By Drew Kessler
No, This Is Not
The game has changed — and it’s not as bad
as many consumers may think
This past April, Fannie Mae’s Na- tional Housing Survey showed that 60 percent of consumers
believe it will be harder for them to get
a mortgage to purchase a home than it
was for their parents. Our job as housing professionals is to get the word out
that this is far from the truth. Mortgage
brokers must help change the thought
process of our potential homebuyers.
To do so, it’s wise to know what consumers are assuming and how education can change that.
with as little as 3.5-percent down with
a Federal Housing Administration loan
and even 100-percent financing with a
U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural
Development or U.S Department of Veterans Affairs mortgage, if they qualify.
Conventional financing is easing up, as
well. And borrowers today can shop online — which their parents could not.
Automated under writing also has revolutionized the industry and has made
the approval process more versatile. It
has allowed for a high back-end ratio
— or lender’s calculation of debt compared to gross income — as well. Some
guidelines allow for a back-end ratio as
high as 55 percent, though it might not
be feasible for all borrowers.
numerous moving parts that require all
parties’ direct attention.
Borrowers are not the only ones
needing this education. All parties involved — especially Realtors and attorneys — must be aware and up-to-date
with changes in the industry. There is
a disconnect in the real estate community when the people who don’t handle
mortgage applications daily think it’s
tougher to get a mortgage today than
before the turn of the century.
When the opportunity presents itself,
get on your soapbox and talk about the
availability of money.
Future growth in the housing market rests in the hands of the real estate
community. The more educated everyone in the community is, the better the
future will look. •
Most people who haven’t gone through
the mortgage process in recent years
have heard many horror stories about
the lack of funds available, and they
think the worst. Potential borrowers
might not realize, however, that oppor-
Where brokers come in
The key to letting potential borrowers
know the mortgage process isn’t so
daunting is educating and preparing
them early in the process.
From first contact, brokers must explain what’s necessary to obtain the
mortgage clients seek and the necessary timeline to complete the transaction. Compared to a few years ago,
when most lenders needed a signature
on the bottom of an application and
not much else to fund a loan, there are
Drew Kessler is the managing director of
Rand Mortgage. He is president of his local
board of Realtors and is the first loan officer
in the board’s history to achieve that honor
and position. Kessler appears regularly on
Fox Business News for his expertise on the
housing industry and publishes a weekly
housing report at drewkessler.com. Reach
him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Genie Z. Laborde, founder, Influencing With Integrity, and Robert Nolan, president and CEO, IvyStone Consulting Group
Are Your Clients
Telling the Truth?
Watch and Learn
Borrowers’ answers often aren’t as important
as their subtle actions
Mortgage brokers must take so- phisticated measures to pro- tect themselves from fraud.
Technology can help, but sometimes
keen awareness and face-to-face communication prove more important.
In many cases, brokers who pay attention can quash fraud attempts early.
To do so, you must know how to gauge
your clients’ integrity and truthfulness.
Determining a client’s exact degree of
honesty might be impossible. you can,
however, make an educated analysis
about whether someone provides correct information and will live up to their
commitments. Asking the following two
types of questions can help:
“safe questions,” 1. which establish
“information questions,” 2. which seek
As you listen to clients’ answers, be
aware of their unconscious feedback.
Watch for clients’ response patterns.
If people are being dishonest, there’s a
good chance that will show via incon-
sistencies in their facial expression,
body language and voice.
Genie Z. Laborde is founder of Influencing
With Integrity ( www.influence-integrity.
com), which partners with companies and
organizations to improve productivity,
creativity and efficiency in the workplace
while enhancing employee motivation and
satisfaction. Reach her at email@example.com. Robert Nolan is president and
CEO of IvyStone Consulting Group (www.
ivystonecg.com), which provides training
and personality-based business intelligence. The company developed training that
helps mortgage brokers detect early signs
of fraud. Reach Nolan at (678) 697-8274 or