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How to Choose a Mortgage Loan Officer

Sammamish Mortgage
April 23, 2021
Last updated:
October 12, 2021
In This Article

Buying a home can be a daunting task without the right team of professionals behind you. A real estate agent can help you find the perfect home and negotiate a deal for you. But you’ll then need to go about financing the purchase with a mortgage, which is where a mortgage loan officer comes into the picture. 

With the right loan officer in your corner, the process of applying and getting approved for a mortgage can be a much more streamlined and stress-free one. Today’s real estate market is quite competitive. Right now, the average price for a home in the country is $276,717, as of May 2021. That marks a 10.6% increase from the same time last year.

Given the current market, it makes sense to go into the process prepared and arm yourself with the right team players to make sure that the buying and mortgage approval processes go on without a hitch. 

You could easily find yourself in a multiple offer situation where there are other buyers vying for the same property that you are. In cases like these, you’ll want to make sure that you are ready to complete the mortgage approval process quickly and efficiently without any hiccups. And to do that, you’ll want to already have a pre-approval letter in hand. 

But how do you go about finding the best loan officer to work with?

Finding the Best Mortgage Loan Officer For You

Generally speaking, the best mortgage loan officer’s main purpose is to help borrowers secure financing during a home purchase. That means these professionals work right alongside you and assess your financial information to help determine what type of mortgage you can get, the loan amount you can get approved for, and what interest rate you can snag.

As such, you’ll want to find someone who is trustworthy, well-versed in the world of mortgage options, and is very familiar with the local market. You’ll also want to work with someone who is easy to communicate with and responsive to your needs. 

When searching for a mortgage loan officer, look out for the following qualities:

  • Good reputation
  • Organized
  • Friendly
  • Responsive
  • Credentials
  • Cooperative
  • Willing to listen
  • Understands your needs
  • Proficient in various loan types

Overall, your mortgage loan officer should understand all the mortgage options available to you and the complexities associated with each. You’ll want a mortgage loan officer that has access to several mortgage loan options in the loan marketplace that they can clearly explain to you. 

What to Do to Find the Right Mortgage Loan Officer

The first thing you should do when you look for a mortgage loan officer is get pre-approved. You shouldn’t wait until after you’ve found a home that you want to put an offer on before getting in touch with a mortgage loan officer. 

Instead, one of your first steps is to get pre-approved for a mortgage long before you start your search for a new home. This entails submitting pertinent documentation about your financial health — including paystubs, bank statements, tax receipts, and statement of assets and liabilities, among others — so that the loan officer can assess your financial health and get you ready for final mortgage approval once you’ve found a home to buy

But in order to do that, you’ll need some help from a local mortgage lender and loan officer. 

Since you’ll want to work with someone whom you can trust and has your best interest in mind, you’ll want to find a mortgage loan officer who is not just trying to sell you something, but is looking out for you. That’s why it’s so important to do your homework to make sure to ultimately select a loan officer that suits you best.

It’s also helpful to look into the prospective mortgage loan officer’s experience in the mortgage industry. Find out how long they’ve been in the business to see what kind of experience they have. Ideally, your mortgage loan officer should have many years of loan origination experience, which will increase the odds of a successful and hassle-free transaction.

Today’s Mortgage Rates Oct, 21, Thu, 2021

How Will Mortgage Loan Officers Help Navigate Your Local Housing Market?

The best mortgage loan officer will both help you determine the type of home loan you need and assess your short- and long-term financial goals. Since there are so many mortgage loan officers out there to choose from, it can seem like a daunting task to choose just one. But it’s important that you do to ensure you choose one that is skilled and knowledgeable in the type of mortgage program you’re looking for.

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, looking to build a newly constructed home, want to downsize, are self-employed, have a low credit score, or are considering a jumbo mortgage, your loan officer can help. And it can be helpful to understand what you’re looking for so you can come up with a short list of loan officers to choose from.  

Set Realistic Expectations With Your Mortgage Loan Officer

In order to ensure that both you and your mortgage loan officer are on the same page, it’s important to set realistic expectations in terms of your financial profile, turnaround time for mortgage approval, lines of communication, appraised value of the property, and interest rate lock-in.

It also helps if your mortgage loan officer comes with a few referrals. This shouldn’t be a problem if the loan officer is experienced, works with a team of talented professionals, offers many loan options, is responsive to you, and you feel is a good fit for your situation. 

It also doesn’t hurt to conduct an online search of the loan officer you are considering working with to see what the reviews are like from previous clients. When performing an online search, however, it’s important to read as many reviews as possible to gain a better sense of what the loan officer is like, rather than just focusing on a handful of reviews. 

Loan Limits

When you apply for a home loan, there is a limit to how much you can borrow based on type of mortgage you’re taking out and the county that you are buying your home in. If the loan amount you apply for exceeds this limit, the loan will be considered a “jumbo loan.”

Both conventional and FHA loans have their own specific loan limits that are modified every year to reflect the rise in home prices.

For VA loans, loan limits were eliminated in 2020. But some borrowers may still have to comply with loan limits if they have an active VA loan or a previous default on a VA loan.

Check out our mortgage loan limit tool for conventional, FHA, and VA loans.

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Ready to Apply For a Mortgage?

Do you have questions about home loans? Are you ready to apply for a mortgage to buy a home and are looking for a mortgage loan officer to work with? If so, Sammamish Mortgage can help. We are a local mortgage company from Bellevue, Washington, serving the entire state, as well as Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado. We offer many mortgage programs to buyers all over the Pacific Northwest and have been doing so since 1992. Contact us today with any questions you have about mortgages.

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