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Comparison shop interest rates?

ask phyllis a real estate question

Ask Phyllis: a blog series of frequently asked real estate questions. Email us here

Dear Phyllis,

I am a first time home buyer and after nearly a year, I found a home and my offer to purchase was accepted. I know my lender has worked hard with my prequalification. But my real estate agent wants me to comparison shop interest rates but before I commit to him. She wants me to have one last opportunity to shop for the best interest rate. Do you think this is okay? Gerry

Dear Gerry,

Congratulations on your purchase. I think it’s a great idea to comparison shop; just be certain to do your loan shopping quickly. Written in your purchase agreement you agreed to make your loan application within a specific time period, typically three to five days. You also have a specified time frame to remove your loan contingency, typically seventeen days.

Not all mortgage lenders are created equal.

I have been selling real estate for many years and in my experience sometimes out of state lenders are the worst. When you comparison shop try to work with a reputable local lender. Ask your real estate agent for a list of lenders she recommends. An incompetent lender can turn your home buying experience into a nightmare. Your choice of lenders is just as important as your choice of Realtor. It would be a shame to select one who is slow and/or unable to perform within the contract deadlines.

I recently had closed an escrow with a client who insisted on using a well known out of state lender. Although he was preapproved, three weeks into the escrow the lender couldn’t grant full loan approval. There were fourteen offers on the home and he came very close to losing it. Finally he made another loan application with a local reputable lender and was able to close.

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