Underwriters are the decision-makers of the mortgage world. The underwriter who works on your loan will take all of the information and paperwork that we provide, analyze it and verify that it meets the guidelines for the loan you have requested. It is only after an underwriter reviews your loan that it is truly approved. You’ll never meet your underwriter; by design, underwriters work only from documentation and never speak to customers. Although you might think having all of the authority in the loan process and working behind-the-scenes might make underwriters difficult people, but it’s quite the opposite—they are some of the nicest folks in the mortgage business.
Loan Closers step in at the very end of the loan process. Once the underwriter has signed off on your approval and cleared us to close, your file moves along to the closing department. A closer will prepare the loan documents you sign, email them to the title company and work closely with your escrow officer as she or he prepares for your signing. After you have signed, it is your closer who will wire the loan funds to the title company on the day of closing. Closers always work under tight timelines with little margin for error, yet somehow our closers are some of the most cheerful people in our back office.
Your Escrow Officer is an impartial agent, working on behalf of both you and your seller to facilitate your transaction. Your seller (really, their Realtor) usually selects the escrow officer. Once your offer is accepted, your escrow officer swings into action, working with you and the seller, following all mutually agreed upon instructions. Escrow also acts as a clearing-house for all funds and papers necessary to close your transaction. And when it comes time to sign your closing papers, your escrow officer will be your host and guide. Escrow officers are the epitome of grace under pressure, as much of their work is on short notice right at the end of your transaction.
Real Estate Brokers
The most important professional in your transaction is, without a doubt, your Buyer’s Broker. If you think your real estate agent’s job is just to find you a home, think again. These days you have access to virtually the same listing information as your Realtor—the odds are pretty high that you will “find” the home you wind up buying.
So what does a buyer’s agent do then? Just about everything—your Realtor is the hub of your entire transaction and wears many hats. As you begin your hunt, your agent will help you focus your search with appropriate criteria and (of course) search for, preview and show you homes.
When writing your offer your agent will research the market and the property, providing you with relevant information and candid advice on the property, condition, pros, cons, value, upside and more. Your broker will prepare and explain the sales contract and other legal documents and negotiate the terms of the sale on your behalf.
Once you are in contract your agent will help you gather information about the condition of the property, coordinate professional inspections and bids and prepare addenda to negotiate changes to terms and repairs.
And as your transaction progresses toward closing, your Realtor will communicate (often daily) with your lender, appraiser, title company and the seller’s Realtor to ensure progress toward a timely closing, tracking completion of repairs, coordinating your signing appointment and (whenever possible) attending signing.
But the most important thing your Realtor will do? Deliver your keys, of course!