10 Things to Look for in a Mortgage Broker
While looking for a home, most people will know the struggle of finding the best terms for their mortgage. From complicated mathematics to obscure terms, no one is safe from the onslaught of mortgage mumbo jumbo. That’s why many people turn to mortgage brokers to do the dirty work for them.
But how do you choose the right one? How do you know your broker won’t saddle you up with an expensive loan for their own personal interests? In this article, we’ll discuss ten ways you can know a good mortgage broker. Hopefully, we’ll answer some of your questions about choosing a broker while we’re at it.
1. Good Client Reviews
When you’re looking for a mortgage broker, there are seven magic words: “May I speak to a former client?”
Interviewing former clients and asking them about the terms of their mortgage is a great way to get to know your mortgage broker. If a broker is hesitant to let you speak to one, you should probably go elsewhere.
Keep in mind- mortgage brokers will want to make themselves look as good as possible. You’ll likely be getting a biased sample. If you put in some research, though, you can likely find former clients or client reviews on the internet.
You would read the reviews for a blender- so why not a mortgage broker?
2. Lots of Experience
In the world of mortgage brokering, experience is key. Sure, everyone has to start somewhere, but for your big loans, you’re going to want only the best of brokers.
The name of the game in brokering a mortgage is bringing a wide range of offers to the table. With experience in the market, a seasoned broker will be able to sniff out bigger mortgages with better terms.
Whatever your needs, an experienced broker will be able to bring a satisfactory mortgage to the table.
3. Knowledge of Your Mortgage Options
To really serve you right, a mortgage broker will have to know all available options. While this isn’t usually a problem- mortgage brokers are trained professionals- you’re going to want to get versed.
Learn the different kinds of mortgages available for different types of people. If your mortgage broker has trouble keeping up with you, they’re a dead ringer to negotiate a subpar mortgage.
Stock your arsenal with all the terms and bits of knowledge you need to interrogate your broker. We’re not saying you have to put them on the spot- just get to know them.
4. Attention to Your Financial Situation
To really serve you right, a mortgage broker must be attentive to your financial situation. Different finances will allow for different terms- and different terms mean more money saved. If a mortgage broker is nonchalant about your financial situation, you might want to look around some more. Attention to finances is key to brokering an excellent mortgage in this day and age.
5. Good Rates
Mortgage brokers are usually paid as a percentage of the loan secured. So, for example, if a broker gets you a $200,000 loan, you might have to pay $2,000 for the service.
Finding the best rates for these services is essential if you’re trying to save some money. Yes, it involves possibly hours of tedious research. But, if you work for the money you earn- why not the money you save?
Make sure to compare rates and find the lowest prices for the best-reviewed brokers. It could save your savings account.
6. Minimal Hidden Fees
When looking over a broker’s terms, make sure to read their entire contract- the whole thing. There might be hidden fees hiding in the fine print.
This is a scam we know from even the most reputable institutions- from big banks to cable service providers. Hidden fees can jump out at you like a monster in a cheesy horror movie. The consequences here, though, are much more dire than a mere jumpscare.
To keep your savings account intact and prevent hidden fees from digging into it, do your reading. Getting your homework done greatly decreases the chance that you’ll fall prey to dishonest fees.
7. Avoid Pushy Brokers
In the door, out the door. Sign right here, here, and here. If you start feeling like you’re being rushed through a drive-thru, you’re going to want to pull out.
A real mortgage broker understands that their clients will need time and space to make an important decision. If they’re really the best, they’ll have nothing to fear. After all, they’ve got the best rates and the most experience.
Less reputable brokers may try to suck you in before you know what’s happening. They’ll use lots of jargon, answer questions indirectly, and generally make you feel as though you have no choice but to agree to a contract.
Never go into business with a pushy broker- it’s a sign of insecurity on the broker’s part, which can signal subpar services.
8. Get Pre-Approved
Preapproval for a loan is an enormous advantage when looking for a good mortgage. Many brokers can get companies to waive fees and other costs, which can also help save you hundreds to thousands of dollars.
If you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, you’re going to want a broker who can get you preapproved. Ask your broker about preapproval before entering into any contracts.
9. Review Terms
This is another homework issue. Other dangers are lurking in contracts besides hidden fees. Make sure you check out the whole deal for any weird stipulations and ask your broker about anything you don’t understand. Do your research on terms in mortgage brokering, and you’ll be gliding through contracts like they’re nothing.
10. Fitting Qualifications
If you’re looking for the best, you’re going to want the best background. Request a list of qualifications and licenses. Ask what kinds of people a broker is used to serving. Brokering may seem like a similar process across the board, but for people of different financial standings, it can be a vastly different process.