In Lettuce and Loans, Buy Local!

by arlene on February 15, 2010

As buyers hear of the likelihood of loan rates increasing, even slightly, some will be tempted to explore any and all options, including on-line advertisers. When a good friend and client asked me whether she should pursue a quote she got from an on-line source, in addition to a well-known, well-trusted member of our local community I threatened to give her a “twitter answer.” To me, that means keeping it really short and to the point. So while I didn’t literally send her a tweet, here were my bullet points:

  • I understand the appeal of potentially saving money. That’s only human.
  • The greatest assets I bring my clients are my experience and my reputation.
  • The local loan broker to whom I sent you has those same assets, and the same motivation to protect them. We know nothing about an on-line loan agent.
  • Local listing agents know this loan broker, and respect him. In this tough lending market they will be exceptionally sensitive to choosing an offer where the loan is being provided by a trusted source.
  • From personal experience and the collective experience of other colleagues, I know my trusted broker and his firm close loans as promised, and on time. Delays are rare, and when they’ve occurred the bank was at fault. That is exactly what listing agents want to know when they are reviewing multiple offers, and multiple offers are the norm right now in many price ranges in our area.
  • My only personal experience with an on-line lender (when a former client truly found one at the top of a list, the company name being AAA Lenders!) was that they promised an unbelievable rate.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
  • In that case, the loan docs did not arrive one time after many promises. I called in my local broker who took my client’s application that day and we closed ten days later (probably couldn’t do that today).
  • The only other stories I’ve heard have been nightmares, mostly involving loan origination fees that were required up front, and then all communication ceased.
  • Communication is a crucial component of the relationship I have as an agent with any loan broker. Any loan broker I would recommend has already communicated well with me, and I’m counting on them to advise and counsel my clients, based on the particular needs of the client. In same cases the requirement will be for extensive counseling as well as reassurance, and that may be required over a protracted period.
  • There may be good on-line only loan brokers. There are many wonderful local brokers. Why would you take risks with the most important purchase most people will ever make? Check out these other local lenders if you’d like to compare, but make sure anyone you consider has a local reputation to uphold!

And finally, it’s important to me that my clients are working with me because they respect my guidance. I value my client’s time, as well as my own too much to take the risk on an unknown, non-local entity when it comes to loans. I simply won’t go there (wherever “there” is–with on-line lenders you never know!). If some clients want to follow the lure of a potential small savings, against these objections, they will need to do so without me.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: