How to "Shop" Loans and Lenders Part 6 of 7 (References)

Real Estate Agent with Homebuyer Representation, Inc. DRE# 5467433

Mortgage MoneyMany Buyers pay 1-3% too much for their loan in up-front costs, even after "shopping" for lenders. Some choose a lender solely based on which one has the lowest up-front costs, but they end up paying for it by getting an interest rate that is higher than they qualify for. Others unnecessarily pay too much in fees in order to get the lowest interest rate.

Shopping for a loan does not have to be difficult or complicated. The key is to take control of the process, get organized, and make sure you do it right.

Here are some basics on ONE way to shop for a loan. Click each link for more information on each topic:

  • Shop the lenders on the same day and at the same time
  • Make sure all the lenders have the same facts
  • Figure out the TOTAL Cost of the LoanSM
  • Don't skip the "shopping" even if you have a "friend" in the business or a "company special"
  • Ask for References!

    I can't believe how few people (almost NONE) ask lenders for references. Communicating with recent customers allows you to ask questions about the process and get candid answers from someone who just worked with that lender. This allows you to choose a lender who will:

    1. Close the loan on time
    2. At the terms they promised.

    Probably one of the biggest legitimate fears a borrower has is the bait-and-switch. The lender tells the borrower just days before closing that something was uncovered in their credit that means they can't give them the rate they promised, or it will cost them additional fees to get it (or both). The Buyer feels extreme pressure to take that higher rate and/or pay the higher fees, or potentially lose the home.

    Make sure you choose a lender who will work diligently to process your file as completely as possible, as early as possible. I enjoy working with lenders who have full document packages to the title company 2-5 days before Settlement. Closing could be the smoothest part of your transaction, or the most terrible part of it, in large part based on which lender you choose and their attitude, work ethic and thoroughness in putting together your complete loan package as early in the process as possible.

    A lender who does as much work as possible as early as possible is less likely to have any "surprise" details come up that could affect the terms of your loan. They will "grill" you and require you to send them all sorts of documentation. It is better to work with a lender who gathers everything they may need up front, than one who waits until the week before closing to ask for documentation that will be necessary to complete your loan package.

    Ask for references and ask the references questions about these topics specifically. Don't hesitate to ask any other questions you may have about their experience working with the lender. 

As advocates for the Home BUYER, one of the ways we protect our clients above and beyond what most traditional agents do is by offering to help them evaluate lenders and loan options using our TOTAL Cost of the LoanSM system.


If you have excellent credit and will be buying a $300,000-$800,000 home within 90 days and would like an agent who will work exclusively for you, make sure you get an Agent on YOUR side of the transaction! Make sure you hire an E B A!

Call us at (801) 969-8989 or contact us via the link on this page.

Exclusive Buyers Agents do not list homes and never represent Sellers. They represent Buyers ONLY on the Buyer's side of the transaction. They work to get BUYERS the Best Price and Terms when they Buy...

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Benjamin Clark

Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert
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