What better place to get something off my chest than Jay’s site. Jay’s been known a time or three to rant a bit here, (my personal favorite is still the Tempe towing scam) so I figure he’ll understand. Before I begin, I’ve struggled as to whether I should even be writing on this topic. As a branch manager for a title company, my bread is buttered by agents and lenders referring their clients to my office. I’m always grateful when an agent or lender has faith in me and my staff to take care of their clients. With that said, however, I have to get a few things off my chest when it comes to agents, lenders and signings.
I’ve conducted over 6000 signings in my 10+ years in escrow. The vast majority of these appointments proceed without a hitch, and when the agent or lender (or in very rare cases, both) attend the closing, I like to commend them for their attendance. To me, it shows dedication, concern, and care for their clients. However, there are a few types of agents and lenders I’d rather didn’t show up. Cue the rant”
(Quick disclaimer: Even though I assign a gender in the following descriptions, men and women apply to each of the types described)
Sally Cellphone: Sally is obviously a very busy agent because she is constantly on her cell phone. Unfortunately, she also takes calls during a signing without leaving the room. Really Sally? That call can’t wait for the 20 minutes or so you are at the signing for your client? If it is necessary to take the call, please step into the lobby.
Ned Knowitall: Ned has to demonstrate his super human knowledge off all things at all times. For example, even after I’ve explained the pre paid interest to the buyers, he has to rattle off his take on line 1001 of the HUD-1. This continues on for every line of the HUD-1 and for every page of the entire loan package as well. I understand that some escrow officers do not fully explain or in some cases do not fully understand the documents. In that case, it may be necessary to “assist” in the signing. Ned, please assess the skill level of the signer and adjust your input accordingly.
Chatty Cathy – Cathy is super nice and super friendly and loves to talk to her clients – especially during the entire loan closing. For some buyers, especially first timers, they have a lot to digest in a closing. It’s hard enough, but then add in an agent that won’t stop talking about kids, pets, neighbors, friends, Stonehenge, Avatar – you name it, she’s talking about it. Once again, I say really? Please give the signer and your clients a bit or peace and quiet.
Sammy Showmethemoney: This one will be hard to believe, but I have had agents and lenders attend closings that are most concerned with how quickly we can get their commission check ready and delivered to their office. They have this conversation with me in front of their clients. Yikes! I’m not saying the question is inappropriate, but the timing sure is!
Peter Promisetheworld: Pete will tell his clients that we can fund and record this loan right away since it’s “table funded”. Not In Arizona Pete. While some states receive docs and funds simultaneously, that is rarely the case in Arizona. Also, to get a transaction recorded, we need to get the recording package couriered to our recording desk, and a final review of the file must occur as well. This is not right away Pete! We will always lay out the expected funding and recording timeline for your clients.
As I stated before, the above descriptions are far from the norm. They do occur frequently enough that I feel much better after blowing off some steam. If you are an agent or lender and you’ve read this far, I’m pretty sure you don’t fit into any of these categories. Thank you for attending your signings and supporting your clients.
I am also acutely aware that there could be a similar list for types of escrow personnel. In fact, I look forward to a comment or two on that topic.
About the Author: Bill Risser is an Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager of the Chicago Title ”“ Gilbert office. You can find him at CT-Gilbert.com and on Twitter at @billrisser, that is, when he’s not on a local golf course with his son, at the movies with his wife, or tending to one of his four fantasy leagues (NFL, MLB, PGA, and NASCAR).