The Out-of-Towner

The Internet certainly has its advantages. It seems that most anything can be researched, scoured and discovered simply by logging online and typing in a few keystrokes in Google. And if the Internet has helped any industry more than the real estate, I’d like to know. Real estate agents can post their client’s property on the world wide web for not just the local real estate market but literally around the world. In fact, any business can now market far beyond its geographical border.

And mortgage lenders do the same.

In the past, to apply for a mortgage meant a visit to a local mortgage lender. A consumer would sit down with a loan officer and review their loan options as well as having all their questions answered about the sometimes confusing mortgage approval process.

Mortgage lenders today however don’t have to have a physical office to take a loan application and as long as the lender is properly licensed, borrowers can apply for a mortgage loan without meeting a loan officer at all.

Is that a good thing? What if you review an offer on your listing and you ask to see a pre-approval letter. The buyer presents an approval letter but you’re not familiar with the mortgage company that issued the pre-approval. Not only do you not recognize the company the letter states they’re in California. As in two time zones away.

What’s your initial response? Skepticism? Doubt? Maybe a little fear?

Consumers have the ability to apply online with an endless supply of mortgage companies that solicit their business with enticing ads with oh-so-low interest rates and dubious promises. What do you tell your client? Take it one step further, what do you tell your client when, after four weeks of accepting an offer that the buyer still hasn’t produced their loan closing papers?

The Internet allows companies to market their services in every nook and cranny that has access. Sometimes that’s a good thing when businesses compete. Sometimes that’s a bad thing when out-of-towners handle mortgage loans and things don’t go very smoothly.

If you receive a pre-approval letter and are skeptical of its contents, feel free to contact that lender directly and ask a few pointed questions. The Internet allows any mortgage company, good or bad, to solicit business from our very own backyard.


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