If you plan to finance your home purchase, start the mortgage loan process well before buying a home, even before the bidding process. If you begin with a pre-qualifying letter from your lender it will give you an advantage, particularly if the market is a competitive one.
Investigate loan options that best suit you. Talk to financial institutions, mortgage companies and/or savings and loan institutions to see what types of loans are available, and compare rates. Use an experienced real estate agent who has a good working relationship with a variety of lenders.
When you have settled on the type of loan and the loan institution, get pre-approved and get a pre-approval letter. To do this, a loan officer will review your credit files and discuss with you how much you can borrow. This will help you know the price range you can consider when shopping.
Having a reduced debt load and a good credit history will be helpful in getting a better loan rate. You may wish to discuss with your financial institution ways to improve your credit score to get a better rate.
Show your pre-approval letter to your real estate agent when you begin shopping for a home.