One of the most important decisions you can make when starting the home buying process is choosing a honest and reliable loan officer. The loan officer is going to be handling all your private financial information and seeing you through the financing of your new home. A knowledgeable loan officer is priceless during the home buying process.
When choosing which loan officer to use there are several factors to consider. One of the most important is being able to sit down with the loan officer face to face. Would you use a doctor that you met over the internet and never go to their office? I didn't think so! You want someone who has to answer to you. Your real estate agent is meeting with you and showing you homes, shouldn't your loan officer also be meeting with you? Secondly, how experienced is the loan officer? If your loan officer has to ask their superiors if they can do your loan, you may want to consider someone else. Experienced loan officers know what loans they can do and how to do them without asking someone else in their company.
You want your home to close on schedule and that is the loan officer's job! As long as all the documentation requested is supplied in a timely manner, there shouldn't be any delays. There's nothing worse than getting to the closing table only to find out your home isn't closing because the underwriter puts the brakes on because the loan wasn't done correctly. This puts the entire buying process at risk!
If a real estate agent gives you the name of a lender, check that lender out before just going with them. Many loan officers try to get business by taking real estate agents out for lunch or giving them promotional items. If the agent has worked with that loan officer in the past, they should have a list of satisfied clients they can let you contact. Also ask your real estate agent who financed their own home. If they didn't use the lender they are referring, find out why? Word of mouth referrals are some of the best in the business!