Buyer's Guide
Lansing Area Real Estate

Where to find a mortgage loan

Local banks, credit unions, and private financing companies offer mortgage loans.  However, the majority of homebuyers choose to use the services of a mortgage broker.

Mortgage Brokers do not fund your loan, but work on behalf of the lenders. The broker checks your credit and work record, arranges for title search and hires the property appraiser. When all the research and paperwork is completed, they pass it along to the lender for final approval.  

A mortgage broker does not represent a specific bank or lending institution and has the flexibility to access available programs from hundreds of lenders. They will identify what lender can best fit your special needs and work like a matchmaker between you and the lenders.  

When Your Realtor Recommends a Lender

If your Realtor makes a suggestion for a lender, be sure to talk to that lender. There are several reasons for making the recommendation.

Realtors make suggestions because they want to recommend someone reliable. Reliability is important to you, so that you won't end up with a horror story to tell. Reliability is also important to the seller, the Realtors, and everyone involved in your transaction...if the deal doesn't close, everyone walks away with nothing.

Over time your Realtor has developed a rapport with lenders who have done good work. By sending a serious amount of business to them, the Realtor has developed a certain amount of "clout" in dealing with those lenders. This can help in a situation where you need to cut through "red tape" and get something done quickly.

When buying a newly-built home, dealing with a recommended lender is often very important. This is because there are a lot of intricacies involved in new homes that do not exist when buying previously owned home. If you "shop" around to find your own lender, you may end up with someone who quotes a great rate, but has no experience with new homes. This can lead to serious problems or delays. 

Realtors receive no money or gifts for recommending specific lenders. What they receive is assurance that the offer they are presenting to the seller includes sound financial backing.

Beware of the Predatory Lender                              

Most mortgage lenders and brokers have their customers' best interests in mind but there are some who may try to take advantage of consumers by using "abusive" or "predatory" lending practices.

Shop around and compare different lenders' loan products. Ask for written Good-Faith Estimates that include all points, fees and closing costs. Avoid loans that sound too good to be true. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If the loan being offered is really interesting...get it in writing!

You may have doubts or questions about your mortgage loan or the lender's practices. If so speak with your Buyer Agent. Realtors who have been in the business for a few years have had the opportunity to sort the "predators" from the "good lenders".

Realtors are only paid after the closing of the purchase. Realtors know that it makes sense to work only with responsible mortgage brokers.

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