Why Selecting a Lender by Rate Alone is Not in Your Best Interest

When Ardell suggested that I post rates on Friday, I was a bit reluctant to do so.   Why?   Because it promotes rate shopping and I don’t believe that is the best way for consumers to select the professional who will be advising them on one of the largest financial transactions they will make in their lifetime.   But I must admit, the posts have created a lot of very interesting comments and kudos to Ardell for putting me on the spot to post rates.

Recently, one of RCG’s frequent readers added a comment on Mortgage Rates for Friday Morning that brings home why you should not shop mortgage professionals by rates and that you should select your mortgage professional by referrals instead: 

I got a GFE from a broker recommended to me by my boss. She was smart and knowledgeable, but not particularly personable. 

I also got one from a guy who worked with my Realtor who called himself a Home Mortgage Consultant (with BIG BANK Mortgage). Personable, but not that sharp. 

I also called a few other brokers off the net and paper – straight APR shopping. 

The first broker, the one recommended, had the best rate. Because I liked my Realtor, I gave the (Bank) guy a shot to match her rate, which he did. 

He made numerous mistakes, and I was forced to go over my docs repeatedly with a fine tooth comb to make sure they were correct. 

In retrospect I should have gone with the recommended broker, though perhaps not, given that she was angry with me and showed it. 

In the end, however, I am going to go with the reputable person who gives me the lowest rate in an apples-to-apples comparison. A quarter point could mean 10s of thousands of dollars over the life of a loan. That’s going to trump loyalty every time, and you are fooling yourself if you think otherwise. 

There are many issues with shopping lenders by rate:

  1. You must shop all of the lenders at the same time on the same day.   There can be several price changes throughout a day.  You cannot compare apples to apples if 5 minutes after you receive one quote, you call the next lender and rates have changed up or down.  Brian Brady did an excellent post:  You’ll Never Get the Lowest Rate.
  2. Unless you’re prepared to lock in the rate the moment you’re dialing for dollars, the rate that is being quoted to you may very well not be the rate you receive when you decide to lock.    If it’s not a confirmed locked in rate, you don’t have it.   It’s a quote, not a guarantee.
  3. The lender who is “quoting

Puget Sound's Market Conditions Update

Every New Year, my husband’s family makes a trip to Ocean Shores with most of his brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews. It is a tradition that we look forward to which includes as much bowl games you can cram into a weekend, razor clamming, go karts and I get to read the newspaper from front to back while everyone else in our hotel room is still sleeping.

To my delight in the Dec. 30, 2006 issue of The Seattle Times, there is an article forecasting the local 2007 real estate market called Looking ahead: The sky isn’t falling for the Puget Sound market

Interest Rates are Down

[photopress:rates.jpg,thumb,alignright]I’ve been working on listings more than buyers for a bit until recently. I had two offers to write yesterday, and was surprised to see the 30 year conforming at 6.125 and the jumbo at 6.375.

My perception was that interest rates were climbing, but looks like they are back down. Would love to hear from some lender types on this board with regard to what’s happening with rates. Last I heard the prediction was they are going up, up and up again. So I was surprised to see them so low. Anyone have any news about what’s happening with rates generally?

Getting the Best Interest Rate on Your Home Loan?

Consumers interested in purchasing or refinancing a home will pay an interest rate based on current market conditions and their ability to pay back the loan. The borrower’s income and debt ratios are taken into consideration by the lender, as well as the predictability factor provided by credit scoring. It’s important to have a mortgage professional in your corner that has a keen eye for solutions to improving credit scores in an effort to get the best interest rate possible.

Interest rates associated with various loan programs are broken down into schedules based on credit score ratings. While each lender has its own guidelines, it’s safe to assume that as the consumer’s credit score goes down, interest rates will go up.

A borrower with an outstanding credit rating will get what is called an A-paper loan. This type of borrower is rewarded with a lower interest rate because they have a proven track record of using credit sensibly and paying their bills on time.

Loans designed for consumers with less-than-perfect credit – sometimes referred to as “sub-prime