Big banks can be slow, they may use appraisers that do not know the local marketplace, they do not communicate like a local lender does, and they may be slow to return calls and emails. Below is a note from a client who I followed up with after they chose to use a bank they banked with instead of working with me, because they banked there they thought they’d get special treatment.
From the client: “Hello Brian. Very nice of you to check in. I settle tomorrow if all goes well. The financing process has been really difficult at (big bank name deleted). All seems to be a go but I’ve not seen final documents, so I am crossing my fingers. I hear that I legally should have seen final documents by 24 hours prior to settlement, but it appears that will not happen. I have not heard much from them during the process, and it was incredibly onerous to get to this point. And the loan situation for the buyers of my house was also a mess–(another big bank name deleted) was holding us up as we sat at the settlement table, based on wrong info provided by the appraiser. Apparently the appraiser came from a distant area and did not know our local marketplace. Fingers crossed, I have no control over it at this point can only hope for the best tomorrow! We are rescheduled for then. Thanks again for touching base, lesson learned.”
My reply was: “You are unfortunately learning the hard way about how difficult the mortgage industry is, and how bad the big banks within it can be sometimes. I try and tell people they have to go with a local, direct lender (which we are) to get a decent transaction, a realistic appraiser that knows what they are doing, in-house underwriting where things can be prioritized, and a smooth process. But people tend to shop solely by price, or name brand, and not take service and execution into account. I know you thought you would get special attention since you bank with (big bank name deleted), but they are too big to pay special attention to anyone, as you can now see.”
I think the exchange says it all. Don’t shop by price, don’t assume your bank cares about you, you are an account number and not a client. A local, direct lender will treat you like a client, and you will find you will be treated the way you expect to be in the most expensive transaction we all do.