A home is one of the largest investments most people make, so it’s important to have experts in your corner to hold your hand and walk you through the process.
A Smart, Helpful Mortgage Lender
You’ll need a mortgage lender to help you finance your home purchase. While interest rates, points, and fees are important when comparing loan programs, good customer service, prompt closings and the ability to provide a smooth process are extremely important too. If your lender seems to be just interested in getting your loan closed, and does not take the time to explain the loan process or is not concerned with getting you the best deal, perhaps you should find another lender.
Seek out recommendations from friends, family members or co-workers that had a great experience. Skip over the half-hearted endorsements.
Here are some questions to ask a potential lender:
- What are the different loan programs that you offer? What are the requirements for each?
- What are your interest rates, points and fees?
- How quickly can you get a pre-approval letter to me?
- How quickly can you close my loan?
- May I contact you after business hours and on the weekend? (This one is important. The lenders who offer the best customer service know you may have to reach them after-hours and won’t have a problem sharing this information.)
Do a quick internet search on your favorite lenders for customer reviews and to see if there were customer service issues.
A Great Real Estate Agent
Start your agent search by talking to friends, family and coworkers who have recently purchased homes. Your lender is a great source too! You will want to make sure that the agent is familiar with the neighborhoods and price range you’re looking at. Buyers often choose the agent that has a house listed that they want to see. I always tell my clients to select a different agent. You want someone that represents you and will not have conflicting interests when negotiating a price!
Having this “dream-team” will go a long way in making the home-buying process less stressful.