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How to Find the Right Loan Officer for Your Mortgage

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Let’s say you’re in the market for a new mortgage loan. You’ve just made an offer on a home – it’s been accepted – you’re thrilled – and all you need now to make your dreams come true is loan approval, and you’re home free. (Well, more like, “home mortgaged” – but you catch our drift.)

If you’re working with a Realtor™, they may have sent you directly to their ‘preferred lender’ to get your loan started. Or you might have heard that it’s a smart move for you to shop around with different lenders to find the best deal – since all mortgage lenders are NOT the same. (At least, we certainly hope you’ve heard us saying that during the past few months! Like in this article.)

However, even when armed with the knowledge about how to compare Loan Estimate figures from one lender to the next (so that you are able to save literally thousands of dollars on your loan costs) there is still one other detail you need to consider: The experience and reputation of your Loan Officer. Rick Piette, owner of Premier Mortgage Lending, explains why.

“As consumers, it’s fairly common for us to narrow our wide number of choices down to one company who gives us the best numbers – and then just assume that everything will be handled as it should be. After all, a company should stand behind its product and its people, right? They should know how to get your loan from Point A to Point D, by completing steps B and C in the proper way. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen that way. Just think about the last time you received poor service from a store you shopped at, and you’ll see what we mean.

“But obtaining a mortgage loan is much more complex than buying an appliance, or even a car,” continues Piette. “When you think about it, no two people have exactly the same life circumstances, financial situation, or credit details. And on top of that, there is the oversight of the lending industry itself – with ongoing changes to federal regulations that affect guidelines and escrow requirements, legal disclosures, lending ratios, and so much more.

“With a mortgage loan, the details matter. That’s why you don’t want to put your loan into the hands of a person who isn’t well-versed in how to get it done right, in order, and in the timely manner that’s required. Because if it’s not, the end result can be disappointing – or even devastating – for you and your family.”

So how can you know that you’ve chosen not only the right mortgage lender – but the right Loan Officer, too? Rick Piette recommends adding the following questions to your loan shopping process to make sure you’re comfortable with your final choice.

1. “How long have you been in the mortgage business?” To be fair, we all have to begin our careers somewhere. And everyone makes mistakes at some time or another. Still, in the same way that you probably wouldn’t ask an intern to perform a complicated surgery on you – it’s in your best interests to find someone with an experienced background in exactly what you’re seeking: a residential mortgage loan. Given the economic turmoil of recent years, it’s not necessarily important for their experience to be with the same company; but it does matter if they’ve been working in your city for a period of time. Why is location important? Because knowing the local market and creating relationships with reputable industry agents – such as escrow and title companies, appraisers, underwriters, etc. – can play a huge role in your Loan Officer’s ability to anticipate, prepare for, and head off problems that can affect your end result: Loan approval.

2. “Do you have any special expertise in the type of loan I need?” If you’re planning to get an FHA or a VA loan, make sure they’re experienced in dealing with the specific requirements in those areas. Or if you’re self-employed, or need a Jumbo loan or second-chance financing, there may be extra hurdles faced for each of those situations. You don’t want to take chances that an important “i“ wasn’t dotted, or a “t” wasn’t crossed. Think about it this way: Your Loan Officer has learned something from every loan they’ve ever made. Why not stack the deck in your favor to choose one that is more than familiar with the type of loan you need?

“One other important thing to remember about getting a loan is that timing is critical for a borrower’s mortgage transaction. If a loan is delayed due to errors or a Loan Officer’s failure to request and submit proper documentation on time, the buyer may end up paying more money, not have a place to live in the interim, or even lose the deal completely. And there simply aren’t enough “I’m sorry!”s in the world to make that okay again,” explains Piette.

“At Premier, we’ve relied on a simple formula to choose the best Loan Officers to work with our company,” Piette explains. “Simple, but not easy, because they need to possess all of these traits: Experience, extensive industry knowledge, creativity, responsiveness, availability for clients, be problem-solvers, and most of all – completely up-front and honest in all their business dealings. We won’t settle for anything less, and we wouldn’t ask our customers to, either.”

Fortunately for Piette, he’s been very successful at assembling a team that meets all of those qualifications – and each individual also boasts an impressive career history. “I’ve worked with Cheryll Acevedo, Dianne Herra, and Sydnee Johnson for so long that we’re more like family than friends,” confirms Rick. “That’s one of the advantages of being a small, local Mortgage Broker, in my opinion. We’re a tight-knit team that works hard, plays hard, and we all share the same philosophy: To focus on providing our clients with the best service and the best products on the market.”

Find out more about Premier Mortgage Lending’s Loan Officers and about their true “No Fee” mortgage loans by calling (702) 485-6600.

Premier Mortgage Lending, NMLS #393282, is located at 701 N. Green Valley Pkwy., Suite 125, Henderson, 89074. The full-service lender is a member of the Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, as well as an affiliate member of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.