Qualities to Look for in a Hard Money Lender

Browse some of the best characteristics that describe the top private lenders.

Private lenders are unique. Unlike most traditional lenders where you might work with a different person each time you contact or visit a branch, private money lenders form a relationship with borrowers looking to obtain financing for a commercial real estate (CRE) investment. When searching for a hard money lender, it’s important to know exactly what qualities to look for and who will fit your particular needs. To ensure your transaction moves quickly and efficiently, here’s a few things to look for when you begin to shop for a private lender.

Attentive Communicator

Most hard money deals are time sensitive—so no matter the decision, it’s always better to find out sooner than later. Let’s be honest, the reason you’re going with private lending over traditional in the first place is most likely speed. Professional hard money lenders will respond to a hard money or bridge loan request within hours and days, not weeks. Going further, if a deal is coming down to the wire, your lender should respond to emails, texts, and calls within an hour—if not immediately. Nothing feels worse when your financial person isn’t available when urgent questions or issues arise.


Your lender should be well-versed in not only hard money lending practices, but also highly educated in your local market. Lenders who are new to an area or unfamiliar with the economic intricacies of local neighborhoods and business districts are an incredible potential risk to your entire deal.

Goldilocks Size

When searching for the perfect lender for your deal it’s important to consider the size of the firm. Too small and the firm may lack the manpower to adequately complete your deal. Too big, and you might get lost in the shuffle. To determine if the size works for your deal, inquire about workflows—will the same person take my deal from beginning to close? It’s also helpful to ask how the firm has scaled for deals in the past and what challenges they’ve encountered along the way.

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