You drive by a busy corner, and you see that several gas stations all charge different prices for the same kind of gas. You’re in a rush, so it may not be worth your time to pull into the one with the cheapest gas just to save a few cents a gallon.

It’s important to shop around for the right home, but it’s equally important to shop around for the right mortgage. When it comes to mortgages, shopping around for a better rate could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Our research indicates that borrowers could save an average of $1,500 over the life of the loan by getting one additional rate quote and an average of about $3,000 for five quotes.

Yet, nearly half of consumers don’t shop for better rates before taking out a mortgage. In fact, if buyers had compared mortgages from five lenders before they applied, savings would total about $776 million in a year. While it can be tempting to accept your first offer, talking to just one more lender may keep some of your hard-earned money in your pocket

How can you secure a good rate?

First, you’ll want to determine which type of mortgage is best for you. There are two main types of mortgages – fixed-rate and adjustable-rate – that have their own set of features and benefits that need to be carefully considered.

Once you decide which mortgage product is best for you, it’s time to shop, compare, and ask questions By talking to more than one mortgage lender—ideally, three to five—you’re much more likely to get a better interest rate and save money in both the short and long term. With lower monthly payments and lower fixed fees, the loan will be more affordable and you’ll have more money in your pocket. Not a bad return for a few phone calls or clicks on the internet.

It’s important to compare all loan offers apples-to-apples so be sure to review your Loan Estimates carefully. If you don’t understand some of the loan features, ask! The more you understand, the better prepared you will be to decide which loan is best for you. After you have worked with your lender to determine the best mortgage, lock your rate to help ensure your interest rate won’t change between the rate lock and closing.

You may get your best rate from your first lender—but the more you shop around, the more information you will gain, and ultimately you can be more confident with your decision. A home is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your lifetime, it will pay off if you research your options

Article courtesy of FREDDIE MACand should not be considered as advice

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