When shopping for a mortgage online these days you generally have two options: You can go to each individual bank or lender’s site, plug in your info, and get their offers one at a time, or, if you don’t have a month and a half to spare, you can visit an online comparison-shopping site.
Comparison shopping sites are super useful. Individual lenders all have their own formats and ways of calculating and presenting their loan offers. So if you go to each one individually, you may not be comparing the exact numbers for each company’s loan details. With multi-lender broker sites, you can compare offers from multiple lenders quickly and easily.
What’s more, if you’re dealing with a site doing things the right way, you can be sure you will be comparing accurate prices that we’re all obtained from lenders in the same fashion.
So how do you know if a given multi-lender site is doing things the right way?
Firstly, the quotes on these sites should be fully-adjusted and complete prices. Complete prices include added fees, and minimum and maximum rates on adjustable rate mortgages. Fully adjusted means the site should be asking you all the questions that will influence the price. This includes credit score, location, down payment, property type, etc.
The quotes should also be live, meaning real time updated prices directly from the lender.
Also, the prices on a multi-lender site should be obtained directly from the lender’s internal system and not be inputted by loan officers. Verify the site you are working with is not using loan officers as they tend to feature lower quotes to lure you in then increase the price.
It’s also important to understand the lender isn’t 100% committed to your price until it is locked. This can take a few days during which time it will fluctuate with the market. Good mortgage exchange sites allow you to monitor your price until it is finalized.
If you don't want to go through the trouble of comparing lenders one by one, industry leader and our advertising partner LendingTree is a good place to start. Just keep in mind the company might not follow such exacting criteria in terms of real time numbers, price monitoring, and personal information. But they do save you time. If you go with LendingTree and you know the right questions to ask, you're going to be set up for success!