Choose your mortgage broker carefully

As long as the rate is good, it doesn't really matter who does the loan. Right? Wrong. It does matter. It matters when you (or, more likely, I) get the call saying "Umm. We're not going to close on time."

Seriously. I get some variation of this call far too often. Sometimes it leads to a wildly stressful closing day, postponing and rescheduling the close time, wondering if the funds are going to come in. Sometimes it leads to a close "in escrow" before the funds have arrived, which leads to me spending the entire next day on the phone begging the mortgage officer to push the wire through so we can complete the transaction.

Sometimes it leads to weeks and weeks delay. And sometimes, after all of that delay, it leads to no closing at all.

That's why it scares me to death when a buyer tells me "Oh, yeah, my buddy/handyman/manicurist/whomever has started doing mortgages, so that's who I'm using for my loan."

Mortage interest rates don't vary too much from lender to lender. They're set by the market. But in a real estate transaction, a good mortgage broker is worth his or her weight in gold.

In a real estate transaction, mortgage brokers have deadlines they need to meet in order to keep the transaction running smoothly. The two most important are the appraisal deadline and the loan commitment deadline. If those deadlines are missed, it throws the entire transaction into chaos. Often the close is delayed. And the longer a close is delayed, the greater the chances that the transaction won't close at all.

Or sometimes mortage brokers "approve" borrowers they have no business approving, or approve them for loan amounts the borrowers can't qualify to borrow. There's no time like a few days before closing to find out a buyer doesn't really qualify to buy a house he's planning to buy.

If I'm working with a buyer who doesn't have a relationship with a good, reputable lender or mortage broker, I sent them to Deana Hollstein at Colorado Mortgage Alliance. I get nothing for referring clients to Deana. No referral fees, no trips to exotic locales.

What I do get is the knowledge that Deana takes her commitment to her clients as seriously as I do, and she has taken very, very good care of any buyer I have sent her way. Deana shares my business philosophy of "first look out for what is best for the person." She's honest with them about what they qualify for and how the loan programs work. And she seriously cares about making sure they aren't getting in over their heads or borrowing more than they can afford. Deana also takes her deadlines very seriously. She'll move heaven and earth to make sure that everything is done when it is supposed to be done. When Deana's handling my buyer's mortgage, I can breathe a whole lot easier.

Whether it's Deana or someone else, a good mortgage broker can make the difference between a stressful, delayed closing and a stress-free transaction that closes on time.

Trust me, I know.