Monday, March 28, 2011

A Sacred Trust

So, not too surprising, in our adventures in home buying, we've had some bad experiences. I think it is inevitable to be completely happy with the home buying process, if only because it is so stressful. Between breaking leases, meeting closing dates, the stress of inspection, appraisal and final loan decisions, it's a tough process. However, one thing that seems to be a reoccurring issue, at least for us, is bad loan officers/mortgage brokers.

The first time we looked at buying a house it all fell through because of a bad mortgage broker. She grossly exaggerated my husband's income and gave us pre-approval at a much higher amount than we could actually be approved for. Of course, we didn't find out she did this until we had settled on a house and went in for final approval, but suddenly, it all fell through.

Like I said though, this wasn't the worst thing that could have happened. We ended up moving to Baltimore about 6 months later and I think we would have been unhappy in that area.

Now though, that we're reasonably assured that we're going to happy in our chosen area and we have found a house we absolutely love, any hitches in our plans come at serious stress. And once again, the biggest stress has come from a loan officer. There is, at heart, a sacred trust between you and the person who is handling your future. When that trust is violated, by say an unethical, unprofessional moron, it's upsetting. And that's exactly what happened today.

I'd like to refrain from too many details, especially because (after about 5 hours) I'm only just now finally cooling down enough to talk about it calmly, but it boils down to this: When a customer -- a customer forking over a huge amount of money, might I add -- has an issue with your level of customer service and/or quality of work that you're providing, you don't immediately jump to the defense and ignore any and every legitimate concern they have. And when they push back against your arguments, you give them the opportunity to speak, not interrupt them every three seconds and do not threaten to cancel their loan, just because you're too afraid to deal with an angry customer.

That all being said, we should have done our due diligence and really spent time interviewing loan officers. I think we rushed into the process and while that can be ok, we should have spent more time. So that's my kernel of wisdom: interview potential loan officers/mortgage brokers. Get references. Look at their history/how long they've been with their company and if there are any complaints against them. It will save you a lot of stress, heartache and windows in the process.

P.S. We're still on track for the house. It took several phone calls back and forth but finally the loan officer apologized. Too little, too late in my opinion, but Steven gets the fun task of dealing with him, so I suppose that's good enough for me.

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