By the time you get the point where you are in need of a mortgage lender, you have done some research and understand the basics of a mortgage loan. This is one of the most important relationships you’re going to have during the process of buying a home. It’s important to choose the right mortgage lender when buying a home.

Talk to Other People

The best way to learn about reputable mortgage lenders is through word of mouth referrals. Check with friends and family members who’ve recently purchased a home or may have contacts in the real estate business. Ask the business professionals with which you have contact. Your attorney, your financial planner, or your accountant may have a mortgage lender they think of highly.

No matter how much you love Aunt Rose or trust your Attorney, don’t just accept their referrals at face value. Do your own leg work to find out if the lender fits your needs and is as reputable as they seem to be on the surface. Make sure they talk in a way that helps you understand, without excessive use of words only those within the industry would understand.

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What’s Your First Impression?

Once you have a small list of mortgage lenders to sort through, begin contacting them to ask questions. Make a note of how friendly they are when you speak to them. Do they return your calls within a reasonable time frame? When you ask questions, take notice of their patience in answering them.

Make sure they are genuinely interested in you and your home buying experience and not just the details on your mortgage loan. Trust your instincts. If you leave feeling like you’ve just been worked over by a pushy salesperson, trust those feelings and remove that lender from your list.

Check Their Reviews

Do the footwork and spend time researching the lender’s reputation. Check with places like the Better Business Bureau and the local Chamber of Commerce. Check Yelp to see if they have a business listing there with reviews. Yelp doesn’t allow removal of reviews, so you can get a realistic idea of how a company does business by reading the reviews listed there.

Check social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter to see what kind of presence they have and how they interact with other people. Check to see if they appear to be genuinely interested in their clients and their community.

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Ask Questions about Loans

Make a list of questions you plan to ask each lender, and make sure you understand the answers they offer. Find out about their fees, how they get paid, loan details, and lock-in periods. Ask for a Good Faith Estimate.

Get the interest rates on the different loans each lender offers. Make yourself a chart to compare the interest rates and mortgage terms. Check to see who will be handling your loan once the application process is finished. If they plan to hand your account over to someone in another state but you prefer dealing with someone local, this is an important distinction.

While you’re checking your list of referrals, don’t forget to check your bank or credit union. Often, a credit union or bank will offer an incentive to their current clients when it comes to mortgage loans. This isn’t always the case, but if you already have an account in good standing with your financial institution, this is an option worth checking.

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Narrow Down Your List

As you begin to compare the answers each lender has supplied for your questions, remove lenders who just don’t make a good match for your home buying needs. Remove them if they weren’t prompt, or if they left out important information you requested.

Once you’ve chosen the mortgage lender you would like to work with, you can begin taking a closer look at loan types and choosing the best one that works with your real estate needs.