FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – If you don’t have a bag full of cash to buy your first or next home, you’ll more than likely need a loan.

If you haven’t don’t this before, keep in mind it is a process involving several steps and documentation.

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If you have done it before, you should know in this competitive DFW housing market things have changed.

Cory Martilla with Supreme Lending says for starters, there is a short list of documents any prospective borrower needs to have on hand.

“Pay stubs, W-2’s, consistent two-year work history, any gaps greater than six months need to be addressed,” said Martilla.

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He said one of the biggest challenges right now is meeting the countless requests from borrowers to close on a house quickly so they can land their bid.

They can close on a house and approve a loan in 15 days, but only if all the paperwork is done up front and not later in the process as is typical.

“We have learned that if we don’t vet this stuff out up front we’re going to have complications delivering on our promise,” said Martilla.

Mortgage lenders report the most common blunder from novice borrowers is not bringing the proper documentation to verify income, assets, and credit.

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The process usually starts with an application for a loan, a pre-approval, a conditional approval, underwriting, an appraisal of the property and finally your closing with the buyer and title company.