The mortgage industry is hyper-competitive, and choosing the right lender can be one of the most confusing and also most important decisions a home buyer can make. Choosing the wrong lender can cost you thousands, and in some cases even cost you the home you’re making an offer on. On the flip side, choosing the RIGHT lender can save you money and a ton of headaches.

Here are 5 things to do when choosing a lender.

1) Start by asking friends & colleagues who’ve recently gotten a mortgage if they can recommend their lender. And notice when we say “friends & colleagues,” we don’t say “your real estate agent.” Yes, your agent will have a preferred lender, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best lender for you.

2) Search the internet and thoroughly investigate offerings for details. Find out about fees, interest rates, lock-in periods, points and qualification requirements for what is being featured. 

3) Check the NMLS (Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System) for proper licensing and any complaints submitted against the lender.

4) Make sure your lender has plenty of experience in the transaction type (purchase, refinance, etc) and loan program you’re interested in. There are many different types of loans, ranging from conventional, to FHA, to down payment assistance, to Veterans’ Affairs loans. There are different requirements and procedures for each program, so it’s extremely important to choose a lender who is well-versed in the program that is best for your situation.

5) Remember that at the end of the day, you’re choosing a person who is going to help you make one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. Are they friendly and courteous? Are they willing to explain things to you or educate you about different choices? Do they proactively discuss the timeline of the loan (estimated closing date, when to lock the rate)? Are they prompt to respond to your initial contact? 

If you’re looking for a lender in Las Vegas/Henderson or Southern California, please feel free to contact my office. We can help you get pre-approved and choose the right loan program for you.