Using online mortgage quotes to your advantage

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

Many potential mortgage borrowers spend time on mortgage websites in preparation for shopping offline. The check these sites to see if they will qualify, to decide what kind of mortgage best meets their needs, and whether they want to buy down the rate by paying points or pay a higher rate to get a cash rebate.Potential borrowers also visit the Web for another reason: To get mortgage prices they can use in shopping offline. Many borrowers think that the way to select a loan officer or mortgage broker (I will refer to them as "LOs" throughout this column) is to find a price online and ask prospective LOs if they can beat it. In fact, this is a useless exercise because LOs can't be held to price quotes; almost all LOs will respond with some version of "No problem, I can beat that," whether they can or not. If the price you quote is ridiculously low, the honest LOs will pass, leaving you to select among the liars. I hasten to add that a borrower can use pric...