Pre-close your loans, it's worth the call.

Mortgage and Lending with NA

I jut finished a blog by Teri Isner titled "Advice is like snow" and it inspired this one.  Thanks,Teri.

I try my best to communicate with my customers, real estate agents, etc. Basically, anyone who is directly involved with the transaction.  It's important to me that we are all on the same page.  Therefore, I assume it's important to everyone else.

However, on rare occasions, something may get miscommunicated, forgotten, changed...etc.  This is the exception, not the norm.

Because it does happen, I have a tiny, little habit.  It's something I like to call Pre-close.  "What is Pre-closing?", you ask.  Let me explain it.

No more than 24 hours prior to a settlement, I call my customer to make sure that everything is fresh in their mind.  I go over all the detais of the transaction.  This includes, but not limited to, rate, term, payments, verify if there is an escrow account, time and place of settlement, prepayment penalty, etc.  I even remind them to make sure they have photo ID.  I then call the REALTORs, if applicable, and tell them that I just got off the phone with our customer and they know everything so tomorrow will be  quick easy. 

Fastforward to settlement.  All involved parties are sitting around the table.  The settlement agent begins to go over the documents, usually with the HUD. My customer looks at it shaking their heads in agreement.  This is how it is throughout the entire settlement.  You will even hear "Yep, that's what Ann told me".  During one purchase settlement, the customer was telling the settlement agent what was on the note and not the other way around.  Needless to say, the process is quick and painless.  Everyone is happy and practically jumping for joy.

And to think, that's all it took.  A little process that is part of my routine: Pre-close.  Then there is no confusion, no fall out, and most importantly, no frowns.


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Brian Foxworth SC, GA, FL, & TN Mortgage Loans
Palmetto South Mortgage - Columbia, SC

I completely agree Ann.

I've been doing the same thing 24 hours before Closing and my clients and Realtors enjoy a stress-free Closing each time.

It is great to see how responsible and professional Loan Officers serve others.

Dec 01, 2006 04:05 PM #2
Brad Patshkowski
Heritage Home Loans a division of Mann Mortgage LLC - Spokane Valley, WA
Home Loans Spokane, WA
Return business is just one call away.  This would be an alternative title to your blog.  Information is key to building a lasting relationship with customers.  If they feel at all like they have been lied to or dedieved, they are that much less likely to choose you or your company again.  Full disclosure is my motto.  Good post, and keep it up!
Dec 01, 2006 04:20 PM #3
Leo Namiot CT Low Rate Mortgages - Waterbury, CT
CT Mortgage Lender - FHA, VA - CT First Time Home Buyers, USDA, FHA, VA
Great Idea, this is a real time saver and helps to eliminate any last minute questions or problems
Dec 01, 2006 04:46 PM #4
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans
Ann...  good job and good reminder.....  I like this pre-close term. Hell,even after 14 years in the business....  to give something a name, sounds good.  Like...walk through....  ;o)  Don't get me wrong, I do what you do.... but again, to give it a name...  brand it.... 
Dec 01, 2006 05:00 PM #5
Robert D. Ashby
Robert Ashby Photography - Miramar, FL

I echo Jeff.  Good post and I never thought of naming it either. 

It is a good way mortgage professionals can truly provide exceptional service and not have customer "surprises" at closings.

Dec 01, 2006 05:04 PM #6
Susan Trombley
Trombley Real Estate - Raleigh, NC
Broker/Realtor, Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Youngsville
I wish all would do that. I hate being the news of bad bear when what the lender said is not what is on the HUD-1 and I have to tell the buyer just before closing that they need to come up with more money. OUCH.
Dec 01, 2006 05:23 PM #7
David Jones
Equity Bank - Destin, FL

In a day and time when so many loan officers, clients and realtors want to close yesterday, it is amazing there are not more mistakes.  On a number of occasions after having done all the final paperwork, gone over the HUD at the last minute changes happen.  Then we sit at the closing table scrambling to get things right for everyone.  

I  long for the good ole days when it took 90 days to close a loan and everything got mailed back and forth.  Dated myself there a little bit.  Also loan packages were 25 to 30 pages and not 150 pages.


Dec 01, 2006 05:36 PM #8
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

"Hi Ann"

Don't you look pretty sitting up on the feature Blog roll. Cool.

You know I agree with you. Communication and following through are important in any business...

Must stay on top of it. Not it on top of you.

Can I be done being serious now? Thank you.

TLW "The Lovely Wife"...Time To Spread Some More Love...ROAR!

Dec 01, 2006 05:39 PM #9
Bryant Tutas
Bryant Tutas-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc - Poinciana, FL
Broker/REALTOR, Tutas Towne Realty, Inc
Ann, I can only dream! I don't work with buyers but they are usually clueless when at closings that I attend. Heck in my area we are lucky to get a closing package 1 or 2 hours before closing. Very frustrating. Of course my sellers are always ready. We review the HUD and other documents prior to closing and can do the seller side in about 10 minutes. Great service you provide.
Dec 01, 2006 05:43 PM #10
Suzanne Marriott
Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Anthem, AZ
Associate Broker, CLHMS, e-PRO
Following up like that is a great way to help ensure a smooth close of escrow.  Thanks for sharing the idea!
Dec 01, 2006 06:57 PM #11
Netta Blackwood
La Rosa Realty - Kissimmee, FL
REO/BPO Expert

Wish everyone had a similar system like yours, not just on the mortgage end but as Realtors too. We all need reminders and need to keep our customers as well as everyone else involved in a transaction informed and up-to-date. Our goal should be to bring a relaxed customer to the closing table, not a stressed out customer. Thanks for sharing this useful information with us.

Dec 01, 2006 09:07 PM #12
Jason Price
Mortgage Financial Group, Inc - Eustis, FL


I definately agree that "pre-closing" makes the closing that much easier. 

One of the things that I try to do with my first home buyers is go over what documents that they will be signing.  When they see that package, it can be a bit overwhelming.  But being prepared makes it a lot easier.  Good post...

Dec 01, 2006 09:30 PM #13
Dave Cheatham
INC Financial - Bartlett, IL

I have heard some others doing this.  It seems like and idea I must think more about.  Thanks.


Dec 01, 2006 10:42 PM #14
William J. Archambault, Jr.
The Real Estate Investment Institute - Houston, TX


With all the technical things we do some forget that ours is a people business. Eventually almost anyone could learn the mortgage business, but to be great at it you've got to learn to hold the clients' hand. This is a great example of people skills!

Keep up the good work.


William J Archambault Jr

The Real Estate Investment Institute

Dec 01, 2006 10:57 PM #15
Geno Petro
GenoPetro.House - Chicago, IL
Ann, hurray for you!
Dec 01, 2006 11:38 PM #16
Patrick Sharples
Realty ONE Group - Anaheim, CA

This is a terrific idea and I have been doing it for a few years now. What I do is I get the Estimated HUD from escrow and review the docs prior to my clients coming in for signing. I do this to make sure there are no erros and if there are, I am able to get them resolved before the client is involved. Once everything looks good, I meet with the clients and show them that everything matches or is better than the original Estimated Closing Statement they signed the day I took their application.

I also go one step farther and have my client sign 3 days to a week prior to the scheduled closing date. This way nobody is in a hurry and things close on time and without any issues.

Only problem this can cause is that the funder wants to fund as soon as they get the docs if you are proactive and do things early, you need to notify them not to ask for funds until the proper date.

Dec 02, 2006 12:54 AM #17
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

Sounds like a good idea to me Ann.... to communicate what is going to happen and get the buyer on the same page is a life saver and uses time more efficiently......

You are AWESOME woman...... :-D

Dec 02, 2006 09:38 AM #18
Chris Tesch
RE/MAX Bryan-College Station - College Station, TX
College Station, Texas Real Estate
That's awesome Ann.  I always communicate with my buyers the day before, but don't know anything about the loan terms.  It would be nice if they had it fresh in their minds!
Dec 02, 2006 09:47 AM #19
Randy Prothero
Island Style Realty Inc. - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

In Hawaii we do our signing of the loan and escrow documents in advance of the actual closing/recording.  That gives us a cushion of time to deal with any problems. 

I sometimes have my sellers sign as much as a week in advance.  The buyers and sellers sign seperately here.

Dec 02, 2006 03:02 PM #20
Jim & Maria Hart
Brand Name Real Estate - Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC Real Estate
What a great idea! 
Dec 02, 2006 04:28 PM #21
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