You have posted a great question. Depending on your financial situation, the answer will vary.
In my opinion, I would recommend obtaining a pre-approval through a retail lender (like Wells Fargo, BofA, CHASE, etc) AND one through a brokerage or smaller lender, that way you will get an idea of what rates you're being offered from each and what your pre-approval amount is. Depending on the lender's guidelines- you maybe pre-approved for more or less, depending on your financial situation. And when asked, you won't have to waste additional time to obtain an additional pre-approval letter.
With today's crazy market and a vast range of lenders out there, at the end of the day, we as agents just want to see the deal done. Agents will be more comfortable seeing your pre-approval letter from someone with a track record and if it's coming from someone they know and closed a deal with before, that's a big plus.
Getting a good rate, doesn't necessarily mean you're getting a deal. You may have gotten a good rate at Lender A- but if the loan processor doesn't know what they're doing or don't know how to structure your file- it may cause delays and worst of all- cost you to lose the deal. Lender B- may have a slightly higher rate- but they can get the deal done or vice-versa.
I must re-iterate- getting the deal done is the most important part so it's crucial that the lender can perform. What's more important to you? For example: Getting an interest rate at 4.25% and not sure if the lender is able to close the deal or 4.75% with a lender that can get you into a home in the next 30 days?
So how do you know who can get the job done? In my opinion, ask for multiple referrals from your agent. And then INTERVIEW those loan officers. Nothing is guaranteed, but a referral with a track record is usually the best bet. With new laws in place, Realtors can not get kick backs/referral fees from lenders- so there shouldn't be a conflict of interest with the referrals.
If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact me.
Theresa Vuong | RealtorÂ®
200 Serra Way, Suite #45
Milpitas, CA 95035
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