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Profile picture for Wayne.T_ .....Colo.

Tips for submitting loan requests

Zillow suggests that borrowers include extra info when submitting loan requests.  However, often the loan requests have too little specific info which tends to limit the value of the responses they are likely to recieve.  Below are some borrower goals (seen on requests) and tips that will help improve the replies submitted.

 

Goal: "I want to lower my rate" ................. Tip:  Please include your current rate in the notes section.  

 

Goal: "I want to lower my payment" .......... Tip: Please include your current payment in the notes section.

 

Goal: Refi and plan to live in home less than 3, 5, x yrs ...... Tip:  Include general reason for length of stay.  If you plan to live in the home for only 3 years and relocate for job, the replies should be different than if you live in the home for 3 years and plan to purchase another and rent out the current home.    

 

These are just 3 tips to improve responses.  The more info a borrower can include, the more reliable the responses should be.  I say "should be" because there are a few robo quoters who will submit a reply without reading the notes.   

  • July 19 2008 - US
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Answers (71)

Great Suggestions Wayne.

 

I would also suggest they add in what their 2007 taxes and home insurance is. Either as yearly or monthy, and when they are due for renewal. This way we can estimate the impounds.

 

This allows us to have enough info to make a good faith estimate with a disclaimer of assumption of the bureaus.

 

 

  • July 19 2008
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Profile picture for irish lassy

We should enter our after-tax income because that's what we actually live on. The tips are excellent so why aren't they included on the form? There should be a question asking  if we want to have taxes and insurance included in the monthly payment or pay them directly. Including checking account information as part of one's assets was unclear to me. Checking accounts are fluid while savind account are stable. 

 

Ginger

  • July 19 2008
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Irish lassy,

If you are a W2 employee, enter gross monthly or annual income.  That is how you are qualified.  Only you know what your other non-reportable debt is.  Checking accounts are considered liquid assets.  Some people, including myself, keep a hefty amount in such accounts.

Wayne brought up some excellent suggestions.  The more information you give us, the more detailed of a quote we can give and it will eliminate the, "Quoters," and bring forth the lenders who can seriously give you solid, good information to make a well-informed, good decision based on your needs and wants.

  • July 19 2008
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See Ken,

I do come out at night!

  • July 19 2008
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Profile picture for Wayne.T_ .....Colo.

Ginger, (Irish) you raise an important point.  Be sure to enter your gross monthly or annual income as Greg mentioned.  However, often  a person can be approved for more than is practical for their budget.  

 

So, if you want or need your maximum payment to not exceed a certain amount, you can put that in the notes section.  That will be very helpful for us, because we can let you know what you could be approved for and the payment, and also let you know the maximum loan amount to stay within your max budget. 

 

 

  • July 19 2008
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Profile picture for Wayne.T_ .....Colo.

Paul, Tom, Greg ....  good stuff.  I'm sure that more lenders will have ther "Tips" or items that will help with ways to improve the initial requests. 

 

Also, as with Ginger, it is good to read more from the borrower's view. Just as in a local setting, getting to know the person and understand their needs is the best part of this business.  :)   

  • July 19 2008
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If you have a 1st and 2nd mortgage (or HELOC), indicate whether or not both were taken out at the same time. If there were not taken out a the same time, indicate how long ago the 2nd was taken out. If it's line of credit, indicate the last time you borrowed against it. Also let us know the rates and payments on the 1st and 2nd mortgages, and the type of loan each is (30 year fixed, 15 year balloon amortized over 30 years, etc.). If you have a 2nd mortgage or HELOC and want to subordinate it to the new first, tell us that as well.

 

If taking cash out, indicate how much cash you want and why you want it. Also tell us the balance out your current mortgages. Many times I see just $5000 or $10000 and I assume that you plan on using that to pay closing costs.

 

These pointers will help you get a better quote.

  • July 21 2008
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Profile picture for John Paunan

Generally, I like the ideas here.  I do see a potential for abuse in that some lenders will simply quote the rate the borrower is looking for as a fishing expedition.  The fact that they won't be able to deliver doesn't seem to be of concern to many of these guys already since people are loathe to provide negative feedback.  It still allows them to make contact and simply pass it off as "I'll put you on my ratewatch system" or whatever it is they say.  Either way they get a contact.

 

Any response as to the "not available in the current market" voting system for lenders.  You know, enough lenders indicating that a scenario is not available will close out the quote so the unscrupulous guys can't try to mislead anyone.  I think it would make sense and at least give the requester a heads up as to what the general lending community think of the request.  Just a thought. 

  • July 21 2008
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JP,

Good and noble idea for sure. I think the rub for many is that they all really want their "own turf" to provide quality service to buyers and borrowers near them, but fear that where they live will not support themselves, and with the pasta quoting, it makes it more and more difficult to be patient, stay the course and remain calm. I think there are changes coming that we are unaware of as we speak. As they grow, the stakes to be part of an organization will raise.. Could be financial stakes, but it could also be responsibility and integrity stakes. We'll see as time will tell us all.

  • July 21 2008
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MW- you hit it... when it affects Zillow itself, and not just us poor minions, then they will make changes. They are very smart, and very responsive. They are probably divising ways to improve the site as we write these comments. Have faith in Zillow. They will do what's right here... I hope... :)

 

 

  • July 21 2008
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Imagine:  All Quotes go through a Quality Filter, if rate/apr is significantly below the average zillow rate chart rates, it gets kicked into a voting queue - Is this quote real or not?

other lops vote yes, or no, (if no, type short reason why it is not possible) at the end of say 24 hours, the vote is tallied, if majority says yes, the quote is allowed to be passed onto the consumer...if no it is deleted

if not by a filter, if a quote is flagged a certain number of times, say 5, , it goes into the voting queue...

*For the record, I also sense that changes are coming to ZMM which will help to chase the rats out of the basement ... fingers crossed

  • July 21 2008
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Profile picture for Wayne.T_ .....Colo.

Now Jenn, what is your best tip for those submitting a request?  

 

I'm surprised that MW didn't add in a tip that would help limit responses to local lenders.  I was actually hoping to see that!   all good stuff and benefits the consumer.    

  • July 21 2008
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No other tips I can think of... motivation has been covered, current rate etc... That's the important stuff.

  • July 22 2008
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Also, I like the fact that Zillow appreciates this thread so much that they are leaving it in 'first position'. Good work Wayne. :)

  • July 22 2008
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WTC,

Here's a tip about requests:  Offer a filter to the requester to request a lender within the same mileage parameters and default it as the entire state or National to invite all lenders to bring the goods as we use (remember it is not what we want, but what a consumer wants).  Also, it could "post" the Local leaderboard on the right.. So out of state quoters are welcomed, but not highlighted to the right or rank them in proximity and review ranking.. pretty easy stuff.  Still needs to be the consumer requesting it and it needs to be easy to use or they.... WON'T.

  • July 22 2008
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mw- perfect idea. As is allowing consumers to choose WHO can give them a quote- whether by X mile radius, rating or otherwise...

  • July 22 2008
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How about Zillow has one section for local lender quotes and another section for national lender quotes?  This way is easier for the borrower to see the difference and choose who they want to work with.

  • July 22 2008
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Profile picture for John Paunan

The radius filter is an outstanding idea!  Martin and I discussed this and the overall viewpoint of what the mortgage industry and what mortgage professionals ought to be.  We need a sea change in our industry.  We need to redefine ourselves not as pure product sales people (cars, shoes), but as service professionals (financials advisors, attorneys).  Many of us already view ourselves as the latter, but we're always working against the broader public image of us sitting at a phone, taking orders and barking out rates.  I think many of us would agree that it is that model which led us to our current predicament and exacerbated the lending crisis.  If we make our practices more parochial, more responsive to our local clientele, then it would be better for borrowers and for those professional mortgage advisors. 

 

Obviously, this all requires a change in approach for both lenders and borrowers.  Clearly, many borrowers still want the impersonal, ebay approach to seeking out lenders; there's probably nothing we can do about that crowd except hope that they choose this forum to get their quotes.  At least here they can check our backgrounds, read our posts and profiles, verify our licenses and if need be, provide feedback.  That is the beauty of this site! 

 

Well, enough of my tangent.  Again, I like the idea.

 

  • July 22 2008
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As people first inquire.. they are alone and "scared to interact". So, anonymity can "commoditize us" when we are really just doing a service job. The Borrower should jsut have the same "switches" we have at their form so that if they do not want anyone within 500 miles to quote them... I am screened, just like I screen anything furhter than 20 miles.  Having borrowers/buyers and their friends know that they can come..interact, ask the local or national pros" questions without it getting out of hand and with a little humor and help along the way would be a pretty cool place.  We're moving that way as changes are happening often.

  • July 22 2008
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I think due to the annonymity for the Loan Requester, there should definitely be some more information required in order for us to make an accurate quote. For refinances, knowing their current loan amount,  loan type, adjustment date, interest rate, payment, and escrows should be mandatory.

 

Also, I think the credit scores are unrealistic. Someone who may think they have 760 scores may in fact have a 620 score. I think it is in the borrower's best interest to see their scores before they make a loan request. While this may not become a requirement, I highly recommend it because that will affect the rate if there is a discrepency.

 

It would be nice to know how serious the potential borrower is. I understand the lock period is more for them, but why don't we get to know if they are looking to do something in 30, 60, or 90+ days? I think a lot of us would like to know if these borrowers are as committed to this as we are.

 

As far as purchases go, I think there needs to be a seller concession section. This would allows us to know if we are able to "buy the rate down" and charge a point or two which would not really be paid by the borrower. What about a question if they have found a property or not? If so, has a contract been accepted?

 

The notes are always nice. But that is really such a small percentage of the ones I have seen. I think the serious ones will leave notes on their own.

  • July 22 2008
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I have a practical tip for folks submitting quotes.

 

http://www.zillow.com/mortgage/LoanRequestAndQuotes.htm?loanRequestId=X1-ZRz19zrvcvigw6_282ep

 

Dont quote someone who says they need the loan in 60 to 90 days ........ a 15 or 30 day lock.

 

They might tend to figure out your loan quote is irrelivant. It expires before you can even close on it.

 

Its tough to make fundamental mistakes like this , then claim you have 'excellent customer service'.

 

 

 

 

  • July 22 2008
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Having the filter for the lender to have local, state or nationwide is an excellent idea.

 

I would also like to have a place for the borrower to put their current mortgage rate. Whether its adjustable or not. Also a spot for them to estimate their taxes and insurance more accurately. The Zestimate on escrow is very low.

 

 

  • July 23 2008
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Perhaps a box where the borrower can make notes, like we lenders have a notes box. Then they can explain their situation better and we do not need to make drop down menus .

 

Its a decent comprimise.

  • July 23 2008
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edit:

 

The drop down box should be enhanced with more instructions for the borrower to add in different things such as current interest rate etc.........right now it just advises to leave notes, and perhaps if the suggestions for the notes were more pronounced, they would leave more notes.

 

Its rare that a borrower leaves any notes, let alone any detailed ones.

 

Cheers.

  • July 23 2008
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I will chime in to say that if you are refinancing an existing loan and your motiviation is to decrease your current rate/payment then putting the parameters of your existing loan in the notes to lender would be beneficial. Include in the note how long you have had the loan and what type of loan it is ie... 30 year fixed or 5 year arm with 1.5 years remaining.

 

I know some people may not want to disclose the current rate because they believe lenders may not be as aggressive with their quotes but do not forget or discount the fact that the lenders must be competitive with the other companies offering quotes.

 

 

  • July 23 2008
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Zillow could ad a filter based on zip that displays the FHA and Conforming Jumbo limits on a request.  It would help limit the bogas Jumbo rate quotes or at least make them stand out to the requestor.

  • July 23 2008
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Just noticed the County after the zip, Thanks Zillow

  • July 23 2008
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Profile picture for John Paunan

Just so everyone is aware, I'm having more and more borrowers contacting me directly through email and phone, saying they saw me on Zillow, to provide quotes to them directly because they're fed up with the, as they call them, "fake quotes" they've been receiving through the site.  Obviously, I'm more than happy to do provide the quote, but I think it definitely defeats the purpose of the site if they continue to do this. 

 

I know everyone here, both credible lenders and the Zillow staff, are trying their best to make the site as useful as they can, but we really need to come up with a solution to this.  From a consumer protection standpoint, I think this concept is perhaps the most revolutionary that's hit the home lending industry in quite some time.  I do not want it to spammed out of existence. 

  • July 24 2008
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Agreed...I just worry about the viability of this site in the short term or until what you're saying in terms of enforcement happens.  As we all know, enforcement action by government is slow to non-existent. 

  • July 24 2008
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Profile picture for Wayne.T_ .....Colo.

I'm extremely pleased with how well this topic is being addressed and the great suggestions offered.  The off-topic comments are very few and hopefully will continue that way making this thread an easy and informative read for anyone preparing a request or wondering why they did not get any replies.  

 

More suggestions welcome that assist the borrower/requestor in submitting requests with the important details needed for the best quotes in reply.    (Dear borrower, in order to provide a rate quote for your consideration, please be sure to include the following in the notes section of your request:  ________________________ ) 

 

Goal:  _____    Tip:  _______                          

 

 

  • July 24 2008
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