According to several dictionaries, an interview can be used to “question or talk with someone to get information or to evaluate qualifications.”

That’s it, super simple. Yet, far from it.

If you think about it, how many times a day do you engage in some form of interviewing, without realizing you are doing such.

It could be with a new neighbor, co-worker, significant other or typically in any situation where you are looking to make a purchase.

That’s why it’s important for you to be able to ask the right questions and, of course, to listen carefully as well.

When you apply for a home loan, you are absolutely getting interviewed by your lending professional to determine your overall eligibility and to better understand your goals for what you are trying to accomplish with the money that you borrow from a bank.

But guess what, you should be interviewing your mortgage consultant too. Here are a few questions to ask during your loan interview:

1) Are you licensed?

Duh, they better be. However, it’s common for unlicensed assistants to work on your file and that’s totally fine provided they are helping you the right way.

Nonetheless, it’s best to know who will be involved and to what capacity they can directly help you because unlicensed loan activities are strictly prohibited.

2) Are you a banker or broker or both?

Unless you walked directly into your bank for a home loan, then it’s not as obvious. In today’s lending environment, there are numerous advantages and disadvantages to working with only a banker or a pure broker or a hybrid banker-broker.

It really depends on your application and your comfort level for whom it is that you are working with to get your loan done.

Either way, you still want to probe a bit further here and have them explain why their resources are better aligned to help you than those of a competing model.

3) Do you work here in town?

This is another question that comes with plenty of pros and cons as well. For some of you, this could be a deal-breaker if you are unable to see or visit with the person who is arranging your home loan.

Although for others, you might not care or simply don’t have time to meet with anyone face to face.

4) How do I know you?

After you’ve uncovered their license status, location and learned more about their business model, now it’s time to dive deeper into their personal side.

If you were referred to them, how do they know that person who referred you and what’s the connection?

Plus, it doesn’t hurt to check on any of their reviews, community involvements and length of time or experience they have in the business. Then again, this might not matter for some of you.

There are tons of questions you could ask, not just about rates, that may ultimately play a big role in determining how your home loan experience pans out.

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Chris Salese can be reached at chris@delsurmortgage.com or 707-363-4439. He is a licensed California mortgage lender (LO NMLS #254469 — CA-DBO #254469 Corp NMLS #1850 Equal Housing Opportunity.