Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
Stephen's typical customer is a first time home buyer wanting to understand the home buying process from obtaining a reasonable rate to being competitive in the marketplace when searching for a home. His career started in the refinance boom where current homeowners would refinance to accomplish life goals such as paying off a home earlier than planned or consolidating debt to bring them more peace of mind.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
Education, education, and education. The first step to any well-informed decision is to be educated on the process from A to Z. Before asking for a commitment, Stephen will seek a few avenues that make sense for the homeowner or potential homebuyer. Once they have a few different roads to explore the customer will initial our highly advanced application process to examine accurate figures. A top priority for Stephen is to ensure the customer has numbers to weigh out and more importantly correct numbers. Having exact numbers and fees create a transparent environment that customers seek.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
Top misconceptions are you should only run your credit with one company; all mortgage companies are the same and the company offering the lowest mortgage rate is the company they choose. Credit bureaus have a mortgage shop period that encourages borrowers to shop for the best deal, and the key is understanding how to navigate through this shop process. Although mortgage companies work off the same market, they are not all equal as some companies have better program offerings while others are better equipped to help you evaluate options. Having a total cost analysis comparing three loans side by side could be a significant resource where all mortgage companies may not provide this service. The lowest rate is not always the best rate, and if somebody quotes you a better deal but are charging higher fees or high buydown points, then you are not comparing apples to apples. Being educated on how to shop, when to buy and what to look for is key to getting a good value.
What resources could you recommend that borrowers use to learn more about the mortgage process and how to ensure a successful home closing?
You can, of course, find a ton of information on google and your local bank. However, Stephen believes that a one-on-one consultation is the most effective way to gain a grasp of the process. He consults homeowners or homebuyers with a no cost and no obligation meeting helping them best prepare for the homebuying process. He recommends seeking information even 6-12 months in advance so that if you have credit issues to resolve you can work to solve them. Ensuring a successful closing is about working with a company that will dig into the details and best equips you for making firm offers. Stephen will help tailor your pre-approval to be as healthy as possible to a win a bid on a home and partner with your agent to increase your odds in getting your offer accepted.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
Simple. Helping a customer finance their American Dream. Stephen wholeheartedly believes that loan officers are the vehicle for customers to achieve their life goals. Owning a home is one the most significant decisions a human will make while on this earth, and it has also proven to be one of the most significant investments a person will make. Stephen loves the care, patience, and responsibility that comes with this helping someone accomplish these goals.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
Stephen is actively involved with non-profit organizations such as Make-a-Wish. His goal is to be able to adopt one wish per quarter. This motivation comes the experience of his daughter battling pediatric cancer at a young age.