There are a number of people that are integral to the homebuying process on the buyer's side, but one of the most important ones: the lender.
The lender is one of the most important people in the deal because so much of buying the home in question has to do with financing. Most buyers do not have the luxury of purchasing a home without the aid of financing, and these days, it's become increasingly more difficult to qualify without being a solid borrower.
I usually recommend getting pre-approved and working with a lender who is a direct lender - one who is also nationally recognized such as Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America - as these banks also hold the lion's share of new foreclosures coming out on the market. Also, these banks are used to doing such loan volume that they've got it down to a tee and usually get through the process with few hangups. However, if you're a borrower with different income sources, trickier stuff that needs to be done, there are other brokers out there who can still assist with your loan.
When working with a lender who isn't so great, a few things can happen: (1) YOUR LOAN DOESN'T GET APPROVED. This can occasionally happen if the lender didn't get all your information up front, and finds out once in escrow that they can't do the loan for you. Things happen all the time in underwriting, but the point is to have a lender who's going to try to do all the homework up front so that unnecessary hangups don't occur DURING escrow. (2) CLOSE OF ESCROW IS DELAYED. Delays in escrow occur all the time. If certain paperwork wasn't sent out the same day it was supposed to, if a simple clerical error was made, the process can be delayed - particularly when there are many, many people who are a part of escrow and don't necessarily have a deadline to adhere to. Sometimes delays in close of escrow can be costly if the buyer is purchasing a foreclosure property, and the bank has strict guidelines as to when a purchase needs to be closed by charging a per diem for buyer-inflicted delays. (3) GENERAL HEADACHES. Look, not all escrows are created equal and sometimes they can be stressful due to the circumstances of the sale. HOWEVER, if you can avoid working with someone who is responsive, knowledgeable, and efficient, this can help make the experience more pleasant. If you're getting accurate information about when you think escrow will close or the progress of the loan - you in turn can make your own plans regarding moving, furniture purchases, any work that needs to be done on the home prior to moving in, etc.
Do yourself a favor and work with a lender you can trust, who's a team player and can get the job done. Your blood pressure will thank you, I promise.
Caroline Choi Real Estate LA
Caroline Sells The City LA