I cannot recall a transaction that I have ever "not" had a copy of the mortgage commitment. I am a Broker in Shrewsbury, NJ. As a brokerage, we are participants in MLSs throughout the state, and have represented clients throughout all parts of the state. The customary practices in northern NJ differ from those here in the Monmouth County area. In this central Jersey area, the agents typically carry more involvement with the transaction. In transactions at our brokerage, we commonly function very closely with attorneys as a team. We maintain an online transaction management system that provides access to the client, agent, broker and attorney. We would place the mortgage commitment on that system. (The other side invovled in the transaction does not have access.)
While it would be uncommon, it is your choice as a consumer, to withhold your mortgage commitment from your buyer agent. You can also provide it to your agent, but instruct your buyer agent to withhold your commitment from the seller's agent if that is your concern. However, contracts commonly contain terms that stipulate the buyer will provide a copy of the mortgage commitment to the sellers. You can have your attorney send it to the seller's attorney. However, that seller's attorney may well indeed forward it to the seller and/or seller's agent. Contractually, the seller may be entitled to have a copy. There's no way for anyone to predict whether a seller's attorney will forward to the seller or not. Some attorneys may simply inform their client the commitment is in, and the seller may not ask anything further. Other sellers may wnat a copy, and review and discuss the commitment with his/her real estate agent as their fiduciary and trusted advisor in the transaction. In a scenario as I just outlined, the person who would not see the commitment is your own agent.
A commitment usually has multiple pages and the conditions are generally listed on the secondary pages. You can instruct your buyer agent to share only the first page with the seller's agent. As a seller's agent, if I am given a mortgage commitment without the secondary pages and the conditions, my radar alerts instantly. Give me a commitment without the condition list, and I instanly become concerned that the condition list is extensive and the transaction may be in jeopardy of failing to close. As a seller's agent, I want to know a real status update of the progress of a transaction, and look upon a "front page only" submission of a commitment as a negative signal. I want to be aware of when the seller might be needing to look for back-up offers or what our strategy will be for a potential "back-on-market." I also want to know if we are looking at a delay in closing. Not all seller agents will be as watchful as this. I have represented buyers in transactions and gone to closing mulitple times when a seller's agent never once asked for a mortgage commitment. In some instances, there were problems, and the seller was never aware.
Bottom line....you can instruct your mortgage rep to withhold your commitment from the agents. As part of a condiditon of the contract, it may be distributed to other parties involved with the contract.
Deborah "Deb" Madey