American Idol is back, along with its original host, the indomitable Ryan Seacrest, and some added celebrity firepower in the form of Katy Perry, who joined the panel of judges.
This momentous occasion got us thinking: What would a Realtor Idol or Loan Officer Idol show look like, from the perspective of our team?
It’s no secret that we all rely on one another for business. The consumer evaluates the overall experience with their closing. If one part goes badly, everyone is affected. It’s a team effort, with the end-goal always being a satisfied customer and more business for all.
There are several things we see which set our favorite realtors and loan officers apart from the rest. There are many things realtors and loan officers can do that make our job, and therefore the entire transaction, much more efficient and enjoyable.
Communication and responsiveness ranked among the most important factors from the perspective of our team. The best real estate agents stay involved and don’t simply disappear after they get an agreement of sale.
In one case, a real estate agent informed us two days before the closing that a Power Of Attorney was needed because the sellers were suddenly planning to be out of country. In another case we received multiple phone calls a day from consumers because they could not get in touch with their real estate agent. Staying close and involved with the deal goes a long way towards proactively deflecting problems—and that makes for a smoother closing and ultimately a happier client.
Bottom line? It can be very difficult to clear the path to a successful and stress-free closing—what we do best. Surprises that can be avoided are worth paying attention to. It helps us do our jobs better.
Great real estate agents understand the Closing Disclosure—each and every section of it—and can review the document with the buyer and/or seller confidently. They understand how the proration of taxes works and how credits to buyers and/or sellers must be reflected. Otherwise, too much time is spent reviewing and explaining to the agent how the bottom line number was arrived at. We have NO PROBLEM reviewing the CD with the agent, buyer and/or seller, if necessary. It’s just when the real estate agent understands it, it makes the process that much smoother for the consumer.
Great real estate agents supply accurate information. Simple things make a big difference. Is the correct property being requested — property address and parcel number? Is the property commercial or residential? One of our agents shared that sometimes the sellers — owners or co-owners — aren’t alive when taking the application. If the person(s) is deceased, where was the estate filed, if any? Simply let us know when this is the case, do not keep it a secret.
The realtors who receive the most referrals from their consumers are the most professional across the board. Every state is different, but an agent should be familiar with all components of the real estate transaction, not just showing comparables and negotiating the sales agreement. An agent should be knowledgeable with the home inspection and how to read an inspection report; an agent should be familiar with banking and the mortgage approval process; an agent should understand what a survey is, when it may be needed and what to explain to their buyers about obtaining; an agent should understand the basics of title insurance and the difference between any applicable enhanced policy; lastly an agent should understand the recordation process. The reality is that this is asking a lot. But the most experienced, well groomed agents are those that know how to get the answers quickly and efficiently for their home buyers.
Great loan officers understand why items must be cleared. They recognize that not only does their underwriter need to approve the loan and issue Clear to Close, but the title company does too. When the lender reviews the title report and works with us to clear title by providing needed information, such as loan numbers for payoffs, good contact information for their borrower, etc., it makes the process so much simpler.
Great loan officers also understand how to read a title. They can identify judgments, UCCs and any open liens that are not in the borrower’s credit report, and they can explain to the borrower what issues need to be fixed in order to proceed with closing. We have no problem helping borrowers with this information, but the client experience is always better if they also can get the information up front from the loan officer.
Great loan officers stand out from the crowd by excelling at communication with borrowers and title agents. They explain the terms and fees to borrowers in a way that puts them at ease. They work with the borrower directly when it comes to the loan side of the transaction.
They are also quick to ask questions of the title agent when they need more information. For example, if they aren’t sure if there is a transfer tax or mortgage tax due, they have no problem picking up the phone or emailing us to ask.
Our closers tell us again and again how important kindness and appreciation are to making their job fulfilling and enjoyable. Our team works hard and are very diligent. They do so many little things that matter, like updating fees and revising the title report for loan amount changes, reissuing the CPL, sometimes multiple times, and happily explaining that vesting on mortgages must match the deed. They reschedule the closing appointments and beg notaries/outside closing agents to please, please be flexible when they still don’t have the documents for the appointment that’s scheduled in 15 minutes. When a loan officer says thank you, that they really appreciate the extra work, and keeps them updated with realistic timeframes, it makes a world of difference!
World Wide Land Transfer is a service-oriented title insurance company that is trusted to close everything from complex multimillion-dollar commercial transactions to reverse mortgage transactions from our offices in New York and Philadelphia. Our record of excellence and our value-adding services have won us repeat business. We hope to earn yours as well!
To get in contact with WWLT or to learn more about our services, please visit our homepage today!