Yeah, I know that guy….

How many times have you seen a “prequal” letter from someone you’ve never heard of?  If a buyer presents your seller a letter saying they’ve been preapproved, have you ever taken pause?  Or maybe the letter said they were approved when in fact they were nowhere near such a milestone?

Of course you have and if you haven’t then it’s simply a matter of time.  But just because you’ve never heard of the lender or the loan officer who appears in the signature line doesn’t mean they’re just a bunch of flakes.  There’s some real talent out there and after all, you’re in the real estate business not the lending business.

But there are a couple of things you can do to make you feel a little more at ease when faced with a foreign figure.

The first thing you do is call the loan officer and ask them about the buyers.  Ask:

  • Have you reviewed their credit and are their scores okay?
  • Have you verified their income and employment?  and, (most important)
  • Have you ran their file through DU?

The last question puts the loan officer on notice that this isn’t your first rodeo.  “DU” stands for Desktop Underwriter and it’s the automated underwriting system most lenders and mortgage brokers use when getting a loan approval.  Freddie has one too called “LP” for Loan Prospector.

But it’s not knowing whether or not the file was submitted via DU or LP but letting the loan officer know that you understand the loan process and don’t even think about messing with you.  Only those “in the know” use the term DU or LP.

Finally, call up your loan officer you normally refer your clients to.  Most lenders are members of local banker or broker organizations and if they’ve been in the business for any length of time they’re likely aware of their competitors.  I get occasional calls from my Realtor clients wanting to know if I’ve heard of so-and-so and are they any good, etc.   Most often they are and I’ll tell my Realtor so and if I don’t know I’ll tell them that as well.

Either way, just pick up the phone and ask a few questions.  You’ll feel better.


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