You're going to get a lot of different opinions on this one. Our experience in San Antonio indicates that finding a strong lender who will quote a fair price, get the loan approved, get the documents to closing ON TIME, and communicate with the buyer and agent are ESSENTIAL. My experience with the banks is DISMAL. I know several local lenders who are superb in getting the deal done without headaches. Usually, they turn out to be the most competitively priced as well.
If you find a really good Agent, ask them what their local experience is and who they trust. Of course, you need a second opinion, but your agent will know who doesn't deliver and who is consistently reliable.
Doc Stephens, REALTOR