September is National Mortgage Professional Month. In honor of the amazing mortgage professionals we’ve worked with over the years across Tampa Bay, let’s talk about how to find someone you enjoy working with. Handing over all your private financial information is stressful enough. It shouldn’t be made worse because you don’t love your lender.

Do Your Homework

While it’s important to know your credit situation and understand your debt and income, that’s only part of the work you should do before meeting a mortgage lender. Read reviews about the financial institution and, if available, the lender you want to work with. Ask friends, family, and trusted real estate professionals for recommendations. You won’t love everyone your brother or boss works with, but it’s a good place to begin.

Meet With Your Lender

Just because you have the option to start the mortgage process online doesn’t always mean you should keep it online. If a face-to-face meeting is impossible, plan a phone call instead. The convenience of online-everything can be great, but some relationships are more important. Financing a $200,000 or more purchase is a big step. Make sure you have a sense of who you’re working with before you commit.

Ask Questions and Listen to their Response

The best mortgage lenders aren’t there simply to shuffle paperwork and give you an approval. Great lenders explain the entire process thoroughly. They answer your questions. They help you find the best loan product or figure out what to do to improve your credit. When you meet with a potential lender, ask questions and listen to how they respond. If they’re not helpful and informative, do you really want to work with that lender?

Compare Loan Estimates

Not a lot of buyers know they can request multiple loan estimates or that they should shop around for a mortgage. We’re saying it to you now - shop around and compare. It’s great to really like your lender, but it’s not great to pay higher fees or interest rates. Consider this part of your review process. If a mortgage lender can check all the boxes of good recommendations, helpful, friendly, and offer the best loan, then you know they’re the one.

The best mortgage lenders want to see you get the best financing you can afford in a responsible manner. They don’t think buying a home should make you house-poor after the deal is done. When you buy your next home, make sure you work with a mortgage lender that you’d recommend to anyone later.

Need a mortgage lender recommendation? Check out our list of Preferred Lender Partners.

Ready to buy a new home in Tampa? We can help!

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