Unless you are able to pay cash for a home (meaning you can cover all of the costs upfront), you’ll need to take out a loan to finance the purchase of a home. To do this, you’ll need to find a lender who can, as the name suggests, lend you money that you will then pay back over time with interest (also known as a “mortgage”).
There are several different types of lenders (including banks, credit unions, and secondary market lenders), and not all lenders are the same. Your real estate agent will be able to help you determine what type of lender to use, and they will likely have a preferred lender to recommend. Your lender is ultimately your own choice, however, and here are a few qualities you’ll want to look for in your lender:
- Local: A local lender will care about their reputation in their community, and they’re more accountable in this way. Local lenders rely on local referrals, and as a result, they have a much higher incentive to offer high-quality service.
- Excellent communication: A lender needs to be easy to reach—there are many moving parts to any real estate transaction, and the availability of your lender can make or break a deal. Working with a lender who is quick to answer calls and emails is a must! One of the benefits of working with an agents’ preferred lender is the relationship the agent has with the lender, and the agents’ confidence in working with the lender.
- Respected & reputable: The local reputation of your lender can contribute to your offer on a home being accepted at all, especially in a multiple offer situation. A savvy seller’s agent may even advocate for your offer if you have a lender they know, trust, and respect, since a seller’s agent wants to mitigate any risk that the deal will fall through.