When working with a mortgage broker to get a new loan for your home, there are certain things you should look for.
Possibly the most important aspect of a good mortgage broker is one who listens to you. You need to know that the person is working in your best interest, and how can they do that if they don't know what your interests are?
A Mortgae broker should be accessible to you at reasonable times. They should always return your phone calls within a reasonable period of time.
Interviewing your mortgage broker will help you decide if this is the person you feel comfortable working with on your largest financial transaction. You should be confident that your mortgage broker will provide you with the service and attention you require to insure a smooth transaction.
Get everything in writing upfront so that there are no questions at a later date.
If everything is in writing you know what to expect from your broker and what your broker expects of you.
A good mortgage broker does not charge fees up-front. Prior to closing, the only out of pocket expense for you should be the cost of the appraisal. This fee is usually paid directly to the appraisal company at the time of the appraisal.
Many brokers are more than willing to share surveys of past clients with you, to give you an indication of how they treat their clients.
A good mortgage professional will ask you a lot of questions. This is to determine your goals and find the best loan program for your needs.
Mortgage brokers can offer their clients wholesale rates (they send hundreds of millions of dollars in loans per year through the various banks, and are offered better rates as a result) which are typically far better than the retail rates a borrower would receive going directly through a bank. A mortgage broker also has a wide variety of banks to choose from saving you time and money while “shopping the loan” for the best rates.
Direct lenders often have higher costs and are forced to charge you a minimum in points and fees. Brokers offer you ability to negotiate fees, because a broker makes the banks compete for your business. In general, brokers operate in a much lower cost structure compared with banks and retail mortgage companies, which carry extremely large overhead and employee costs.
Good mortgage brokers have many lenders in their portfolio, and as a result they may have hundreds of loan programs, in comparison with a bank loan officer that can sell only the limited loan products offered by their bank. Mortgage brokers have the ability to analyze and select the loan programs of multiple lending institutions to find loan programs tailored made for homebuyers, a bank-based loan officer can offer only his or her bank's loan product, even if that loan is not the best for the borrower. (For example, some lenders do not even use income for qualification if a borrower has a 680 credit score or higher, and some lenders will charge you a quarter higher in rate if you do not use income to qualify… regardless of how good your credit scores are).
Going through a broker can help ensure that there are no timely or costly delays in your loan process. A mortgage broker also has the flexibility to submit your loan to multiple lenders at the same time; if a one lender causes a delay or declines the loan, the mortgage broker can have another lender begin to underwrite the loan.
The reason that the vast majority of mortgage loans are sent through a mortgage broker is that they can offer lower wholesale rates, multiple loan submissions means a higher chance of loan being approved, and a broker has a wide variety of loan products that are not available to retail loan officers.