For first time buyers the mortgage industry is unknown. This inevitably introduces the fear of ending up in a financially unstable situation. For this reason, it is beneficial to hire a mortgage broker to assist you in this process.
A mortgage broker has the technical know-how required to navigate the banking and finance field. This means that they can introduce you to the best lenders and mortgage deals on the market.
A mortgage broker will be your friend, philosopher and guide throughout the mortgaging process. Because this person’s role is so important, we will educate you on how to choose your broker wisely.
Begin your Quest with Reliable Recommendations
Your hunt to get a trusted mortgage broker will be difficult, but the best place to start is searching for word-of-mouth reviews.
Ask close friends, family members and trusted colleagues if they have recently gotten a mortgage and whether they would like to recommend their broker. You may even seek a recommendation from a well-known financial adviser, office accountant or your attorney to obtain information about possible brokers. You should also ask about their prior experiences with this broker and understand their level of credibility.
You can expect to get a lead about your potential brokers if your social connections are good and well-expanded at this initial stage. But what if your social networks are not vast enough? What if none of your acquaintances or friends could help you out with proper information?
Well, in that case, check out our next tip.
Conduct Online Research
Shift your hunt for a mortgage broker from the high streets to the online world. Many brokers have websites, online profiles and portfolios to keep pace with their tech-savvy customers. You will encounter brokers who work within a larger, more established firm as well as independent brokers. Independent brokers work on their own, not at the behest of a larger firm.
You can get in touch with brokers on sites like zillow.com. While these resources are valuable, you shouldn’t rely on the rates or reviews that you see initially. Many sites are not regularly updated with accurate information.
Interview Brokers Before Making a Decision
By this time, you should have a fair amount of information at your disposal, regarding many potential brokers.
Make a short list of brokers that you feel deserve a deal with you and make calls to schedule a few interviews. Prior to the meeting make a detailed list of questions you would like to ask. You should inquire about their years of expertise in the field, references from past clients, the percentage of succeeding with a project, typical closing times etc.
Ask your brokers how many lenders and loan packages they have on their panel. This is important because a diversified panel will offer you more options and competitive loan packages.
Some brokers will tell you rates that are not in-sync with the real rates in the mortgage industry. You will need to cross-check the rates frequently between various brokers to ensure accuracy. Use the current rates in the market as the standard to understand which broker is being honest.
Remember to keep a written note or audio record of the interview sessions to make sure you aren’t missing important points and details.
Once you are done with the interviewing process, put all your notes or records forward along with application materials to choose a professional broker. Go with your intuition and choose the broker that invokes sheer confidence in you, the prospective client.