Buying a house can be stressful. There is a lot of uncertainty around applying for a mortgage. That is why preparing for and understanding the process can decrease some of the stress of applying for a mortgage.
The pre-approval stage of getting a mortgage is typically relatively pain-free. First, a loan officer will ask you some questions and get basic verification of your income and credit score.
Getting a property under contract is a prerequisite to moving forward with the lending process because the bank will need to consider the property you are buying.
Most lenders will use what is called a 1003 Uniform Residential Loan Application. If you do not see this application and are going through a conforming loan process, there is a good chance that you are going through a bank's questionnaire.
Most people do not like going through the underwriting phase. This phase is where the loan officer takes your completed application package with all the documentation.
Once the loan is underwritten and the lender has gone through their checklist of requirements for the loan to their satisfaction, they issue a loan commitment.