Ward of Caution: Any of you who HAVE those terms in your remarks section are advised to get them out!! Lenders are hyper-sensitive nowadays. I like to go where the money is but don't overlook your local Credit Union. They are very much like the old "Thrifts" and "Savings and Loans". Kinda like "It's a Wonderful Life" with the old "Building and Loan"! But hey, It IS a wonderful life!!
If I may expand on that....
Work with several lenders in attempt to obtain the lowest interest rate for you.
Are compensated by the lender post-close of property.
Have access to promotional offers that can lower closing costs.
The Con? Because they are dealing with so many different lenders, the odds for miscommunication increase, hence creating more possibilities of delaying the closing.
Work with their own pool of funds and lend directly.
Approval process is simpler since no one else is involved.
The con? Less flexibility in overcoming roadblocks to getting you approved.
And as Ruth mentioned, don't overlook local banks who know the market and have local connections with appraisers, etc.. Sometimes a national bank can have problem connecting with local resources and will delay the closing.