Mortgage brokers have been on the real estate scene for a relatively short period of time. In this short period of time some have managed to make a bad name for themselves but it is important to remember that not all mortgage brokers are bad. A mortgage broker can be an invaluable partner in your home-buying process, so finding a good one is important. It shouldn’t be that hard, either, if you know what to look for. Here are some things to note when looking for a mortgage broker.
- Look for a mortgage broker who does not charge you any fees upfront, but instead takes his commission at closing. Mortgage brokers get paid when you do, not before.
- Look for a mortgage broker who explains financial terms and jargon to you in a clear manner as many times as you need. If they don’t, they may be trying to use your ignorance to their advantage.
- Look for a mortgage broker who will redo your financial number crunching as many times as you ask. It is important for both you and your broker to have a firm grasp on your financial status as doing so gives you an advantage in seeking the right loan. Don’t be afraid to ask for explanation until you understand it. Understanding the numbers can mean saving hundreds or thousands of dollars.
- Look for a broker who is available. Applying for a mortgage is a long, complex process. You don’t ever want to be left out on limb or unprepared when a lender makes you an offer or changes the offer. You want your mortgage broker to be there and available to handle these situations.
- Look for a broker who is intelligent and knowledgeable. Again, applying for a mortgage is a long, complex process. If your mortgage broker doesn’t understand, he can’t help you understand it. Then you’re basically paying someone for only doing half a job. Notice I said intelligent and knowledgeable. You want your broker who understands more than just the numbers; you want a broker who understands the local market. Often, non-local lenders will have questions about small things an application that need a regional explanation (for instance, many homes in Southern Arizona have termites), and they will hold up your application until they get an answer. You want a broker who can provide answers to these questions quickly.
- Look for a mortgage broker who works with a good number of lenders. One of the primary reasons for working with a mortgage broker is so that they can shop around and get you the best rates and terms available. If your broker only works a few lenders, you may as well go to a bank – it’ll save you money.
- Finally, look for a mortgage broker you like and can trust. Do a gut check. If something tells you not to work with the broker, then don’t. You will be spending a lot of time with the person and entrusting them with a lot of sensitive personal information. The relationship will be a disaster if you can’t stand or trust the person.