One of the most important parts of the loan process is the initial consultation with our clients. This gives us the opportunity to get to know each other face to face, and plan out a roadmap for the home-buying journey. This quick meeting sets the pace for the rest of the process, and gets everyone on the same page. Many times people walk into this meeting nervous and confused, and our goal is to help them leave feeling confident in the road ahead.
Diane Black has been in the mortgage industry for 25 years, and you could say that she has mastered the initial consultation process. After owning her own mortgage company for years, she really understands what each customer is looking for when they sit down in her office for the first time.
How do you advise clients?
Sometimes when I sit down with people, it turns out that they may not be ready to buy a house at this time. They either don’t have enough income or a large enough down payment, but our conversation doesn’t end there. I like to sit down with a first time home buyer and give them an overview of the loan programs they will have access to, and give them a clear plan of action. If they have credit issues, I help them identify things they can do to improve their credit score. We create a clear plan, so that once they’ve taken the action needed, they’ll be ready to purchase their first home.
What do you do before an initial consultation?
My main goal at the start of this process is to work with first time homebuyers and make sure all of their questions are answered. I want to make sure that they fully understand the lending and home buying process. Before the consultation, I’ll send them a list of the documentation that they will need. That includes two years of income history, two years of occupation history (or a diploma if they have been in college). We’ll need documentation of their assets, the source of the down payment, two years of residency, and credit information. Getting that to them before the meeting starts is helpful so we can have an informative and efficient initial consultation.
Anything else you would like to add?
I make sure that in the initial interview, everything is as clear as possible. Instead of using complicated acronyms and industry terms, I make sure to explain everything clearly, which makes people feel much more comfortable. I want to make sure they understand how property taxes are paid and calculated, and that they understand all the things they are responsible for taking care of.
By now you should be able to see that the initial consultation is a crucial and incredibly helpful part of the lending process. It helps everyone to get on the same page, and clear up any confusion. You should walk out of your first meeting feeling well-prepared for the journey ahead. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Diane!
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