Make sure you know the difference between a mortgage lender and a mortgage broker.

Mortgage brokers find mortgage lenders for you rather than lending directly (think of them as mortgage “personal shoppers”). Mortgage brokers have access to various lenders and can therefore provide you with more choices, but they charge fees. Also, mortgage brokers don’t always make it clear that they are brokers rather than lenders, so you may need to clarify. If they are mortgage brokers, ask what the fees are and how they will be paid. And don’t hesitate to use several mortgage brokers at once, or a combination of mortgage brokers and mortgage lenders. In other words, don’t count on mortgage brokers to do all the work for you — you have to do the shopping yourself to find the best mortgage.

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