The concept of a mortgage is quite simple. It’s basically a loan for a home wherein the property itself is used as collateral.

Securing a mortgage, however, can be complex. The process may take more than a month, as several parties – from the escrow officer to the loan underwriter – work behind the scenes to put it all together.

A trusted real estate agent can recommend a reputable mortgage professional and help you navigate through the process.

Finding the Right Mortage Professional

A EXIT REAL 360 agent can help you find a solid lender or broker. You might also ask friends, family members and colleagues for references.

When interviewing lenders and mortgage brokers, consider asking the following questions:

  • What fees are involved?
    • What types of mortgages might I qualify for?
    • What interest rates are available for different types of mortgages?
    • Can I lock in an interest rate? Will it cost me anything to do that?
    • What are the closing costs? Can I wrap these costs into the mortgage?
    • How much cash will I have to bring to closing?
    • How long will it take to process my loan?
    • Are there special programs I might be eligible for?
    • Can I get references of customers you’ve worked with in the last two years?
    • How many lenders do you work with? (For mortgage brokers only.)
    • How are you paid? How do you make money on my loan? (For mortgage brokers only.)
  • Getting preapproved is simply a matter of your lender checking your financial situation and writing a letter stating that it would be willing to lend you a certain amount of money.

    You’ll need to assemble several documents to start the preapproval process:

    Don’t open new credit card accounts or take on any new debt for at least six months (and even up to a year) before shopping for a mortgage

    • Federal tax returns for the last two years.
    • W2s (or 1099 statements) for the last two years.
    • Bank statements for the last two months.
    • Recent pay stubs and proof of any other income.
    • Proof of assets (stocks, mutual funds).
    • Information about your current debts.
    • Information about the source of your down payment, including gifts.