When you’re making a property purchase decision or refinancing your home, it may be difficult to know where to invest your time. After all, you want to make your mortgage decision with full faith and confidence that you have the best deal in the shortest time with the most pleasant experience.
You’ll have many mortgage lender choices, but we can help you narrow your selection: regional mortgage companies often provide a much better experience than “Big Bank” lenders. Here are 4 ways regional mortgage companies do a better job.
A good regional company works with a number of partners to secure the best program for your specific situation.
You have the option of going to a Big Bank direct lender and applying for their rate, but if you want to compare to another direct lender, you have to apply all over again. This will also require them to pull your credit report again.
A quality regional company will take one application from the customer and shop numerous lenders and investors for them, ensuring that the customer gets the best combination of rates and costs in the shortest amount of time. Additionally, the experience and knowledge of a loan officer working for a regional lender is often better than that of a Loan Officer working for a big bank. Non-bank lender Loan Officers are required to go through testing and annual continuing education to maintain a license. Loan Officers working for banks have no such licensing requirements. While some Loan Officers working for big banks are fully capable, it is more of a luck of the draw than you will find with a quality regional lender.
Regional companies are more flexible and less black and white than Big Banks.
If you like personalization, communication, and options, then steer clear of the Big Bank direct lender and move forward with a regional mortgage company. The mortgage process should be about meeting the consumer’s needs, not about the consumer adjusting to the company’s rigid system.
Big Bank lenders like to use a “take it or leave it” approach with their options, and often apply a lot of pressure for a prospective borrower to simply choose package A or package B as soon as possible. Many big banks send the processing of a loan to a centralized processing center which makes getting status updates and answers to questions difficult.
Regional mortgage companies specialize in giving options and focus more on finding the right fit. Plus, since regional mortgage companies can show you a variety of lending options, there is no pressure to rush you into a decision before you find something better elsewhere.
Local companies and lenders can often close loans quicker with less bureaucracy.
A machine with fewer moving parts can be much more efficient than a lumbering national business. A local company’s independence can allow the process to move faster, and the company can prioritize customers with a more urgent need to close.
Even having a wide selection of preferred partners available will make a regional company’s closing process more efficient. A company like this can help select the right options to put the customer’s closing ahead of the projected timeline.
Knowing the community they serve makes local companies stellar advisors for home purchases.
Purchasing a home is much more complex than simply obtaining the loan. With a regional mortgage company, you’ll have access to their contacts in property appraisal, contracting, legal, and other resources. Going with a big bank means that you’ll probably be alone for the rest of the process, unlike with a regional company.
In fact, many regional mortgage firms give back to the same community they are in via contributions, sponsorships, and partnerships.
When choosing a regional mortgage company, here are some things to consider.
Not all mortgage companies and lenders are created equal. There are ways, however, to find a great company and make sure that it suits your needs.
- Search for online testimonials and reviews for mortgage companies in the area you are purchasing a property. The reputation should be overwhelmingly more favorable than unfavorable. Yelp and Google are great websites to start with.
- Make sure the company you are dealing with is transparent. Do they make it easy to search rates, costs and loan options? Do they provide insightful information that helps you as a consumer make a decision? Are they readily available when you call?
- Much of the mortgage loan process these days can be done online. Making sure you work with a lender that has updated technology to make the loan process easier is important. There is still a lot to be said for being able to talk to someone with experience either by phone or in person. Working with a company that can accommodate your preferences is important.
No matter what you decide, it will be helpful for others seeking mortgage loans in the future to know how you felt about the company you worked with. Leaving reviews, testimonials, or a simple star rating for the company can improve the likelihood that a loan seeker like yourself will be able to choose between regional companies and national lender alternatives.
Have questions? Sammamish Mortgage is a local, family-owned company based in Bellevue, Washington. We currently lend in all of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Colorado. Please contact us if you have mortgage-related questions.