Buying a home or an investment property, planning to Refinance your existing loan or consolidating your debts is never an easy step…. even for financial service professionals!!
In today’s age of internet when everything is just few clicks away, why is it so hard and tedious to find the right deal?. It’s mainly because of having so many financial institutes – Tier1/Tier 2 banks, building societies and credit unions, retail lenders and now we have digital banks and fintech. Each of these offering different products, features, interest rates and fees, making it really complicated for a customer to make a decision.
If you go online, there will be so many products, websites, offers to compare and choose from that you’ll be confused in just few hours of research. You can’t rely on the suggestions from your friends and families – not because you can’t trust them but how do you know that what worked for them is the right option for you as well because your financial situation and goal can be completely different from theirs. Going to your bank is also not a great option because they wouldn’t know or prefer not to tell that their competitor has a better offer.
Mortgage brokers can be one very good option to help you navigate through this complex market and help you make right decision. Read more on why you should use a mortgage broker. They are obligated to offer you the best product keeping in mind your unique situation and financial goals. They’ll do the heavy lifting for you to scan the market and get you the options that are right for you…and best part is that this service is completely free for you.
But now the big question is how do you choose the right mortgage broker – do you go buy the number of loans they write in a year, or do you rely on the online customer reviews, or you look at the number of years of experience. There is no right or wrong answer here, but if you use these 5 steps during your shortlisting process, your chances of getting to the right broker definitely increases and your entire process becomes seamless –
- Shortlisting: Word of mouth – As a first step, ask your friends, family and office colleagues for references and also check with them what did they like about that mortgage broker from their experience. Was it the proactive communication, better market reach, best interest rates, or just the special personal touch in their interaction. All these will become important factors to make your entire home loan experience good or bad.
- Shortlisting: Online research – Next important step in shortlisting is to do your research for the references you have received. The good thing about this step is that you might find a broker who deserves to be in your list and was not referred by your known ones. Check out their websites, read about their About Us page, lenders on their panel and online reviews. By the end of this process you should have minimum 2 and not more than 3 shortlisted brokers.
- Assessing: Give them a call or catch-up over a coffee – Now you have short listed brokers, next step will be to know them better, give them a call or catch-up over a coffee. Understand their background, what is their specialty (if any), their approach to lending etc. Intent is to validate the feedback you have collected on the internet and get a first hand knowledge and experience because you know better than anyone else that who you can work with as it’s a long-term partnership. There are lot of online resources available to find your borrowing power, but discuss it with the shortlisted brokers and let them get back you with your borrowing power and some market offers. This will not only give you a very good idea of how responsive each one of them are but will tell you the quality of deals they have.
- Assessing: Evaluate Responses – Next step will be to compare their responses, offers, fee, early termination clauses and interest rates. At this stage you’ll get a fair idea of who is more responsive, who understands your situation better and who has better market reach. Depending upon your unique situation and requirement you can create a list of top factors for you and assess each of the broker against that.
- Decision: Make the decision, pick the one you are more comfortable, one you think you can work for longer time and has better access to market.
It’s an important financial and professional relationship and can save you lot of money in short and long term. Like any other relationship trust is utmost important for this one as well. You will be sharing all your personal and financial details and will be working together for a long term. Spend enough time following these steps and you’ll have much better chances of having a smooth experience throughout the lending process. It’s also a great idea to contact companies like Vlend who specializes in only home lending and spend lot of time in understanding your unique situation and they take all these steps before adding any new broker on their panel.