Let's Kill All The Underwriters!


In the words of William Shakespeare, let's kill all the lawyers, er, I mean underwriters.  Yes, let's kill all the underwriters.  I know this sounds a little drastic.  I'm somewhat emotional, coming off a bad week, but I still think this could be a good idea.  They are messing with our closings!

This isn't just my idea.  It's part of Shakespeare's plan forged by Dick the Butcher in part 2 of Henry VI.  True, he was referring to lawyers, but that's only because there were no underwriters 400 years ago.

In case you're interested, here's what sent me over the edge...

My buyer client was on contract in an earlier transaction.  She opted out on the CC&R's contingency and her $1,000 earnest money was returned to her.  The $1,000 actually came from her parents, so the underwriter wanted a gift letter and a copy of the parents' cancelled check since the refund was deposited in the buyer's checking account.  That was fair, and it was delivered within the hour.  We were hoping for lender docs that afternoon so the buyer could sign the next day and close on time.  Then, the underwriter insisted upon a gift letter for the "other $1,000 check".  What "other $1,000 check?" we asked.  There was no other $1,000 check.  She was referring, of course, to the check from Escrow refunding the earnest money, which meant she was counting the $1,000 TWICE.  We waste all afternoon hoping she would see the absurdity of her request before asking the loan officer to get a supervisor involved.  And, yes, we had to extend closing over this.

I understand that underwriters today need to be cautious.  There are still some big, bad unqualified buyers out there trying to get loans -- and there are also some big, bad penalties for the banks who fall victim to them (as if the banks were ever victims, but let's not go there).  C'mon, now.  Some of these underwriter requests have no bearing on rational thought.  We work pretty darn hard most of the time to bring our transactions together.  It's painful to then watch slightly-paranoid decision makers drive our buyers crazy with silly demands.  I'm surely not the only real estate agent who has wanted to fight back.

Maybe I went a little overboard suggesting we form a posse and commit mass murder.  After all, we are Realtors®.  Such behavior is surely against the Code of Ethics.  But we all need to vent a little from time to time.

The story, thankfully, will have a happy ending.  The buyer was able to sign docs yesterday morning.  Closing will be on Monday.

Welcome, I'm afraid, to the New Normal.


All of the agents hate the under writers, but how to avoid it? it's a little bit difficult.


Very interesting valuable post. Thank you for sharing. Keep up your great work.


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