Shopping “local” has been all the rage in recent years…but why stop at clothes and groceries? Did you know that using a local lender for your mortgage can actually help you stand out in today’s increasingly competitive housing market? Here’s how…
Knowledge of the Local Market & Local Relationships
Loan Officers who work for local lenders have a great knowledge of that particular market and know what it takes to get deals done in that area. They are privy to market conditions and local real estate trends. Because of this, the “local mortgage broker” model is essentially referral-based. Real Estate Agents build relationships with local lenders that have a proven track record in the location they serve, so they can have peace of mind knowing their deals will close smoothly. Much the same, sellers like to see offers attached to local companies because they can move forward confidently knowing these lenders have proven track records of stable real estate relationships and closing success.
Even in 2018, there’s no technology out there that can replace the comfort and transparency of a face-to-face relationship with a mortgage loan officer. When it comes to the often complex and intimidating home loan process, both you and your agent will want someone who’s just a quick phone call or car ride away. Big banks get hundreds of loan applications a day and cannot possibly keep up with the personalized customer service that small lenders are able to offer. Sellers’ are well aware that certain “hurdles” or “hiccups” can occur during the mortgage approval process, and they are more apt to accept a bid from someone working with a lender that is readily available for questions and problem-solving so there is no delay in closing.
When the real estate market is hot, homebuyers looking to be competitive cannot be on “bankers’ hours”. Any seller will tell you that the offers that stand out are the ones that can close the quickest. Because they are generally more likely to have “mobile” hours and underwriting in-house, local lenders can almost always offer the advantage of speed. Therefore, mortgage brokers with small companies are much less likely to be tied to a 30-45 day closing window. In fact, at Southern Trust Mortgage, we are able to offer a fully underwritten credit approval in 24 hours or less through our Priority Approval program. Getting approval that quickly means both homebuyers and their agents can write strong offers with the confidence of a fully- approved borrower. These offers definitely have an advantage over the rest because they usually have the ability to close as many as two weeks early!
Being able to scroll through numerous rates online may seem like the easiest way to pick a lender, but it’s definitely not your safest bet. Large companies that advertise their rates on the internet usually have hidden costs built in elsewhere so that they can show the lowest rate possible. This can mean that the hundreds of dollars you believe you’re saving with a lower rate, is just being spent elsewhere during the process. Additionally, local mortgage professionals are well aware of what they are up against. They know the rates that you see splashed all over websites, so they are prepared to fight to get you the lowest rate possible. They are also knowledgeable about the various loan products available and can place you in the best financial scenario for your unique situation. When you know you are shopping for a home with the most solid rate available to you, it opens up doors (pun intended) to making offers you may not have felt comfortable with had you been handed a “strings-attached” rate from a big corporate lender.
When it comes to purchasing a home in a tight housing market, a bigger mortgage lender is not always better. There’s nothing better than being able to shop for a home knowing you aren’t just another loan number in their pipeline. Local lenders live off your future business and the referrals they receive. Therefore, they do everything in their power to team up with your agent and equip you with the tools necessary to get you into the home of your dreams…even when there are several other offers on the table.
As a proud local lender ourselves, Southern Trust Mortgage Loan Officers are always standing by to chat with you about your options and answer any questions you have. Give us a call anytime to begin the process of homeownership!