Buying your first home could be both exciting and stressful at the same time. Like everyone else, you want to make sure that you’re getting the best deal out of your hard-earned funds that you saved for several years. As you ask relatives and scour the internet for information, you’ll probably get the idea that applying for a mortgage could be a challenge. Before you begin your homebuying journey, it’s important that you know the important people involved and understand their roles as you search for your dream home.
- Loan Advisor/Officer/Originator – is the first professional you will meet when you apply for a mortgage. As a mortgage specialist who works for a lending institution, a loan officer will analyze your credit report, financial health, and employment information to see if you qualify to take out a mortgage. Aside from helping you complete your mortgage application form; a loan officer will also offer you a variety of mortgage options based on the financial information you provide. You may find it ideal to get a preapproval with a loan officer first before you start shopping for a home.
- Real Estate Professional – is the professional who will help you determine the right home for you based on the amount you’ve been preapproved to borrow. Commonly called realtors, agents, or REPs, a real estate professional can give you detailed information about neighborhoods, property tax rates, and other information that can help you decide when choosing a home. Realtors are also responsible for handling negotiations with the seller if you finally find the property you can call home. Ask your friends or relatives for realtor recommendations so you can have someone you can comfortably work with as you shop for a home.
- Loan Processor – is a mortgage professional who also works for a lending institution whose main task is to collect and prepare your mortgage application including your financial documents and present it in an organized manner to the underwriter. Typically, a loan processor will need copies of your income statements, monthly bills, debts, and bank account deposit statements.
- Mortgage Underwriter – is the professional who decides if you’re “approved” or “rejected” for the amount of mortgage loan that you’re applying for. Underwriters base their decision on the information that you’ve provided to the loan processor.
- Real Estate Appraiser – is a professional who determines the fair market value or the worth of the property you’re planning to buy. An appraiser makes sure that the amount of mortgage that you’re applying for closely matches the value of the property you’re buying. Keep in mind that appraisers may overlook some home problems in their reports. You might have trouble with your mortgage application if the appraiser comes up with a “low appraisal” rating, but there are things you can still do if you really want to pursue with the purchase. You can hire another appraiser, but since you cannot use this report when applying for a mortgage, do not expect the loan amount applied for when approved or a favorable interest rate.
- Home Inspector – is a professional you may want to hire to help you determine the structural stability of the home that you’re about to buy. Lenders often don’t require a home inspection when you apply for a mortgage but hiring one can save you from buying a home with lots of hidden defects that could result in costly repairs. An inspector works on your behalf, unlike appraisers who work for the lenders.
- Closing Representative – is the last professional you’ll meet before you can get a hold of the keys to your new home. If the underwriter approves your mortgage application and the appraisal came in with positive results, the closing table is your final step. The closing representative will guide you in signing all the mortgage-related documents and ensure that your money goes to the right parties who have participated in your homebuying transaction. As a homebuyer, there are things you can do to have a smooth closing like responding quickly to requests for additional documentation and informing the lender if you have any upcoming travels.
Get invaluable insights from an RPM Mortgage Loan Advisor
A professional loan advisor can give you updated information about the homebuying process and the real estate market in general. As a first-time homebuyer, it’s important that you make a sound decision when making the biggest investment of your life. Getting to know the mortgage industry and professionals you’ll encounter, especially the roles they play is a good start before you shop for a mortgage.