Nov 19

Can Smaller Banks Be More Effective at Closing Your Mortgage?

Residential mortgage interest rates this year are at their lowest since July 2013, according to an insight report from industry software provider Ellie Mae®. And the Office of the Chief Economist for home mortgage financing giant Freddie Mac identifies 2015 as “the best year for home sales since 2007.” So, with economic factors pointing to now as the time to buy or refinance a home, consumers need to be savvy in choosing an attentive mortgage lender, who can pre-qualify and process their loans quickly—giving them an edge in this busy and competitive market.


“Once you’ve identified the best interest rate you can get, one of the main points to consider is the length of time between loan application and closing. The shorter the better,” says Fillip Feller, CFO of Capital Bank, N.A., a Washington, DC metropolitan area bankheadquartered in Maryland. “Also, communication is important to help overcome the anxiety many consumers face when making such a big investment.. The kind of personal attention loan officers give customers can make the difference between a smooth process or a bumpy one.”

One of the first steps consumers face in their mortgage process is locking in an interest rate. A quick process and closing are imperative in avoiding an extension, which causes fees to be added to maintain the locked-in rate. Consumers want to identify a loan officer who knows the ins and outs of the industry and can close the loan within the initial allotted time. Typically these loan officers are the ones who have closed lots of loans and have strong loan processing support.

Sometimes such loan officers work at mortgage companies, but a better option may be a small-to-mid size bank that will underwrite the loan on site. A good example of this is Capital Bank, N.A., located in the Washington, DC metropolitan region, which has a nation wide mortgage division. The loan team keeps a single point of contact for each mortgage client, and has closed loans in as little as 10 days from application—one-fourth the time an average home mortgage loan takes, according to the Ellie Mae data. The bank’s loan officers have deep industry experience, with two recently recognized as among the top 50 mortgage originators in America by Mortgage Executive Magazine’s Top 200 Mortgage Originators 2014. Team member Brian Blonder ranked number 10 in the country and Brad Cohen ranked at 47. These rankings are a big feat for a bank with $600 million in assets—a testament to high quality service and customer loyalty since Capital Bank’s mortgage division growth has been organic, without acquisitions.

Says Feller, “Our goal is to close on every home loan as quickly and as efficiently as possible. And, no matter how many loans we process, Capital Bank Mortgage stays focused on maintaining a high touch experience for clients.”

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Jul 01

Tips For Negotiating a Good Deal on Your Real Estate Transaction

Negotiate-300x238There’s a lot more to buying a house than simply picking one out and forking over the money. And yes, while most people use a real estate agent to get them through the process, it is still a good idea to know about the process of negotiating the price on your piece of real estate in the DC Metro area.

Here are some tips on how you can make sure you get the best deal possible:

1. Know what the market in the area is doing. This is a step that is most easily completed with the help of a real estate agent. He will be able to pull a report called current market analysis which tells you how many homes are for sell, what they are listed at and what they have sold for in your area. You can do your own research on-line as well.

2. Comparison shop. Once you know what has sold in the neighborhood and what is for sell, you can do a general comparison between them and the house you are interested in. If there are homes in better shape than the one you want and they sold for lower prices, this gives you some ammunition in the negotiating process.

3. Find out about the sellers. If you are interested in a specific piece of Louisiana real estate, knowing why the sellers are selling can be helpful in the negotiating process. It may be harder to find out, but if they are highly motivated to sell because they have already purchased another home or the home has been on the market a long time, you have more power in asking for a reduced purchase price.

4. Be prepared to compromise. Here is how a typical negotiating process works- There is a list price. You make an offer. The seller makes a counter-offer. You either accept, add conditions or move on to another house. Now, when you make your offer, it is important not to low-ball the price.

Use the tools above and your agent, if you have one, to come up with a respectable offer that you can afford and is not ridiculously offensive to the seller. You can also ask for other things such as a share in the closing costs, a warranty or maybe an appliance that you would like to be left behind. In their counter-offer, they may stick to their list price, but agree to pay all of the closing costs and the other things you’ve asked for. At this point, you have to decide if you can live with this compromise or not.

The most important step to take when looking at real estate is to buy what you can afford. It is a waste of time to look at homes you know you can’t afford and it also wastes your agent’s time. Know what your budget is and do some on-line research prior to actually getting in the car and looking.

There are a lot of great sites available so that you can look at what’s on the market in your area. This way, you can hand over a list of must-sees to your agent as well as what they can find for you to look at. If you do your homework, you should be able to find just the right house and by knowing how to negotiate, you can get it for a price you can afford.


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