When it comes time to consider a reverse mortgage, many homeowners in California may not know where to start. There are so many lenders and brokers advertising their services, that it can be difficult to determine who is the best specialist for your needs. The following article will list the top 25 questions that will help you narrow down your search and find the right specialist for you.
While there are many reverse mortgage loan specialists competing for your business, knowing the right questions to ask will help put your mind at ease and ensure that you are making the best decision for your needs.
1. How long has the specialist been in business?
Experience is key when it comes to reverse mortgages. A reverse mortgage can be a complex financial transaction, so it’s important to use a specialist who has been in the business for a long time and closed many loans. An experienced specialist will know the ins and outs of the process and will be able to guide you through it smoothly.
2. What is their success rate with reverse mortgages?
Inquire about the specialist’s success rate in terms of getting homeowners approved for a loan. A good specialist should have a high success rate and be able to get most homeowners who apply for a loan approved. Sometimes a loan might be more complicated and has a lower success rate, in which case you want to make sure that the specialist has experience handling these types of loans.
3. What is the average loan amount that they approve?
This question will give you an idea of how much money the specialist is able to get for homeowners. If you are hoping to get a large loan, make sure that the specialist has a history of approving loans for amounts that you are comfortable with. All you have to do to find out is ask!
3. What are the fees involved?
A good reverse mortgage specialist should be transparent when it comes to their fees. Be sure to ask about any and all fees that will be charged throughout the process so there are no surprises later on. The more information you have upfront, the better. If their fees are too low, this might be a “red flag” that something is not quite right. Ideally, you want to find a specialist who has reasonable fees and is upfront about them.
4. What is the specialist’s reputation?
Before choosing a specialist, it’s important to do your research and read reviews from past clients. This will give you a good idea of what others have thought about working with the specialist and if they would recommend them to others. You can easily find reviews online by doing a simple Google search. Don’t forget to check out their Yelp and Google Business Profiles for more insights.
5. What is the specialist’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating?
The BBB is a great resource for finding out about businesses and their customer service. You can easily check a business’s rating on the BBB website. A good specialist should have a high rating, indicating that they are a reputable business with happy customers. When looking at reviews don’t just look at the positive comments, also take note of any negative feedback and how the specialist responded.
6. How long will the process take?
Be sure to ask the specialist about how long the process will take from start to finish. A good specialist should be able to give you a general timeline of what to expect so there are no surprises. If there are unforeseen events, the specialist should keep you updated and let you know what is going on.
7. Do they have any references?
Getting direct with past clients can give you some of the best insights. If a specialist is good at their job, they should have no problem providing you with references of past clients. These references can give you first-hand accounts of what it was like working with the specialist and if they would recommend them to others.
8. What sets you apart from your competition?
This is an important question to ask because it will help you understand what makes the specialist unique. If they can’t answer this question, it might be a red flag. A good specialist should be able to tell you what sets them apart from the competition and why you should choose them over someone else. If all they can do is give you generic answers, it might be time to look elsewhere.
These are just a few of the questions you should ask when looking for a reverse mortgage specialist in California. By asking these questions, you can get a good idea of what to expect and if the specialist is a good fit for you. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions
9. What reverse mortgage loan programs do they provide?
This question is important because not all specialists offer the same type of loans. Some might only work with a few loan programs while others have a wider selection. Some may focus only on HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgages) Reverse Mortgages, while others might have programs for Jumbo Reverse Mortgages and proprietary loans.
I actually help people opens in a new window55 and over with a proprietary reverse mortgage product. This isn’t available everywhere, so it’s something to consider if you’re looking for a non-FHA-insured loan. If you have your heart set on a certain loan program, make sure that the specialist you choose offers it. Otherwise, you might have to look elsewhere.
10. What experience outside of reverse mortgage do they have?
This question is important because a specialist with a diverse background will likely have a better understanding of the different products available and how they work. They might also be able to provide you with insights that someone who only specializes in reverse mortgages wouldn’t be able to. Someone with experience in the financial industry will likely be a better fit than someone who doesn’t have any experience outside of reverse mortgages.
11. What education or training have they received specific to reverse mortgages?
This question is important because you want to make sure that the specialist you choose is properly trained and knowledgeable about reverse mortgages. A good specialist should be able to tell you about their education and training. Do they have certifications to their name? Are they a member of opens in a new windowN opens in a new windowRMLA? Are they up to date on FHA (Federal Housing Administration) guidelines? These are all things that would set a specialist apart from someone who doesn’t have any specific training or education in reverse mortgages.
12. Do they hold any professional memberships or designations?
This question is important because it can help you understand if the specialist is up-to-date on the latest industry changes. A specialist who belongs to professional organizations such as NRMLA is likely to be more informed than someone who doesn’t hold any memberships or designations.
13. What are their business hours?
This seems like a minor question, but it’s actually quite important. You want to make sure that the specialist you choose has business hours that are convenient for you. If you can only meet during the evening or on weekends, you’ll want to make sure that the specialist you choose is available during those times.
14. What is their process for handling a loan application?
This question is important because you want to make sure that the specialist you choose has a process that is convenient for you. Do they have an online application? Do they require in-person meetings? How long does the entire process take, from start to finish? These are all things you’ll want to know before you choose a specialist.
15. How quickly can they close on a loan?
This question is important because you might need the money from your loan sooner rather than later. If you need to close on the loan quickly, you’ll want to make sure that the specialist you choose can accommodate your timeline. The specialist should be upfront with you about how long the process will take and whether or not they can close on the loan as quickly as you need them to.
16. What are the interest rates for their loans?
In times of fluctuating interest rates, this question is more important than ever. You’ll want to make sure that you understand the interest rates for the loan before you choose a specialist. The specialist should be able to give you an estimate of the interest rate for your loan based on your specific situation. Overlooking this can result in you paying more in interest than you anticipated.
17. What is their customer service like?
A reverse mortgage can be a confusing and stressful process. You want to make sure that the specialist you choose has good customer service so that you can get your questions answered and feel confident about your decision.
Is the specialist friendly and patient? Or are they rushed and uninterested in helping you? These are important things to consider when choosing a specialist. After all, you’ll be working with this person throughout the entire process, so you want to make sure that you feel comfortable with them.
18. Do they have any complaints filed against them?
Before you choose a specialist, you’ll want to do a little bit of research on your own. One way to do this is to check for complaints filed against the specialist with the Better Business Bureau. This will give you a good idea of what other people have experienced working with the specialist.
19. What are their online ratings and reviews like?
In addition to checking for complaints, you’ll also want to read online reviews. This is a great way to get an idea of what other people have experienced working with the specialist. Look for reviews on multiple websites so that you can get a well-rounded idea of what the specialist is like. Pay special attention to how they respond to negative reviews. A specialist who takes the time to respond to negative reviews and address the concerns of their customers is likely to be more responsive to your needs as well.
20. Do they have any industry accolades or awards?
This is another great way to research a specialist. If the specialist has won any industry accolades or awards, that’s a good sign that they are reputable and trustworthy. It also shows that they are recognized by their peers as being one of the best in the business.
21. Do they have any special offers?
Some specialists offer special deals or promotions on their loans. This is something you might want to take advantage of if it’s available. However, don’t let a special offer be the only reason you choose a specialist. Make sure that they are still the best fit for your needs even without the special offer.
22. Do they offer a free consultation?
A specialist who offers a free consultation is usually one who is confident in their abilities and is willing to let you get to know them before committing to working with them. This is a good sign that they are reputable and that they have your best interests at heart. It also demonstrates that they are interested in finding out if you are a good fit for their services before asking you to commit to anything.
23. Do they have experience with your type of property?
If you have unique property, you’ll want to make sure that the specialist has experience working with that type of property. This will give you confidence that they will be able to get the job done and that they know what they’re doing. For instance, if you want to take out a opens in a new windowreverse mortgage on a mobile home, you’ll want to make sure that the specialist has experience with that type of property.
24. Do they have a physical office?
Having a physical office is not a requirement for being a reverse mortgage specialist. However, it can be helpful to have an office that you can visit if you have questions or need assistance. It can also be reassuring to know that a specialist is a real person with a real business that you can visit if necessary. Reverse mortgage companies that are only accessible by phone or email may be more difficult to get ahold of if you have questions or need assistance.
25. Are they able to be flexible and work with you online?
During times of the covid-19 pandemic, many people are looking for specialists who are able to be flexible and work with them online. This is understandable as it can be difficult to meet in person during this time. However, even after the pandemic ends, you might still prefer to work with a specialist who is willing to work with you online. This can be more convenient and allow you to get the help you need without having to leave your home.
The Bottom Line
Once you have asked all of these questions, you should have a pretty good idea of who the best specialist is for you. Be sure to do your research and ask around before making any final decisions. A reverse mortgage is a big decision and you want to be sure that you are getting the best possible terms and conditions. One suggestion is to create a checklist with all these questions and have it ready when you are interviewing your top candidates from different reverse mortgage companies. This way, you can be sure that you are getting all the information you need to make an informed decision.
If you have any other questions about finding the best specialist for your needs, please feel free to opens in a new windowcontact me and I’d be happy to help.