Choosing the Right Lender

When starting your home search, people often get the advice to speak with a lender first. I disagree with that logic as I feel that the realtor is the lead of your real estate team. The realtor should be the person who can put you in contact and help build the rest of your team, including and starting with your lender. 

The lender is a very important piece of the puzzle. Finding the right lender involves more than just getting the lowest interest rate. You want to make sure you’re working with a mortgage professional that has a team behind them to not only get you to the settlement table on time but also guide you through the process. 

Not only does a great lender help with navigating the mortgage landscape for you, they also help with negotiations in a competitive market. You’ll generally end up finding the lowest interest online. However, those companies can be an absolute bear to work with and can potentially put you in a position where you don’t get to settlement on time or keep you from winning the deal in the first place. Same can be the case with a big bank or credit union. 

I suggest working with a local lender that your realtor recommends and has a relationship with. Below are a few reasons why I make this suggestion and things that they should be able to do for you:

  • They have a relationship with your realtor and don’t want to tarnish that relationship. This is significantly different than working with a large organization where you’re just a number or a name without a face. 
  • Their name is their business. These lenders generally operate off of referrals. Getting you to close on your terms within your timeline is essential to their business. 
  • They should have their underwriting in house so they can move quickly. In a hot market you won’t be able to compete with a 30 plus day settlement. You want to have the option to move quickly. 
  • You want to be able to reach them on the weekends. If you’re submitting an offer, the listing agent generally wants to be able to speak with the lender before accepting your offer. 
  • Because of all of the reasons noted above, local lenders are better for negotiation purposes. There is a chance that the listing agent might even know of the local lender which is very beneficial. 
  • They should be able to put you on a fast track to improving your credit. Even if it’s already good you may be able to get better rates if you improve it a bit. 
  • They should be able to offer you multiple options and act as an advisor to figure out which loan option is best for you. 

With such a large financial decision, having the right team members on board is important. 

Pro Tip: The lender that you choose makes a BIG difference in a competitive market. At least interview the lender that your realtor recommends. 

Check out these previous articles that may answer some questions that this post may have sparked: 

  • Down Payment Myths
  • What Record Low Interest Rates Mean For You

If you have specific questions or would like to set up an in-person meeting to discuss your scenario, please call or email me directly at 703-915-2244 / [email protected]. If you enjoyed this post and would like access to more of my articles/videos, visit the video/blog section of my website at:


Jason Curry

Licensed Realtor: VA & DC

J Curry Group at KW Metro Center

2101 Wilson Blvd #100

Arlington, VA 22201


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About the Author

Jason Curry, founding owner of the J Curry Group, based in Arlington, VA, has a long record of successfully guiding his clients through the home buying and selling process. He epitomizes integrity, energy, hard work, and creative service in every detail of your residential real estate transaction and he has represented sellers, buyers, and investors. Jason is annually a top producer in the area and is respected among clients and colleagues. Jason specializes in applying his expertise and market knowledge to residential properties that consistently exceed the personal and investment goals of his clients. He recognizes the importance of customer service in the real estate industry, and has developed systems and processes to ensure pleased and profitable clients. Grateful for an amazing group of neighborhood friends and contacts, Jason makes sure that new residents are welcomed in a way that has become customary in the Northern Virginia area. Jason is a lifelong resident of the DMV and is a proud alum of George Mason University where he earned his Bachelors degree.