Now that you understand the differences between lender types, it’s a good time to reach out to one of each. Why reach out to three if you only need one? Think of it as shopping around for the lender with the best overall deal and the highest level of service. Once you’re ready to put an offer on a house, you won’t have time to do this, so it’s best to get your Loan Officer lined up first.

We asked top Loan Officers across the country ways that prospective homebuyers can screen a potential partner in an appropriate, transparent, and fair way. Here’s the consensus from the “best of the best”.


Mortgage Brokers

Run an online search with the National Association of Mortgage Brokers. Just put in your city and it will list nearby brokers for you to contact.

Mortgage Bankers

Start by contacting the bank or credit union where you already have a checking or savings account.

Correspondent Lenders

You’ll need to hunt around online for a little bit. Unfortunately, there’s no independent database of names to search through. So we suggest simply Googling the words “correspondent lender” and the name of your city.

Get your agent’s recommendation

In the past, Steve’s clients have successfully worked with the following preferred lender(s) or loan officer(s).

Mark Friedrich
Waterstone Mortgage


Once you’ve got some names and email addresses from Steve, shoot each Loan Officer the following note. (You can copy and paste it to save some time.)

Dear [Loan Officer],

I’m in the market to buy a home, but I know it’s important to get a Loan Officer lined up early in the process. I heard about you from [my agent, a friend, Doorsteps, etc].

I was wondering if you could send me a transaction profile or estimate using the MLS number of a property that I have selected.

Although this likely isn’t the actual house I ultimately intend to buy, it’s the right price range and in the city where I expect to look. Obviously, I know that when I’m finally ready to make an offer, certain rate-dependent things will have changed. That’s okay, since my plan is to simply use this “example” property as a way for us to discuss what I can expect if we work together.

I know your time is valuable, but if you don’t mind this exercise, it’s a great way for me to make a choice early enough in the process. Let me know if you’d be willing to consider this and I will immediately email you all the information you’ll need to know from me to put together a “mock” offer, including my credit score, job status, and so on. And, of course, the suggested MLS number.


Once you’ve got some Loan Officers willing to go through the exercise, copy your Lender Profile below and paste it into an email to each of them. We’ve pulled a Sample Listing from one of your Listings to use for your “mock” estimate. Compare what each Loan Officer sends back and ask each of them to walk you through it, line by line.

Note: If you’re collaborating with your partner, you’ll only see the primary account holder’s information below.

Phone Number:

[Fill in Answer]
Email Address:
Preferred Contact Method:

Best Contact Time:

Moving From:

[Fill in Answer]
Moving To:

[Fill in Answer]
Price Range:

[Fill in Answer]
Credit Score:

[Fill in Answer]
Moving By:

06/09/2016 – 08/09/2016
Expected Timeframe in New Home (years):

[Fill in Answer]


The last thing you need to do is make your choice. You’ve got a mix of tangible evidence (the transaction profiles), as well as good indications of professionalism and service. Now it’s time to let the “winner” know that they’re the Loan Officer you’d like to use.

Just input their name and email address here, and then reach out to them again to start the official Pre-Approval process.

Wondering what Pre-Approval is? We’ll guide you through that, too. Onwards to the next step!

Lender Information