1) Buyers need to interview their prospective lender to see not only what is needed and what they qualify for (they all do that), but to see how the lender communicates, how interested the representative is in them and how responsive s/he appears to be. Now more than ever buyers need a lender who really does care about them. Part of this judgment will stem from the types of questions the lender asks the buyers. Are the questions proactive and far-reaching? Do the questions show that everything that can be done up front will be done up front. The last thing you need in today's market is a procrastinator. That can actuallykill the deal.
2) On the transaction side (escrow, working with your realtor) nothing is more important than communication. Your realtor and lender work as a team for your benefit and nothing else. If any new program or opportunity arises, your lender should be in touch with you first (you're the client) and immediately thereafter with your realtor. If an issue arises during escrow, it is critical that the lender communicate quickly and thoroughly with you and your realtor. Important and many times money-saving decisions will need to be made under deadline. Those are my criteria as I work with lenders and have seen mistakes buyers have made, as well as lenders (and realtors). There are overall guidelines that are also important to be aware of. Some things range from the type of loan that is best for you (fixed rate, 30 year, 15 year, FHA, etc.), but aside from the variety of loans available to you, these items are not the initial ones to be discussed while interviewing lenders. Here are the guidelines in an article from the National Association of Realtors .