If you’re reading advice online about buying a home (and who isn’t!), you’re likely to come across a question that many homebuyers ask: Should I work with the mortgage lender my real estate agent recommends, or find one myself?
That’s a really important question to answer.
The Advantage of Your Own Lender Versus Realtor Recommendations
Experienced real estate agents typically have a line-up of professionals they like to work with, including lenders. It’s easy to take a recommendation from an agent you’ve grown close to, particularly since buying a home and getting ready to move are so stressful! With a tight time-frame to get all requirements and contracts completed before settlement date, having people on your side with an established connection can make things run faster and smoother.
There’s nothing wrong with considering a recommendation. But remember, it’s your money. It’s up to you to do your due diligence.
People now spend a higher percentage of their income on a home than 20 years ago. Interest rates can change daily. There are more kinds of loans to choose from, so there is more to figure out before making a decision that will have a huge impact on your finances.
Your loan officer is your main contact throughout the mortgage procedure, and is someone you need to be comfortable with and confident in. He or she is super important in helping you understand and access your options, and getting you through the home loan process with as little frustration or anxiety as possible.
How to Make Your Decision
There’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer as to how to decide on a lender. But you should feel empowered to make your own decision. Even The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recommends that you shop for home loans to get the best loan terms and interest rates. They say you should ask 10 questions of each loan officer you talk to.
Two of the most important questions to ask are, “What types of loans do you offer and which type of home loan is right for me?” Access to regulated loans – and the knowledge and experience to know which mortgage program will work best for each buyer – are great differentiators among lenders.
Although many buyers think they should be shopping for the best interest rate, pricing is very comparable between lenders. It’s often the type of loan you get and the loan terms you choose that can save you the most money.
For example, if you’re a first-time homebuyer with limited savings for a down payment, you’ll want a loan officer experienced with mortgages that have smaller down-payment requirements. Additionally, you can save thousands of dollars in a down payment or closing costs by accessing state-assisted programs – so you’ll want a lender who knows your local market.
The Relationship That Comes First
The trust you place in your real estate agent should not be overlooked. And Realtors and loan originators often work together – building relationships is an important part of doing business. Just remember that when it comes to getting a home loan, your relationship with your money comes first.
No matter whether you work with your agent’s recommendation or find your own lender, working with a loan officer who asks the right questions – like the knowledgeable, experienced ones at Capital Bank – can help you get the loan that’s right for you.