It is amazing to me how many people call up and ask for a rate with out wanting to supply any information. It goes something like this; the phone rings, I pick it up and greet the caller. Often times at this point I am asked "whats your rate". I used to try to explain to them that I cannot give them a rate without asking them a few questions first. I've heard the old adage "you wouldn't want a doctor to diagnose you with out checking you out first. Right?". But often times when you start explaining to them why you need the information they start explaining how they are running short on time. I don't go through this step anymore. Now if someone calls and asks me for a rate I simply say: "Yes I can get a quote right out to you, first thing that I need to verify is your address." Then I just start taking the application. If I run into rebuttals while I am taking the application I just simply explain to them that the key to an accurate quote is an accurate application (1003). I can't just start promising rates based on the sound of someones voice, no one can. All of those television commercials and web companies out there are "selling" mortgage loan products, they are not properly educating consumers. Things like $395.00 flat fee do exist but they are not as good a deal as they are made out to be. When you go to such Internet company sites and actually look at the information posted you will see what I mean. There are disclaimers in small print stating that the figures posted are based on "assumptions". Those assumptions basically mean that you are an absolute A++ borrower and maybe you are, but I'll need a 1003 to verify it. The other thing that you will notice about those sites is that they do have $395.00 flat fee but at an inflated interest rate. Brokers are paid in YSP (yield spread premium), banks in SRP (service rebate premium). There is a chart that shows that the lower the fee the higher the rate and the higher the fee the lower the rate. It makes much more sense financially for a borrower to take a lower rate than a lower fee. Most of these Internet companies offering flat fees still have 3-4 "points" built into the loan, and they are going to get it on the "front" (mortgage broker/loan origination fee) or on the back (YSP/SRP).
This is why I can beat an Internet company any day. I charge much less than they do. I can offer lower fee on the same or lower rates and still make an honest living. I can charge zero up front and come in with a lower interest rate than they can. Rates are rates and they are what they are; we all get them from the same sources, but what I can do that Internet companies can't or won't is properly educate my clients so that they are poised to receive the best deal based on their own knowledge of the industry and so that they will never be made prey to a predatory lender.
I have made rookie mistakes when I was just getting started, but if there is anything that I can emphasis to anyone just entering this business it is; TAKE AN ACCURATE AND COMPLETE 1003 EVERY SINGLE TIME!! And it will be easier to keep your clients happy, under promise and over deliver. If you quote someone something based on an erroneously filled out 1003 your quote will not be accurate and you will find yourself "back-peddling". But if you have taken a complete and accurate 1003 your quote will be very close to the final numbers on the HUD-1 Settlement Sheet and everyone will be happy.
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