Moving Out of State? How to Find a Good Loan Officer

Written by Posted On Monday, 08 May 2023 00:00

Here’s one for you. You’re getting transferred, you’ve got a new job or maybe you’re just tired of living where you live now. You’re moving. But as I’ve said before, along with getting a solid real estate agent it’s also just as important to find an experienced loan officer. When you’ve thinking of buying and moving across town you get to keep pretty much all of your agent and lending contacts at hand. That is if that’s what you want. If you think you might want to interview someone new, they’re still in the same zip code. But it can be a bit challenging accomplishing the very same when you move much farther away, where you don’t have any contacts. What do you do?

First, ask your agent if there are any affiliate branches in the area where you’re going to move to. Most national name-brand brokerages are in pretty much every locale. The same goes with your bank. But as you’ve read here in this very column before, it’s not the brand that matters but the expertise behind that brand. That can be a challenge when you’re moving far away. It’s likely though that your agent may have some contacts and your bank probably does as well.

However, if you work with a direct mortgage banker or a mortgage broker, it’s less likely for you to get a personal referral. In my past, I had contacts with several mortgage loan officers across the country and I could refer them to those folks. It was a comfortable referral  because I had worked with them before.

Finding a good loan officer long distance? The first thing you want to take a hard look at is how long that loan officer has been in business. While I’m not completely dismissing a newbie, I was one once, but you want to pare down the possibilities as much as possible and rely on someone that’s closed a few hundred loans over the years. How would you know how many loans any particular loan officer has closed? While you may not be able to nail down how many loans the loan officer has closed, being around for a few years proves experience and stamina. You can’t be a loan officer for very long unless you’ve proven you can do what you say you can do.

Interview a few on the phone, exchange some emails and do what you would normally do but do it from a distance. After you’ve made your choices, make appointments with your selected pool of loan officers as well as real estate agents. Make a visit and from there you can nail down who you’d like to use as your loan officer. It’s easier than you might think, just a little more initial work on your end is required.

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David Reed

David Reed (Austin, TX) is the author of Mortgages 101, Mortgage Confidential, Your Successful Career as a Mortgage Broker , The Real Estate Investor's Guide to Financing, Your Guide to VA Loans and Decoding the New Mortgage Market. As a Senior Loan Officer and Mortgage Executive he closed more than 2,000 mortgage loans over the course of more than 20 years in commercial and residential mortgage lending. 

He has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox Business, Fox and Friends and the Today In New York show. His advice has appeared in the New York Times, Parade Magazine, Washington Post and Kiplinger's as well as in newspapers and magazines throughout the country. 

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