Loan Officers: Is A Local Loan Officer “Better”?

When shopping for a mortgage, is it better to call DiTech or to try to find someone local?

It depends.

mortgage_advice1You could easily mess it up if you don’t be careful — meaning you could use someone that is based in Mellville, New York as your loan officer to buy a house in Queen Creek, Arizona and end up having it be a disaster. Or, just as likely — you could use a local loan officer who isn’t competitive with the larger, national lenders.

There is at least one simple thing that you can do to avoid either of these situations — ask around.

Start by asking your Realtor. Chances are that she knows a small handful of good lenders who live and work locally because she deals with clients who are all in your same situation every day — they need a mortgage and don’t want to make the wrong choice.

After getting a recommendation from our Realtor, interview at least two different loan officers. You might be surprised to learn just how different each loan officer can be — and I am not talking about interest rates. Some loan officers really have no clue and some are stone-cold-experts and know what they are doing. Some are funny, some are boring. Some are easy to work with, some are abrasive. In the end, you really want someone that is easy to work with and can deliver on what they promise – so the first step is to interview at least a couple so you can compare and contrast.

After shopping for a local lender, you may also be well served to speak with a national lender with a loan officer who works somewhere that is probably out of state. When speaking with these loan officers, the best way to find out if they are going to know about helping someone who is buying a house in Arizona is to ask them one question:

How soon can you get my Realtor an LSR?

If they don’t know what you are talking about – that should put an abrupt end to your interview.

An LSR is a document that a lender is required to provide the Realtor in the transaction. It is Arizona specific and is just one of the few “little” things about the Arizona home buying process that is unique to Arizona.

On second thought — maybe a local Arizona loan officer is better.

Just make sure that you ask around first!

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