Great Service Never Goes On Sale Or Out Of Style!

I have a hard time understanding holiday shopping trends. For example, how is it that a product costs less from 7am to 10am than it does later in the day? The product has not changed, so what has impacted the value so suddenly and why do we, as consumers, buy into these games? Do we ever know what anything really costs these days? I’ve read articles extoling the virtues of bargaining and negotiating purchases, not just for cars and real estate but also major department stores and other retail situations. I guess best prices are available to those who haggle the most.

The mortgage business never goes on sale. At the end of the day we do not control interest rates or the costs associated with providing a mortgage. There are too many factors that control those figures; from our service providers, such as appraisers and attorneys, to regulators whose requirements have increased costs to consumers across the board, to the bond and financial markets which influence interest rates and more.
As consumers, we can shop and compare prices. In fact the CFPB’s “Know Before You Owe,” or TRID regulation is designed to educate consumers on how to shop for and how to compare mortgage offerings.

However, no one talks about shopping for service! From the numerous commercials shouting from the TV, to the pile of circulars in the Sunday paper, price is what it’s all about. Yet we are used to hearing the tales of woe and disappointment from friends and associates when a product they purchased does not deliver, or the savings did not make up for the lack of quality.

I love working in a service industry. Service never goes on sale. Service is what makes the difference in the home buying and home financing experience. Service cannot be negotiated; service delivery should be in the heart and culture of every organization that you transact business with.

What good service means can be different for each of us. As an organization or an individual providing service, the experience you provide can vary from your competitors along with how you define your offerings. What is important is to have a clear vision of your service delivery. Everyone in your organization should be able to define it, create it and deliver it to your consumers. They should consistently ask the consumer how their experience was and continue to improve based upon their feedback. On the surface it appears easy, but defining and delivering good service is always a challenge. It is this challenge that keeps so many of us in the mortgage and real estate industries engaged and energized.

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” Ben Franklin

Service never goes on sale or out of style. The challenge is to continue to define service by insuring that you are always exceeding the expectations of the experience of working with you.

We’re here to help you and your buyers do more, learn more and grow more!

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When it comes to insurance – Make it a policy to shop local!

There is a big ‘shop local’ campaign designed to get us holiday consumers to pay attention to our locally owned businesses versus spending our time, attention and money with the big national retailers and big box stores.

Shopping locally means a lot for local businesses and communities. For the consumer it feels good to support neighbors and friends, and to experience that high-touch personal service that is synonymous with locally owned businesses.

Shopping locally holds true for homeowners insurance as well. As part of the mortgage approval process, homebuyers are required to obtain adequate homeowners insurance well in advance of the home closing. The cost of insurance can impact a borrower’s qualification, so getting insurance early in the process can ease some of the stress of mortgage approval. Working with local insurance providers can make this a much easier task. Local agents generally represent multiple insurance companies and can offer choices in policies and carriers. Local agencies are able to move quickly and adapt swiftly if needed. We have received many frustrated calls from clients waiting for insurance binders from national companies where they are dealing with a voice at the end of an 800 number. My local insurance contacts can provide a binder in a day. If a borrower needs to make changes to their coverage before the home closing, these can be managed in hours, not days or weeks when you work with a local provider.

Although often covered through the condo fee, many of today’s condo buyers are required to carry additional insurance by their lender. A condo buyer wants to be sure that their coverage will pick up and cover the gaps where the association’s insurance ends. In this case starting with the insurance agency that manages the association’s insurance can be the best course of action and generally those agencies are local because they understand the local properties, laws and regulations when it comes to insuring condo associations and their unit owners.

Shopping locally is good for our local economies. Choosing a local insurance provider can be good for your stress level. It is great to deal with a local person who you can meet with live or get on the phone with ease. For quick, efficient quality service with that personal touch, consider shopping locally year round for all of your real estate, mortgage, financial and insurance needs.

We’re here to help you and your buyers do more, learn more and grow more!

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QUICK GUIDE TO TRID TERMS and some TRID SURVIVAL TIPS

Greetings Real Estate Professionals – As we all are well aware, TRID implementation began with loan applications dated as of October 3rd and beyond.

Hopefully you are aware of the implementation of the new TRID regulations that change the way we all practice our professions in the world of real estate sales and lending. Here is a quick primer and some TRID survival tips to consider as we all get used to this new way of approaching the mortgage process in the third quarter of 2015.

Let’s talk terms first. With the implementation of TRID, even our language is changing. Here are a few examples:
Good Faith Estimate of Closing Costs = Loan Estimate or LE
Truth in Lending Disclosure = Now part of the Loan Estimate or LE
HUD = Closing Disclosure or CD
Final Truth in Lending = Now part of the Closing Disclosure or CD
Borrower = Consumer
Lender = Creditor
Closing = Consummation

I have compiled some tips to help agents navigate through this new landscape. Hopefully these will provide guidance moving forward.

First, you want to keep an eye on apply-by dates in contracts. If there are delays in performance, extend all dates accordingly. This applies to purchase and sale date, apply by date, commitment date and consummation date.

Make sure that you allow two weeks from mortgage commitment to consummation.

As long as we are talking about closings, which we now refer to as consummations, make sure that you are staggering them. Do not have all consumers consummating at the end of the month.

It is imperative that you educate your consumers. Make sure you obtain insurance early and that you are responding to lender requests quickly.

Have your sellers make any obvious repairs prior to listing. This helps prevent any delays once we are in the commitment window.

For any potential FHA sale/listing be sure that paint and safety concerns are addressed prior to listing.

When marketing a condo – Obtain condo docs in advance including master deed, budget and bylaws, as well as, insurance provider and management company contact details. Obtain a condo questionnaire in advance, if possible.

A few simple rules to REMEMBER:
The consumer must receive the Closing Documents three business days prior to consummation. The consummation will not occur if the CD is not received within that three-business day window. There is a hardship provision but will be very difficult for a consumer to prove hardship.

The consummation (closing) will be postponed if one of the following actions occur between disclosing the CD and the consummation; the APR on the loan varies by an eighth or more, the loan program changes or there is an addition of a pre-payment penalty.

However do not fear, we can adjust figures legally, even the day of the closing, as long as the adjustments do not impact the APR. Many agents have been told that all numbers have to be exact, however, there still remains room for minor changes. This cannot be promised on behalf of all mortgage companies, each company creates their own processes based on how they interpreted the regulations.

With the implementation of TRID, the bar has been raised for mortgage and real estate professionals. To ensure happy and satisfied consumers we have to come together and work as a team and deliver a high quality experience for all. We can do it and we will. Education is the first step and continued coordination will ensure we keep exceeding our customers’ expectations.

For more TRID TIPS or TRID Training, give us a call. We will be happy to come to your office and provide additional TRID education to help us all meet the demands of the new mortgage marketplace.

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What’s TRID and how does it affect me?

To the mortgage industry, TRID stands for TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosures. For consumers, the regulation is called KNOW BEFORE YOU OWE!

If you have been in the market for a new house and have been speaking with a realtor or mortgage specialist, you may have heard the term, “TRID,” bouncing around. TRID is an overhaul of the mortgage industry and loan practices mandated by the government. TRID officially began with loan application dates as of October 3rd and beyond.

As a consumer, TRID was implemented to make the mortgage process more transparent and easier to understand with a more predictable process. The goal of the regulation is to ensure that consumers fully understand the mortgage process and all the costs associated with obtaining a loan. The regulators are also hoping that TRID will help consumers do more shopping for mortgage services by making side-by-side cost comparisons easier to break down. Here is a quick primer and some TRID survival tips to consider.

New terms used by TRID and the old ones, which they have replaced.
Good Faith Estimate of Closing Costs = Loan Estimate or LE
Truth in Lending Disclosure = Now part of the Loan Estimate or LE
HUD = Closing Disclosure or CD
Final Truth in Lending = Now part of the Closing Disclosure or CD
Borrower = Consumer
Lender = Creditor
Closing = Consummation

Here are some tips to make your loan process as smooth and headache-free as possible.
• Quickly provide every document your creditor requests and be prepared to provide more.
• Obtain your insurance at the time of application to get the task out of the way. At latest, insurance must be in place two weeks prior to consummation.
• Be prepared to liquidate funds early.
• If receiving a gift, have the creditor-required gift documentation completed right away and have the funds transferred early for verification purposes (at least two weeks prior to consummation).
• Do not do anything that impacts your financial profile once you start home shopping. Do not move money, apply for credit cards or other consumer loans, do not change jobs, do not co-sign on any debt, do not cancel or close any credit accounts. Talk with your loan originator first if you need to take any of these actions.

Remember
• You must receive the Closing Disclosure three business days prior to consummation or the closing will be delayed.
• There is a hardship provision, however it is very difficult to prove.
• Your consummation (closing) will be postponed if one of the following actions occur between receiving the CD and the consummation; the APR on the loan varies by an eighth or more, the loan program changes or there is an addition of a pre-payment penalty.

The bar has been raised for mortgage and real estate professionals in order to provide you the most transparent and highest quality of service. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have. Your real estate and mortgage professionals are there for you!

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