Mortgage brokers are liaisons between borrowers and lenders. Brokers work with multiple lenders to help borrowers compare loan programs and features and secure financing based on individual needs. Referrals are a key way to find a qualified mortgage broker. Evaluate different brokers using criteria such as licensing, reputation and price. Interview two or three brokers before deciding on the company and individual to use.
Real Estate Agents Know Brokers
Real estate agents who are knowledgeable about available financing often work with good mortgage brokers. However, ensure that the real estate agent's referrals are objective. They should not have a personal or financial interest in recommending a specific broker. Ask them to recommend a broker who communicates effectively, charges reasonable fees and has a solid track record of closing loans on schedule. Also ask the real estate agent if you can speak with recent clients that used the recommended broker. This allows you to ask other borrowers if the broker kept the loan terms and costs as originally promised and whether the broker offered good customer service.
Seek Referrals from Trusted Homeowners
Seek referrals from your friends, colleagues and family members who have worked with a specific mortgage broker, preferably more than once. You are likely to get an honest assessment from homeowners you trust. For example, if a family member had a hard time getting a loan due to poor credit, but a mortgage broker made every effort to find her lender, ask for that broker's information. Borrowers you have a close relationship with can take the time to describe the mortgage broker’s work ethic and processes, and honestly rate the quality of service.
Evaluate Broker Representations
Analyze mortgage broker advertisements in newspapers, real estate magazines, flyers and online. Assurances of personalized services and quality of the ad itself are good indicators of a broker's prowess. On broker websites, read former client reviews for signs of dismay and praise. Search online reviews on real estate websites and your local Better Business Bureau to verify the broker's reputation. Keep this preliminary knowledge in mind when interviewing the broker and ask questions about specific complaints or experiences that stood out when you researched the broker. Their patience when answering your questions, as well as the responses themselves, are strong indicators of their professionalism.
Interviewing the Candidates
Ask brokers how many lenders they work with and loan types they can access. Ask about your eligibility for these loans, the pros and cons of the programs, and seek advice on the best option for you. Set a problem scenario and listen keenly to how the mortgage broker answers to determine level of resourcefulness. For example, if you work or travel a lot and don't have constant internet or phone access, or if you need assistance in a foreign language, how will the broker overcome these potential obstacles throughout the loan process?
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