Will the Faceless Lender Survive?

2021 was a good year to be in real estate. We saw years of pent-up demand, a desire to leave cities, and years of lower-than-needed home construction all come to a head. With many people working from home, Covid-19 has acted as a catalyst to have people buy their first residence, renovate their current residences, or move to larger homes in better locations. Couple a desire to upgrade with low-interest rates and the housing market has been moving at historic rates of demand exhausting supply.

Over the last two years, we have seen online lenders acting as call centers enter the market. The individual on the phone takes a consumer’s order, discusses the rate, requests documents, and hopes the company can execute once the file enters underwriting. Once in underwriting, the client’s fate is determined. Without counseling and limited explanation, the file is either approved or denied. If denied the lender stops returning phone calls, disappears, and moves onto their call list leaving all other parties in the transaction with a sour taste, lost time, and sometimes the buyer with a non-refundable earnest money deposit.

According to the National Association of Realtors, there is 15.5% less inventory than in February of 2021 and the average number of offers on a listing was 4.8. Low inventory has been a topic of many conversations and the desire to land one’s dream home has become a challenge given the competition. Having a plan is imperative and working with a reputable, local lender who has name recognition, is able to call the listing side to support your offer, and allows you to stand out amongst other offers has never been of more importance. The need for a knowledgeable loan originator (who you have the cell phone number) to guide you through this unique and fast-moving real estate market has never been greater.

Hilton Head Island and Bluffton have many nuances such as Homeowners Association fees, Neighborhood transfer fees, condominium regime fees, flood insurance, and the Hilton Head transfer fee. All of these costs symbolize pitfalls that a non-local lender can get tripped up on and end up surprising you at the closing table with additional costs or crushing the purchase of your dream home altogether.

With interest rates in-line or better than online lenders stay and trust your local partners who can navigate you through the potentially challenging process of buying in the Lowcountry. We have the experience to ask the right questions, the products to meet your needs, and the service level to make it a stress-free experience!