1. Interest Rates
Lender advertised mortgage rates are usually the rates for the highest qualified buyers (credit score above 740) and in many cases with a 20% down payment. Serious buyers should always confirm the loan type and current interest rate for that loan, during the pre- approval process (never shop for a home without first attaining a full lender “Pre- Approval” letter. A “Pre-Qualification” letter is not as good as a pre-approval letter).
2. Interest Rate Lock
You do not and can not actually lock (guarantee) your mortgage interest rate until you have a fully signed and executed agreement of sale on a property. This is the point when you make your formal mortgage application and lock (guarantee) your rate. Your “rate lock” is typically valid for 30 – 60 days. In most instances you will want to “close‟ or “settle‟ the transaction with the seller in this time period.