Timing is key when locking home loan

How lenders set their prices may surprise you

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The first article in this series indicated that borrowers shopping for a mortgage are obliged to select a lender before the price is "locked." As a result, borrowers in shopping mode are vulnerable to lowballing — the practice of quoting a price below the market as a way of influencing the shopper’s selection.

Borrowers who have already selected a lender but have not yet been locked are vulnerable to an overcharge at lock, explained to them as being caused by "changes in the market price." And borrowers who have been locked may overpay if the property appraisal comes in higher than the valuation used to price the loan, and the lender conveniently ignores it.