Buyers should consider requesting that a loan officer is present on closing day if they want to be more satisfied with their deal, according to a new survey.
While loan officers aren’t required to show up to the settlement, many borrowers feel less satisfied if they’re not present, the survey found.
When loan rates and fees are as expected but the loan officer does not come to the closing, borrowers’ satisfaction drops, according to the MortgageSAT’s National Benchmark, based on more than 100,000 responses.
The survey found that the Net Promoter Score, which is the likelihood that a borrower would recommend a loan officer, falls by 11 points if the loan officer isn’t present at closing. Even worse, if the rates and fees are unexpected and the loan officer doesn’t show up to explain why, the Net Promoter Score falls even more, by up to 35 points on a 100 point scale.
“Closing table problems are bound to surface, but the damage incurred is often less about the problems themselves and more about how they are handled,” said the Stratmor Group, which carried out the survey. “Borrower perception is king, meaning that even if you have the correct rate, but it’s different from their perception, they’re going to be dissatisfied. … Borrowers are probably not going to get up from the settlement table and ask why the title fee of the escrow amounts were of by $50, but it will affect their excitement about recommending you.”
In addition, a dissatisfied experience during closing often affects not only the clients’ perceptions of the loan officer but the entire experience, which includes the real estate agent that handled the sale.
However, loan officers who do attend closings and can explain the rates and fees will often avoid any negative sentiments, the survey found.
As such, Stratmor recommends encouraging loan officers to attend every closing in person. Should they be unable to attend, loan officers should make themselves available at a later date to explain any issues the borrower might have, Stratmor says.
Finally, loan officers may want to review the Closing Disclosure with the customer “in fine detail by phone before they even set foot in the closing office,” Stratmor Group notes on its blog.