Getting a mortgage is one of the biggest financial moves you’ll make, and the process can be confusing and cumbersome. That’s why it’s vital to have someone in your corner. As you are getting a mortgage, here are some of the people you are most likely to work with:
Real Estate Agent
The first person you are likely to work with is a real estate agent. Your real estate agent helps you find a home and can guide you through the ins and outs of how the home buying process — including the mortgage — works.
Look for help from a buyer’s agent. This is someone who works on your behalf for free and can act as a guide.
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Loan Officer or Mortgage Broker
Your loan officer or mortgage broker is your main contact as you apply for a mortgage and go through the closing process.
A loan officer usually works for one lender. You will receive information on what that lender has to offer, but you probably won’t get a lot of help with other programs.
On the other hand, a mortgage broker can work with multiple lenders. As a result, a broker can help you compare different programs and loans from several different lenders.
Whether you use a loan officer or broker, though, it’s important to realize that they might not be making the final decision about your loan. Use them as a point of contact, and to explain the process and guide you through the paperwork, but realize that they will be working with others.
Two of the people involved with your loan officer or mortgage broker include:
- Loan processor: When the loan office or mortgage broker finishes with your application, all the info goes to a loan processor. This person might follow up to verify your credit, income, and other information. The loan processor’s job is to make sure everything is in order, you have all the right documentation and information, and it goes to the underwriter likely to be approved.
- Underwriter: This is the person (or team) that looks at your credit, income, and other information to determine whether or not you are a good risk. They will decide if you get the loan.
- Title officer: Before the mortgage closes, someone needs to verify the ownership of the home and ensure that it passes to you in a clean manner. The title officer does this, and you might have to buy title insurance to ensure that everything is taken care of just in case something comes up later.
Appraiser and Home Inspector
Two other people that you are likely to work with when getting a mortgage is the appraiser and the home inspector.
First of all, the appraiser will go through the home to determine its value. The lender wants to make sure your loan isn’t for too much more than the house is worth. An appraisal is an important part of the process.
Additionally, you want a home inspector to look at the house. This is someone who might see things you missed. A home inspector can identify problems with the home. In some cases, if the home inspector finds something problematic, you can demand the seller fix it before the sale is finalized. It’s also a way you can back out of the deal without losing your earnest money.
For some transactions, you might work with a real estate attorney. In fact, if you’re getting a mortgage and you’re worried about the paperwork, it can help to have someone you trust to go through and make sure everything is in order. Ask your attorney questions you have. If possible, having a real estate attorney present for the closing can be a great way to ensure that what you think is happening with your mortgage is.
When you close on your mortgage, there should be a closing or escrow agent present. This is a third party who makes sure the final financial details are taken care of. When you finish the mortgage, your down payment is held by a third party and funds from your lender, which are supposed to be sent to the seller, are also held. This way, all the money is verified and in place before the final flourish. A closing agent makes sure everything is in order and goes off as it should.
When it comes time to buy that perfect house and get a mortgage, pay attention, and make sure you are ready every step of the way, so you get your home without a hitch.