What Your Mortgage Banker is Really Thinking

In the Mortgage lending world, “Everyone is equally scrutinized regardless of age, wealth or background” says Jody Kern, a Private Mortgage Banker at Wells Fargo in Minneapolis.* Kern shared some insights from her part of the process, advising buyers looking for loans with low-interest rates to start preparing now, before you begin the home buying process.

Lately sellers are receiving multiple offers, forcing buyers to make offers quickly.  Those who are prepared in advance are not intimidated by the speed which this market requires aggressive action.  Also buyers may have to escalate their offers, sometimes well above the list price. According to Urban Turf, neighborhoods like Shaw, Adam’s Morgan, Logan Circle, and parts of Capitol Hill and U street Corridor are now extremely competitive markets.  Sellers will favor the ideal buyer who can meet or exceed their price with the best financing (ideal is all cash).

Just as an agent and client must cooperate as partners, so must the client and the loan officer. Kern says all too often buyers don’t “realize that they have to participate as partners.” As there is so much behind the scenes fact checking and asset review that goes into underwriting a loan.

It’s hard to be organized in every aspect of life, but it pays to be meticulous with your personal finances.  Having pay stubs, tax records, bank statements is the first step, but it’s even better have a way to access them ready to go, before you start meeting with loan officers. Organization almost always expedites your home buying process; and you can read my blog on Green Living when you want to really be super organized.

Finally, your credit score is a vital asset. Credit scores need time and good practice to get a number over 750 (850 is the top score). Apply for a credit card, use it sparingly, and pay your monthly rent and your utilities all on time (and in full) to build a good score. Kern says, “the bottom line for lenders is that every dollar a client has must be accounted for.\” The easier it is for her to do that due diligence, the quicker and cheaper your loan will be.


* Jody Kern is  one of my go-to bankers and has some wonderful products my clients have used. (call me for a list).