Everyone Who Is Involved in the Mortgage Process
When you buy or refinance a home, you’re going to meet a lot of new people. (Luckily for those of you shopping for home loans in Charlotte, Rock Hill, Fort Mill, or anywhere nearby, those new people will likely have a lot of Southern charm!)
Get to know the different people involved in the mortgage process, so you know what to expect—and who you’ll meet—every step of the way.
Your Mortgage Professional
The first person you’ll encounter in the mortgage process is the mortgage professional. Their role is to help you find the right mortgage for your home. They may have one of the following titles:
- Mortgage loan officer
- Mortgage specialist
- Mortgage planner
- Mortgage originator
- Home loan originator
- Mortgage broker
Although there are some differences, these roles have essentially the same function: to help you, their client, get approved for the home loan that meets your needs.
These mortgage professionals are experts in mortgage options, and they know the different types of home loans you may qualify for. They’ll help you determine how much you can afford, how much of a down payment you need, and whether you’ll qualify for down payment assistance.
When you’re working with a mortgage professional, you’ll provide detailed financial information, such as income and debts. Your mortgage professional will use this information to find a home loan that fits your situation. They’ll also be able to provide you with a mortgage pre-qualification or pre-approval, which will help you make a competitive offer when shopping for homes. It will also give you an idea of how much money you can borrow for your home.
When buying a new home in North Carolina, you’ll make an offer to the seller. To show you’re serious, you’ll also put down “earnest money,” which is an amount that will go into a special account, called escrow, until the deal goes through. An escrow agent is the person tasked with ensuring your funds are held appropriately and released at the proper time.
Once you’ve decided on the right mortgage, it’s time for the loan processor to step in. The loan processor is the person who will gather up all of your documentation and paperwork for your application files. They make sure every “i” is dotted and “t” is crossed.
The loan processor might need to contact you for additional information as well, if they determine that something is missing from your loan application. That’s because it’s their job to review everything in your application, down to the tiniest details, to make sure your loan will be clear to close.
During the application process, an appraiser will go to see the home. Appraisers are trained to evaluate the value of a home that will have a mortgage on it. They will look at the size of the property, the square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and note any special or significant features about the home, among other things.
Real estate appraisals are an important part of the mortgage process. They ensure that the money borrowed is in line with the true value of the property.
You may also hire a home inspector, who has a slightly different job from the appraiser. The home inspector will give the home a detailed walkthrough to note the condition of the home. They are the person who will notify you if something is wrong with the property, which could affect your offer.
You may never meet the underwriter of your mortgage, but they’re hard at work reviewing your loan application. Mortgage underwriters are the final say in deciding whether your home loan will be approved. Their role is to judge the risk the lender will face in extending a loan to you. They carefully weigh your application, including all of those carefully prepared documents about your financial situation, to decide whether you’re a good candidate for a loan.
If you have poor credit (or no credit history at all), or if you have any red flags in your application, the underwriter may decide that you pose too great a risk of default. They may worry that you won’t be able to keep up with your mortgage payments, or that you’ll declare bankruptcy.
On the other hand, if your loan processor has helped you submit a great home loan application, the underwriter will be pleased to approve your loan—getting you one step closer to closing!
Taking steps to improve your credit score before you submit your application is a great way to help ensure your loan is approved.
There are still one or two more people who will guide your new mortgage to completion: the closing attorney (or attorneys). If you’re moving to Weddington, Wilmington, Fort Mill, or any other NC city from out-of-state, you might be expecting a title agent to attend your mortgage closing. But for North Carolina mortgages, you’ll likely encounter closing attorneys instead. That’s because it’s the law in North Carolina that real estate closings are performed by licensed lawyers.
The closing attorney will still utilize a title agency to research and review the title to make sure it is clear. If so, the title agency can then issue title insurance to protect against any unforeseen title problems.
You can hire your own closing attorney or choose one together with the seller, as long as all parties are satisfied.
Picking the right mortgage team
At Fairway Mortgage of the Carolinas, our “Fairway Family” is ready to help you achieve a quick close on the right mortgage for your needs. Visit our Loan Officer directory to connect with a mortgage professional, or begin your application process online.