In How To Find The Right Real Estate Agent For Your First Home Purchase, we talked about real estate agents. Here we discuss the mortgage banker or the lender whom you'll want to connect with before you even start to look at houses. So, let's explore what role does a mortgage banker play in buying a home.
What does a mortgage banker do?
A mortgage banker or lender is the person who secures a loan for you from the bank or investor so you can buy a house. Unless you are paying cash for your new home, a lender is a critical member of your real estate team.
The process includes evaluating your specific financial situation, helping you weigh all of your financial options and then helping you choose the right mortgage for you and your family, such as a fixed-rate mortgage, an adjustable-rate mortgage, an FHA Mortgage or a VA mortgage. This includes collecting and reviewing your financial documents, and helping you determine your financial goals and obligations so that you can be educated on how much house you can afford to buy with the different loan options.
From there, the mortgage banker will work with the mortgage underwriters to finalize the loan details, handle all of the bumps in the road and get you to closing with as few surprises as possible.
It's really important for you to find someone you can trust, who will spend the time to listen and put together options for you. Ideally, your mortgage banker will sit down with you, talk about what you're looking to accomplish, and collect your financial information.
In the Chase video below, Sean, a mortgage banker, says,
"The best mortgage bankers are the ones who will set the process for you up front, so you have a great expectation of exactly what's going to happen from the very beginning, all the way through the process."
Ultimately, a mortgage banker can make the difference between a good home loan experience and a horror story! Since a home is one of the largest financial purchases you will make, it's essential to find a mortgage banker who will get you in the right mortgage program, has a great track record, and knows how to get you to the closing table as seamlessly as possible.
How to select a mortgage banker
A few tips when choosing a mortgage banker:
- Find someone you trust - this is easier said than done.
- Ask family, friends and, most importantly, your real estate agent. You vetted your agent and chose her because she was the best. A great agent knows who the great lenders are for today's consumer.
- The mortgage process is complicated and you need to build a great team. You want a lender with a great track record, who can provide references, who has experience with your niche, your price point, your area, your type of loan. And, most importantly, one who is honest, i.e., one who tells you the truth, not just what you want to hear.