Myth # 5: Mortgage reviews will help sort out the bad guys
Suppose you’re ready to start shopping for a lender. You sit down and begin digging through the reviews on Zillow – only to discover that the majority of the reviews you’re faced with are all 5 stars. Even though the 5-star rating system works well for reviewing an Amazon product or a muffin shop on Yelp, the system is far less effective when it comes to the mortgage shopping industry.
A mortgage is one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make. Therefore, it’s important to base your decision on evidence that is more substantive than is offered by a few (potentially ingenuine) online reviews. This is highlighted when digging through sample reviews offered by Zillow. It is notable that every single person reviewed has 5 stars – a situation which is likely only possible if the loan Officer being reviewed has handpicked and initiated the reviews in question.
This creates a sense of misinformation and confusion for mortgage shoppers who are trying to sort through their lending options. Instead, mortgage shoppers need to be able to differentiate between lenders so as to determine if the loan officer in question meets the shopper’s needs and expectations.
From the borrower perspective, these expectations should consist of the following:
- Does the Loan Officer have a record of delivering the rate he or she promised?
- Does the Loan Officer have a record of delivering the cost he or she promised?
- How long did it take to close the loan?
The problem with these reviews is that they typically fail to adequately answer these questions. Not only that, but it is highly likely that the majority of these reviews were initiated by Loan Officers with whom they had good experiences – meaning that the reviews tend to be biased and unhelpful.
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