How do lenders work in terms of pre-approval?

I’m in southern California looking to borrow $ 260K in loan amount. I’ve looking around for various lenders with the best interest-rate. I see there are banks (Wamu, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, etc) and then there are lending companies that also do pre-approval. Well, I was using LendingTree and found matches that were with lenders outside of my state. One of which is Advance Mortgage Corp.

Now, what I don’t understand is, how does this work if I can’t meet with them face-to-face in my area? So, I can be pre-approved by a company in Utah, but how will the finanicial work if they’re not a bank? I’m confused on how national lending company works.

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