Closings Smoother When Loan Officers Present

March 16, 2018

Your clients may want to request a loan officer to be present on closing day. It may make for a better settlement day, a survey shows.

Loan officers aren’t required to attend a settlement, but when they don’t show up, borrowers tend to be less satisfied. 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 Net Promoter Score—the likelihood borrowers would recommend that loan officer—drops 11 points. Further, when rates and fees are unexpected and the loan officer is not at closing to explain the difference, borrowers’ Net Promoter Score plummets even more—by 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,” Stratmor Group notes about the survey’s findings. “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.” 

Plus, a dissatisfied closing experience can affect clients’ perceptions not only of the loan officer but the entire experience, including the real estate agent and every party involved. 

On the other hand, loan officers who are present can explain rate and fees to the borrower and help avoid a negative experience, Stratmor Group notes. 

Stratmor recommends encouraging loan officers to attend every closing in person. If they are unable to be present, loan officers should set a time to make themselves available during closing remotely by phone to respond to any questions, Stratmor says. Also, 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.

Source: “Do Loan Officers Really Need to Attend Closings?” Stratmor Group (February 2018)