Choosing a mortgage lender in Greenville, SC shouldn't be difficult. There are a plethora of different mortgage lenders. From banks, mortgage brokers, and correspondent lenders, there are many options. Finding one that best suits your needs is your goal. See the picture below describing the difference between the three types of lenders.
One of the best places to start your search for a mortgage lender is with a referral from a trusted real estate agent. Choose a Realtor who closes 20 plus buyer side transactions a year to ask for the recommendation. Typically, the agent will give you two or three suggestions. If you don't have an agent, skip to step two.
From the two or three recommendations, begin your research online. I like to call it "loan officer stalking." If you don't have a name, try googling something like "Greenville, SC mortgage experts" If you have the referral names, type them in google and see what pops up. You may want to go to online review sites like Zillow, Google, and Yelp. All three of these companies are aggregators for online reviews.
Now that you have done your online research in determining the top two or three mortgage lenders, it's time to start making calls. Here are a few questions to ask each lender.
- Can I meet with you in person?
- How quickly do you respond to emails, texts, and phone calls?
- What lender fees will you charge?
- How quickly can you close my loan?
- What programs do you offer?
Obviously, the interest rate will be significant too, but it's not a good idea to make it your only qualification in choosing a competent lender. My suggestion is to factor the rate into your equation for selecting a lender but stay away from the lender who makes it all about getting the lowest rate. Many times you sacrifice efficiency and competency with the lowest rate providers. - Just ask your Realtor about closing nightmares they have had due to poor lender choices.
By now you should have your choices narrowed down to one or two lenders. It's time to get more specific about the type of loan products best suited to your needs. An experienced lender will use probing questions without you having to ask them. Questions such as: are you a first time home buyer?, How much do you want to put down? What's important to you in a mortgage? The lender will have a mortgage calculator on his side and access to rates, programs, and cost estimators. They should be able to answer most of your questions and set proper expectations upfront with you.
Once you feel confident with your mortgage lender selection, let that person know you have chosen them as your lender. This new relationship will be significant to you for many years to come between you and your trusted mortgage partner. People buy and sell a home every seven years on average. Wouldn't it be nice to know you have a trusted mortgage advisor on your side for what many consider the most important financial transaction of their lives?