The process of obtaining a mortgage can seem quite complicated because of the number of people involved. Although it can appear overwhelming at times, it is important to recognize that each person you work with provides a specific service that will help you become a homeowner.
Here is a brief overview of the key members of your homebuying team and what they do for you:
Home Loan Advisor/ Loan Officer — Loan officers are mortgage specialists; they will use your credit, financial and employment information to see if you qualify for a mortgage and then come up with mortgage financing options that match your financial capacity. There are a variety of different mortgage options available. Your loan officer will help find the right product for your needs and keep track of what’s happening during the loan approval process.
Real Estate Professional — Real estate professionals (REPs) can help you find the right home that meet your needs and financial circumstances, helping you narrow your choices. They often provide specific community information on shopping, schools, property tax rates and more. And when you’re ready to make an offer on a home, the real estate professional will usually handle the negotiations with the seller, including presenting your offer (what you’re willing and able to pay for the property). The real estate agent professional is almost always paid by the seller upon the sale of the home.
Loan Processor — The loan processor’s job is to prepare your mortgage loan information and application for presentation to the underwriter. The loan processor will ask you for many documents, including documents about your income, your employment, your monthly bills and how much you have in the bank. In addition, the loan processor must make sure that all proper documentation is included, that all numbers are calculated correctly and double checked and that everything is in the proper order. A well-processed loan file can decrease the amount of time it takes for a decision about your mortgage loan application.
Mortgage Underwriter — The mortgage underwriter is the professional authorized to assess if you are eligible for the mortgage loan you are applying for. The mortgage underwriter will approve or reject your mortgage loan application based on your credit history, employment history, assets, debts and other factors.
Real Estate Appraiser — The real estate appraiser’s job is to look at the property you are purchasing and determine how much it’s worth (or its fair market value). Real estate appraisers determine a home’s value in several ways, including comparing the value of similar homes that recently sold nearby. A real estate appraiser is trained and educated to estimate the value of property.
Home Inspector — Hiring a professional home inspector can be one of the most important things you can do to make sure your home is in good condition. An authorized inspector can uncover defects with the house that could cost you a lot of money down the road. For example, if the home inspector finds a serious problem, like a roof that needs to be replaced, you’ll know upfront and can negotiate with the seller for the cost of the roof repair or replacement. If you don’t find out that sort of thing until after you own the house, the problems (and costs) are yours alone.
Closing Representative — Closing, which is also called “settlement,” is the final step in buying your home. A representative of the closing company oversees and coordinates the closing, records the closing documents and disperses money to the appropriate individuals and organizations. Closing meetings are a standard part of the homebuying process.
At closing, you’ll sign many documents like the mortgage note and mortgage or deed of trust. Proof of insurance and inspections, as well as any money due, are required before you get the keys to your new home. Once the closing meeting is complete, you can move into your new home.
All these people play different but complementary roles. Knowing the roles of each type of professional will make the mortgage process flow as smoothly as possible.
Learn more about the mortgage process, referrals for real estate agent or see if you qualify for a loan.