Navigating the Home Buying Puzzle: The Important Role of Loans and Underwriters in Real Estate Transactions - Henderson Edition


by: Carrie Lu

Home buying and home selling would be simple if everyone paid cash. Finding the near perfect home to buy is work. Negotiate the right price with the home seller requires strategy. Buying a home with an approved loan takes patience and resilience. Real estate would be easy if we did not have the buyer’s loan to add to the process.

My husband and I went through the home buying process last month on our vacation home in Utah. The stress is not with home tours or multiple offers but with the home loan. I understand the emotional roller coaster the home buyers experience in today’s housing market. Everyone knows in order for a loan to be fully approved and funded it must be approved by the Underwriter. The Underwriter makes the ultimate decision. 

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It is always at the end of the loan process where we know for sure whether the loan can move forward or is the loan denied. In order for our loan to be approved, during the last few days we were asked to send more bank statements, explaining deposits made to our account, transfer more money into our accounts in order to show we have ample funds to cover future mortgage payments. It was exhausting only because the requests must be answered immediately. 

During the same time, a client of mine was working with US Bank on a doctor loan. My client’s loan was approved by the loan officer at first. After receiving the loan approval we went searching for a home. After 3 offers and multiple offer bidding wars, our offer was accepted on an $1.3MM home in Las Vegas at full price. The seller’s realtor increased the buyer’s earnest money deposit from $10,000 to $25,000. We went through the home inspection period in 10 days, received appraisal report back with no value issues. Then on the 17th day after our offer was accepted, my buyer called me to share his loan was denied by US Bank. The reason for denial is because buyer does not have a Nevada Medical License. The medical board only issues the Nevada license after three years of residency. My buyer client moved to Nevada from California one year ago. The bad news is the client lost the house after spending over $1,000 on inspection cost and appraisal review. The good news is my client’s earnest money deposit in the amount of $25,000 was fully refunded. We were able to cancel the contract within the loan contingency period of 20 days. It was a close call. 

In my seventeen years in the real estate sales industry I had two buyer clients who lost their earnest money deposits.  In both of their situations, their loans were approved at first then denied when they were under review by the Underwriters. Loan denials were last minute and went beyond the loan contingency period on the purchase contract. One loan was denied by Wells Fargo. The second loan was denied by Guaranteed Rate. Before buying a home anywhere in Las Vegas or Henderson please make sure home buyers are working with a reputable loan officer at a reputable company which showed past successes and not failures.  


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