I know the mortgage process is confusing, especially for first-time homebuyers. So I think it's helpful to clearly explain all the steps.
Step 1: Pre-Approval/Application -- Before you can obtain a home loan, you must be approved for one. Pre-approval is often the first meeting with a lender. Before you go, bring these eight critical documents to ensure a smooth application process.
Step 2: Processing -- Next, a processor reviews your application and verifies your employment, income and assets like bank statements (for example, to ensure you have enough money for a down payment). The lender also orders an appraisal (value) of the property and reviews your credit report.
Step 3: Underwriting -- Then, the underwriter analyzes all the info provided by the processor. The underwriter wants to make sure the application meets all loan program criteria. Only the underwriter can issue a loan approval.
Step 4: Closing -- Finally, a person called a "closer" ensures the title is within the loan guidelines. The closer also prepares final documents, which include the amount you need to bring to the closing table.
Once you sign all the documents...the house is yours!