Austin McKenzie, Who you work with matters.

Spam prevention
Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate
Tropical Beachside brokered by eXp - Cocoa Beach, FL
"The Accidental Blogger" Cocoa Beach, Florida

Hi Austin,

Former Florida mortgage broker here and Florida Realtor. I used a California lender when I refi'd a commercial apartment building and the only problem was that they did not table fund the loan so the customer had to wait several days to receive their funds.

That was some time ago and I don't know if that was just that particular lender's protocol or if it was California law. Caroline Gerardo is a lender in California and could answer that for you.

Another issue I encountered was the appraisal...since the lender was in Cali they were not familiar with local appraisers and somehow found one on the West coast of FL which is a 3+ hour drive from me. The appraiser was not familiar with the area or commercial real estate here and could not find good comps so it slowed the process.


Another possible concern might be the three hour time difference. I work with real estate clients out west and it is a bit of a challenge to coordinate phone calls and such due to the time difference but it is manageable if all parties are willing to go the extra mile.

A local lender with a physical presence here in Florida is always best. I would ask the listing agent what prompted that question and what their concern is. I'd be curious to know their answer to that Q.


Jan 17, 2022 12:09 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Oh, let me count the ways . . .
1. Is it a national lender with presence in your state?
2. Do they understand the peculiar 'tribal customs' of the area they'd be lending in?
3. Will they be responsive when they do need to be with the locals? 
4. Do their programs work in other states?
5. Does the buyer understand that the unknown lender may decrease their desirability to the listing agent and seller?

IF answer to both is yes, and the seller feels OK talking to the lender, fine.

Jan 17, 2022 11:56 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Laws differ from state to state and they must be licensed to do business in that state. A local lender is right here , right now and my choice!

Jan 17, 2022 12:58 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Did you ask the listing agent what their concerns are with a California lender on a property in Florida?  

I prefer to use my fantastic local lender who closes!

Jan 17, 2022 12:51 PM
Peter Mohylsky
PMI. Destin - Miramar Beach, FL

I prefer working with local lenders

Jan 17, 2022 12:28 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

Ditto to what Candice said.

I like to work with local lenders generally.

Jan 17, 2022 12:25 PM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

Chicago has all sorts of weird local lending issues... 'cause we're "Chicago" and we do things our own way.  And while many national lenders are licensed to lend here, they are often not "up" on our local idiosyncrasies.

Jan 17, 2022 12:24 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Performance, track record and high-level communications is what I want from a lender wherever they are...

Jan 17, 2022 11:51 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Good question Austin McKenzie  Just as we would like to have a local Real Estate agent involved in a local transaction having a local lender usually works out best .  There are local rules and regulations that are usually involved that bankers should be aware of that make the sale easier to complete. Many a time at the last minute we have had to switch lenders because out of state bankers called for something that a local banker would waive  

Jan 17, 2022 05:44 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

I always prefer local mortgage loan officers. The location of the home office of the lender is not as important.

Jan 17, 2022 03:51 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Personally I prefer to work with our local trusted lenders we've done business with for years.  They know their business and get it closed on time.  I've run into more hassles with that 'occasional' out of state lender.  Now with that said - there are some lenders on AR that I know would do an excellent job and I'd be fine with using them.

Jan 17, 2022 02:29 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

In my small Maine rural area, using a mortgage processor instate makes the sale get the clear to close memo way way faster. Or at all. Not enough appraisers everywhere and the instate ones cater to the local lenders because they know the lay of the land Austin McKenzie !

Jan 17, 2022 02:03 PM
Tony Lewis
Summit Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Group Valencia & Aliso Viejo

The listing agent may have already received an offer from a buyer with a lender from California.  That buyer may have been a thorn in their side so this would have been one way to make sure it wasn't the same buyer with the same lender.

Jan 17, 2022 11:18 AM
Brenda Mayette
Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc. - Glenville, NY
Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how!

As a listing agent, I like to see the buyers use a "local & credible lender".  There are too many differences from market to market and the second a lender or attorney from another region start stirring the pot, nothing good typically happens. 

Jan 18, 2022 04:49 AM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

I prefer to see a local lender . As a listing agent I have seen on close multiple offers situations where a Sellers choice can come down to who will get the deal closed , if it's a well know local lender that one always wins over an unknown out of the area lender.

Jan 17, 2022 07:26 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

I'd ask Jason E. Gordon 

I will say I hesitate to work with out of state lenders, especially the East Coast & Southern states due to how different their escrow processes are to CA. It often creates delays a CA lender would know better about.

Jan 17, 2022 03:03 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

My lender is licensed in most of the South West.  Another that I'm friends with is licensed in all 50 states and the territory of DC.   Then there is also John Meussner here who is licensed in many states as well.


John can probably best answer you on the lending in other states.  I believe he's a CA based lender that writes in Florida as well.

Jan 17, 2022 02:55 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Rocket Mortgage claims to be the largest mortgage lender in the United States. A quick internet search reveals that they are based in Detroit and that they are an on-line lender.

We all love the lenders who consistently get the job done. As local agents, it is likely that we will be working with a local lender. Yet, I have been working with a lender who is licensed in Ca. but sits in an office across the Country. Results have been good.

Jan 17, 2022 01:42 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Not that I know of. Ask, John Meussner.

Jan 18, 2022 07:02 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

 Is an Appraisal required?

Jan 17, 2022 04:03 PM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty Evolution - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Everyone has a reason for the questions they ask. I prefer local banking institutions just because I can go there and talk to them eyeball to eyeball

Jan 18, 2022 06:09 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I would have asked why does that matter.

Jan 18, 2022 05:53 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Money is green and which lender delivers should not be an issue. Local lenders may provide better odds of funding. Then again, how many people depend on Amazon for purchases

Jan 18, 2022 03:50 AM
Jason E. Gordon
AmeriFirst Financial Inc, San Diego, CA - San Diego, CA

Objective "lender feedback" here. 

Clearly the Lender must be licensed in the state where the subject property is located.  The bias of "local" is subjective...does "local" mean competent?  I'd say we all can make a case both ways.

I would always suggest the Lender be "reputation based" and someone who can be vetted. Maybe speak with the Lender and determine what work has been done thus far...pre-qualified vs pre-approved? Has the Underwriter seen the file yet? If you Google the LO's first/last name followed by the word "mortgage", what can you find?  Can you Google "NMLS Lookup" and find the Lender...determine how long he/she has been in the business? 

I'd recommend a "relationship-based out-of-state" Lender over a "local transactional lead converter" Lender 100% of the time.

I could go on, but the overall gist I'm trying to convey is that a competent Lender is ideally what you are seeking. Geography does not typically come into play...especially if the Lender has a track record of doing loans in that state.

Jan 17, 2022 05:28 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I ask questions, I want to know if the attorney will be able to reach them at 8 am or 11 am and will suggest a closing not occur at a time when the lender is not get open.  Lots of reasons the listing agent should know.

Jan 17, 2022 04:56 PM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Local is usually preferred. If it's a multiple offer situation, sellers might prefer to accept an offer with buyers using a local lender.

Jan 18, 2022 01:53 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Local is best in our opinion.  

Jan 18, 2022 08:12 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

It is about the relationship. I refer lenders who get properties closed. It saves the buyer (and seller) time and headaches. I have a professional relationship with the lenders I refer and they do everything possible to make the process seamless and wonderful for the buyer. 

Jan 18, 2022 07:11 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Before I had the pleasure of doing a loan with John Meussner, I was adamant about using a known local lender. No reservations about sending buyers to John. And yes, he does get them done and stays in constant contact!

Jan 18, 2022 08:41 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Personally, I prefer to have a lender whose underwriting and back office are local... way more assurance that things will move along efficiently and things will close on time. Plus, local lenders understand the nuances of local contracts and settlement issues which those from other states don't. Then there's the appraisal issue.

Jan 18, 2022 06:43 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

It is ALWAYS a good idea to keep all things CALIFORNIA away from the things important to you.
Of course, they may be a good lender in CALI, but they should have relocated long ago. Detroit does good work in the mortgage dept.

Jan 18, 2022 06:29 AM
Adam Feinberg
Elegran - Manhattan, NY
NYC Condo, Co-op, and Townhouse Advisor

Know your market! My market is one that most bankers around the country don't want to work so it's best to work with a local banker. FYI- this works out great for me since I have a finance background (investment banking- not lending) though that allows me to make a compelling case to buyers why they shouldn't be shopping rates on the internet- as we are mostly portfolio lending and co-op's- which a lot of bankers don't want to work or don't have the right resources readily accessible. 

Jan 25, 2022 07:31 PM
Julie A. Black
KAUAI DREAMS REALTY Kauai Real Property Specialist - Kapaa, HI
CLHMS, CRS, GRI, Realtor, Broker

I have a current sale in Hawaii where the buyer is using a California lender. In California the hot water heater has to be strapped due to earthquakes. This is not a law in Hawaii. But the California lender wanted the hot water heater strapped. The hoops you have to jump through sometimes.

Jan 18, 2022 07:08 PM
John Meussner
Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, MD, MN, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI - Fair Oaks, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Fair Oaks, CA 484-680-4852

Truly the only issue would be a misconception that non-local lenders can't do a good job, but the reality is even though this is foolish thinking, if the listing agent is translating foolish info to a seller, it could hurt an offer.

Jan 18, 2022 02:02 PM