Why have mortgage rates been low lately? And what are the determining factors for the rates?

We are planning to refinance our house, and we want to get an idea on when to lock a rate and apply for a loan form the bank.

If a mortgage expert gave me an interest rate based on a good faith estimate, and that interest rate doesn’t match what I have heard (I have extra great credit scores), should I shop around? How can I determine current interest rates? Also, if I have signed initial paper work with a mortgage officer, but not closed on the loan (we are waiting on an appraisal), am I locked in with him, or can I still shop around?
yes, it is a refinance. thank you!

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