Bill advises not to get too hung up on the interest rate. “If you’re looking to buy a house, frankly I don’t think the interest rate should be something you should make your primary concern. I do the math for people and point out that on a $300k loan, the difference on 1/8th point is about $20/month. Maybe your neighbor got 4 1/8 and you were quoted 4 1/4… Sure, in dollar terms it’s measurable, but it’s not the reason to buy or not buy a house. You should be aware of your priorities and react accordingly.”

Read the full interview with Bill Rayman at: Expert Advice from a Los Angeles Mortgage Broker – Interview with Bill Rayman

Now that you’ve chosen a loan officer to work with and Pre-Approve financing, the next step is to Set Your Real Estate Investment Criteria.

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