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  • Tom Lichtenberg TomSells

What is the best way to pick a lender to refinance my home?

January 2018

Dear Friend,

When thinking to refinance your current home loan - What’s the best way?

(NOTE: I do not do loans, I only sell homes)

Some thoughts on refinancing your home and how best to go about it.

I am always looking to share industry knowledge which may benefit you and your family.

Question: When a homeowner is interested to refinance an existing home loan will they get a better deal on their loan going to the internet or getting a referral to a local direct lender?

When planning to refinance a home many people think they will get a better deal going straight to the internet….that’s what all the commercials on radio and TV say….sometimes yes, more often no!

People often think going to the internet, to a “Lending Tree” or whatever, to shout out to the world a refinance may be desired/needed, will always yield the best rate and terms, this is just not true...and often worse, upon completion of that online form, one has authorized the sale or transfer of their personal info from one lender to the next, and here come the inquires, it can get confusing quickly...

In fact, more often than not, a homeowner looking to refinance their home will get a better deal on their loan scenario when they simply ask a trusted broker for a referral to a local direct lender.

You see, if a borrower goes to the internet on their own the lender sees that person as “one” new loan, no special treatment other than some internet “smoke and mirrors”, you’re just a number…

I know the commercials indicate this is the best way to get lenders to “compete for your business” supposedly making better and better loan scenario offers to you… opinion this series of actions is meant to overwhelm and confuse you to the point of exhaustion and disgust for the process, then ultimately causing you to throw your hands up and finally say, “Fine, just do the loan already”...

If a borrower asks a Real Estate Broker, like me, for a referral to a local direct lender, that borrower is likely to meet face to face with the loan officer and to get a better deal on their refinance, as the loan officer receiving the referral see’s this as potentially “multiple” future referrals from that broker, and therefore go out of their way to give that borrower special treatment!

A loan officer may take an initial loan application from you over the phone or via a web page, but they ought to eventually meet with you face to face and in person. Top loan officers know you want to know who you are working with, and they know you want to evaluate and understand the best options and loan scenarios available to you, as well as to see and understand the numbers!

The loan officer also knows a successful, face to face, refinance with the best rate and terms for a borrower usually means that borrower will go and share their experience with their family, friends, and co-workers, making more potential borrowers aware of the loan officer, and in turn more future loans, get the service you deserve.

You may not be aware, loan officers from local lenders often visit area real estate brokerages, where homes are sold, looking to present their current loan offerings, share industry trends, promote loan products, and most importantly build relationships with agents and brokers.

In fact, loan officers are taught to seek relationships with real estate brokers in an effort to earn referrals to individuals needing purchase loans and refinance loans. Loan officers have an incentive to give their best and fairest deals to borrowers, referred by brokers, as happy and satisfied borrowers bring more referrals, ie, more loans, the true life blood of a loan officers business.

I am regularly exposed to the top loan officers in our local market, and I often have ongoing insights on how well, or not so well, different lending companies are doing at processing loans, as well as providing a top customer experience, at any given point in time, this can be valuable information to you as a potential borrower. After having sold homes for nearly two decades believe me a loan officer has to do a lot more than just walk into my office attempting to build and nurture a relationship for referrals, I expect loan officers to earn my business over time and prove to me why and how they deserve my referrals.

When thinking to refinance your home or business, please consider leveraging my established relationships for your benefit and contact me for a referral to a top loan officer. My goal in wanting you to ask me for a referral is strictly based on my desire to come from contribution for all my clients, friends, and sphere of influence. To be completely clear and transparent, I do not receive any financial benefit whatsoever by referring you to a loan officer, in fact that would be illegal. I only want you to have the best lending experience possible!

Bottom line... Please consider me a resource always available for all things real estate!

Thinking now me be a good time to trade up or downsize your current home? Check out my article on "Selling Contingent and Purchasing Contingent" so you don't have to move twice!


Tom Lichtenberg


CA BRE# #01349395

Direct: (916) 801-1963


Keller Williams Realty

9250 Laguna Springs Drive #100

Elk Grove, CA 95758

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