A mortgage broker is there to pair you up with the best mortgage lender and loan to meet your needs. It is their job to learn all about your financial circumstances, from your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio to how much you can put toward a downpayment. Once they get to know you better, they can find the right mortgage loan for you.
You might think it is easy enough to find a loan by yourself, but the truth is that it is important – and time-consuming – to shop around and compare your options. Being able to request rates and apply online without a broker certainly seems easier, but brokers have vast knowledge of programs and loans out there that you qualify for and can help you learn more about mortgage rates and terms.
So, how do you find the best mortgage broker? Let’s look at a few simple ways you can do that.
Ask Family and Friends for Recommendations
Nothing speaks to a mortgage broker’s capabilities than word-of-mouth. Ask your family and friends who they have used as a mortgage broker and if they’d recommend working with that broker. People who know you will most likely give honest feedback on their experiences with their mortgage brokers. They might also give you information about the broker’s personality or professionalism that could sway your decision.
One thing to ask your inner circle is “Did your mortgage broker put your needs first?” A huge red flag would be them saying they felt pushed into accepting a specific loan option or lender. As the borrower, you should feel assured that your broker is working to find you the best lender rather than simply working to earn some quick bucks.
Browse Through Online Reviews
Website reviews are often candid. You can browse through Yelp, Google Reviews, and other sites to find out what people think of various mortgage brokers. Look for commends regarding the broker’s responsiveness, closing times, loan successes, and customer service skills. You will get a clearer idea of how well the broker communicates and values their clients.
Ask Your Real Estate Agent for Referrals
Don’t hesitate to reach out to your real estate agent and ask for mortgage broker referrals. Your agent will probably know what type of home and mortgage loan you’re looking for and can link you up with brokers who normally work with people in your circumstances.
Some real estate agents have long-term professional relationships with brokers and highly recommend them to their clients based on years of professional engagement. If a broker doesn’t close a loan on time, the sale might fall through and result in a loss of commission for a real estate agent. Thus, your agent is likely to recommend someone they know can close the loan in a timely manner.
Verify That the Broker is Licensed
You should always verify that a mortgage broker is licensed by going to the National Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (NMLS) website and searching for that broker’s name. You are also welcome to contact your state regulator to see if the broker has ever been on the receiving end of any disciplinary action. The Better Business Bureau also lists complaints, reviews, and ratings of mortgage brokers.
Check Out Their Availability
Anyone who is hurriedly shopping for a home or refinancing options will want a broker who can swiftly move. It is a good idea to ask the broker when they will be available to look for loans for you. If they are busy with clients, they might not be able to give you the help you need right away.
If you aren’t in a hurry, you can take your time finding the mortgage broker who best suits your expectations and needs. Then, you can get them to start the mortgage loan process when they have time available.
You can find the right mortgage broker. The home loan application process does not have to be intimidating; a great mortgage broker can help you work your way through it.