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How To Choose Your Mortgage Broker

 

We’ve mentioned this before but it always deserves to be said that connecting with a mortgage broker should be your first stop once you decide you’re ready to buy. They come before the house search, the realtor, or attorney. Because until you know what kind of budget and approval you’re working with, you won’t get far in your search. 

What Is a Mortgage Broker?

A mortgage broker is someone who will work as an intermediary between you and a lender. They don’t work for the lender but instead will ensure they work to find you the best possible rate and terms. Typically, you’ll meet to go over your finances, income, credit score, and other key variables. Then, they’ll help you consider your options.

What a Mortgage Broker Does

After talking with them and answering a lot of fairly personal questions about your finances (we all go through it!), your loan officer will show you your loan product options. Keep in mind that just as when you choose a credit card or a car loan, you’re choosing a product—hopefully one that serves you best out of all the possible choices. A good mortgage officer will patiently walk you through all the offers so you can make an informed decision.

What a Mortgage Broker Will Cost

Their services aren’t free, however, and their payment may be paid either by the lender or by the borrower. If you pay the broker, the fee is typically about 1% of the loan amount (though this does vary). If the lender pays the broker, that can sometimes result in the broker favoring that lender, decreasing your options and sometimes ensuring you don’t get the best deal. You can ask your broker up front how they are paid.

What Else You Should Ask Your Mortgage Broker

Some good things to ask your potential broker include:

-How many lenders do you work with?

-What are my chances of getting a good loan?

-What can you offer me that is worth paying you and not doing this on my own?

-Can you put me in touch with any former clients?

Your broker shouldn’t be thrown by any of these questions and should be able to answer them without hedging. It’s also important to note that some people choose to go the no-broker route. The pro is that you aren’t adding the additional broker expense but the con is that you may not get the best deal and the process can be time-consuming. It all depends on your comfort level.

Look For Someone You Like Who Is a Team Player

You’re going to be talking with your loan office a lot. So you should make sure this is someone you feel comfortable with. No, you’re not looking for a new friend, but they should treat you with respect and patience. It helps if you like their personality too. Why? Because aside from you, your broker essentially becomes a member of a team working on your behalf, right alongside your attorney and buyer’s agent. If they exude in-it-for-themselves attitude or offer glib answers, they probably won’t be a team player. And you’ll need your team’s full support throughout this process. 

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