This is another great post from a very respected lender on ActiveRain. His post address the question of a realtor/agent wearing more than one hat during a real estate transcation. His post address when a realtor is also acting as the loan officer. Very similar to the issues he raises occur when a realtor refers a client to related company that might be providing Title Company services or Lending services. I always suggest that buyers shop, compare and save. I encourage buyers to go with the lender that offerred the best loan package, not the lender that made their offer better after seeing a better offer. Service does also come into play.
DISCLAIMER : This topic might tick off some of those that do play both roles, who are a loan officer and a realtor. Sorry, but I have a problem with this. Just hard core mortgage related facts.
So, how many hats do you wear? Sure, I wear many hats as a loan officer, but in my opinion, it's all part of my job. What about those that are actually a loan officer and a realtor though? How many more hats do they need to wear? Sure, if you are one of those that do both, I am sure you think you do a good job for your clients. But is this just your opinion? And is good good enough? I try for excellent and feel that it's hard to hit that mark if you are both. And keep in mind, this is just my opinion.
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I am sure that these same people that are both a loan officer and a realtor will say that they have your best interests at hand. Their reasons would be :
- I am not charging you as much, since I am your realtor and loan officer. But define not as much. And could it cost you more in the long run?
- I have been doing mortgages and real estate for 10 years. Okay, is this together, combined in years? Have you been a realtor for 9 years and a loan officer for just one year? More on this later.
- "I will guarantee you satisfaction." Well, anyone that knows me, I hate such words and phrases as : "I guarantee" "I promise" "no problem," "Don't worry" "trust me" "I have your best interest at hand" etc, etc. Even though I know I am very good at what I do and know that I can get you a mortgage, I don't like using these phrases. Yes, they calm the borrowers nerves, but I view it usually as a good sales tactic.
Here is how come I can make my opinions. I can base them on past examples and on comments from other individuals that say they are both a realtor and a loan officer.
I wrote this blog a while back. FHA loans vs Conventional Loans, a real comparison with 5% down I was attacked by like 3 loan officers in this blog, telling me that I was way off on my conventional rate example. They either told me that they were both a realtor and a loan officer or I found out after doing some research. What was ironic was that I asked each one of them if they knew how to read a rate sheet and see that there is a major pricing hit for lower credit scores. And that this is not a lender hit, but a FANNIE MAE pricing hit. Only one got back to me and said that he spoke to another loan officer and still told me that I was wrong.Just because someone else confirmed your thoughts, doesn't always mean that it's correct. Hence why I ended up writing about this. Two wrongs don't make a right, or do they?
And the funny thing, yet a sad thing, these same people that tell me that I am wrong are usually both a loan officer and a realtor.
I will say this.... no matter how good you are in the beginning, you do usually become better with more years of experience. But just because you have been doing something for 10 years, doesn't always make that person very good or better. Example - I closed a loan last year that another loan officer had for 30 days, yet he couldn't make the settlement date. He was still working on it when we closed it in 5 business days. There were credit issues that needed to be taken care of. But this was a loan officer that told the borrower that he had been doing mortgages for 30 years. See my point? Age doesn't always make it better or you better.
Passion and having a large heart. - Now, I know many of us have a large heart and passion for what we do. I know I do... but just because you are nice, doesn't mean that you are good at what you do. Sorry, but it's just a fact of life.
Conclusion : Let me pose one question to you. Would you want a heart surgeon who specializes in this, to operate on your brain, just because they are a "surgeon" and or went to medical school? What about a realtor who says, well, "I was trained as a loan officer also." The better loan officers and realtors that I know and respect, wouldn't do both. Sure, conflict of interest in my opinion. But it's hard to stay on top of just the mortgage industry alone. Just food for thought and based on my opinions.
PS.... I know we are in a very tough economy. I know many loan officers and realtors that have gotten second jobs. But as a realtor and a loan officer? In my opinion, this is like mixing gasoline with fire. You could just be waiting for an explosion and that explosion could be your mortgage not closing or closing on time.
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