A mortgage broker should be your partner in finding a lender to give you the best loan terms. But, you might not know what differentiates a good broker from a bad one if you hire one infrequently.
In this article, we’ll help you by covering some good rules to follow before you sign on to work with a mortgage broker.
It’s not every day that you need the services of a mortgage broker, so if you haven’t dabbled in real estate at all, you might not know what a mortgage broker truly is. Let’s first define what they are and what they do.
A mortgage broker hires a potential homeowner to act as an intermediary between themselves and lenders. If you’re not confident that you can negotiate better loan terms for yourself, then a mortgage broker might be someone you want to hire. So, does that mean you can’t get a mortgage from a lender if you don’t have a mortgage broker working for you? Not really.
However, a mortgage broker’s knowledge and network make things much more convenient. They help save you time and effort since you have a life outside of screening potential lenders. A mortgage broker can take that work off your hands so that you can come back to them and get the best deals and have a choice of lenders. Now that you know what a mortgage broker does, let’s discuss the do’s and don’ts when working with one.
Let’s first cover the do’s of working with a mortgage broker.
Just because they advertise that they have mortgage brokerage services doesn’t mean you should hire them. It’s a good idea to research a little first. The most important part of working with a mortgage broker is choosing the perfect broker for your needs. According to the Top Brokers Hub website, researching the track record of your mortgage broker can help you a lot. By searching for top brokers in your location, for example, Auckland mortgage brokers you can compare companies before making a decision.
As with anything you will spend money on, researching first will help avoid working with risky business. It will not only save you money, but it will also save you time and resources. Part of your research should involve taking advantage of whatever free consultations or initial meetings these brokers offer. This step lets you gauge their knowledge level, professionalism, and whether they align with your financial objectives. Sometimes, it’s just a way to realize if you feel like working with them. Since you may be working with them on something as crucial as mortgage loan terms, you should go through all these steps to avoid a significant future headache.
If you’re going in for that initial meeting with a potential mortgage broker, use that opportunity to ask discerning questions. Ideally, they should be related to your specific situation. For example, if you’re interested in getting a remortgaging for whatever reason, it’s a good idea to ask them about that first.
Other questions worth asking would be:
- Who are their go-to lenders?
- Why do they prefer these lenders over others?
- How to apply for loans through them?
- What are their compensation terms?
These fundamental questions can let you know whether you think they’re worth working with or not.
Always shop around before settling for a mortgage broker. Usually, the mortgage broker would get a certain percentage of the loan agreement they helped foster. Consider their years of experience and the terms you think they could get for you to see whether their rates are worthwhile. Sometimes, the more expensive one can give you a hugely favorable loan term than the cheaper broker. Nonetheless, it would be great if you could get the mortgage broker with the lower percentage cut out of it.
Asking them for their credentials during the meeting is crucial, but it’s also a good idea to look for it yourself whenever possible. After all, a not-so-reliable mortgage broker can always fake it. You can look for them on official registries to ensure that they are who they say they are. It’s a simple Google search sometimes, so do that step first.
If you’re at the end of the negotiations, you want to ensure the mortgage broker can settle the documents and requirements on time. Therefore, once you’ve agreed to work with a mortgage broker, asking them about their projected timeline for loan closing is a good idea. You wouldn’t want to miss out on a favorable deal because you failed to pass the proper requirements through the mortgage broker on time.
Now that you know the do’s, let’s talk about what you shouldn’t do when you want to work with a mortgage broker.
If you did your research and have an ideal lender or financial institution where you want your mortgage loan to come from, ensure your broker can negotiate with them. Some lenders might have a particular set of mortgage brokers they work with, and you wouldn’t want to sign anything off with a broker that might not even be able to negotiate with the lender of your choice.
Some tips from mortgage brokers that they can tell you to be mindful of would be to see if the mortgage broker you want to hire has a conflict of interest when working with a lender. Other mortgage brokers might have a deal with lenders wherein they want to get the most they can from you, so they might recommend a home loan you couldn’t afford to pay in the long run. You want to ensure you have a clear financial understanding of your capabilities to avoid this broker.
Sometimes, you don’t want to work with a mortgage broker because they treat you more like another number in their number of clients than a human being. A home is a major purchase, and a mortgage is a long-term and significant financial burden on you. If you feel your mortgage broker isn’t paying enough attention to your needs and understanding your financial capabilities, then there’s no harm in opting not to work with them.
There should be regulations that protect you as a client from mortgage brokers cutting deals with the lenders. However, there might still be some conflict of interest that could result in them not giving you the best value, whether they do it consciously or not. That’s why you shouldn’t be too concerned with shopping around first and finding the right mortgage broker.
Knowing these do’s and don’ts when working with mortgage brokers should help you be prepared to screen these brokers until you find one that would be a delight to work with throughout the process. Thus, ensure you don’t compromise, take your time, and use this article to guide your mortgage broker-hunting process.