5 things you should look for in a Mortgage Professional
We know that using a reputable and trusted mortgage broker to help walk you through the home buying process makes sense. But not all Mortgage Professionals are created equal. Buying a home is stressful enough, so here is a short list of criteria for your “trust-worthy” checklist.
With the highly competitive mortgage market you are being bombarded with tonnes of mortgage options: low rates, 5 year terms, variable rates, rate wars, etc. The internet is full of great mortgage options. Some would say that we suffer from this burden of choice! So, as a consumer you have a choice, but many times we see clients taking the simple option – renewing based on the recommendation of their banker (big banks rely on this thinking). Keep in mind that a true mortgage professional should spend at least 30-45 minutes getting to know you. It’s important to analyze your particular situation (both short and long-term life goals). A great mortgage professional will give you mortgage solutions that take into account the conditions of the mortgage, not just lowest rates. If you don’t get what you asked for, make sure you ask why?
Your mortgage professional should know all the perks and restrictions of the products they offer you.
Given that the average life of a mortgage in Canada is 3 years, you should know: how penalties are calculated, portability options, can you increase and blend the products should the need arise to break a mortgage, etc. Ask questions like: Is it collateralized? How do prepayments work? How do I convert my variable rate to a fixed rate and what rate will I get. If your mortgage broker or banker can’t give you a definite answer, then you should find someone who will.
Overall you should know how much your mortgage would cost you not only on a monthly basis but over the life span of your mortgage. Your Mortgage professional should take into consideration unplanned events. Because hey…life happens when you’re not planning.
For most clients there is no cost in dealing with a Mortgage Broker or Agent, but there are times when there will be a broker fee. This should not be a surprise! All fees should be something that is discussed and agreed upon at the beginning of the transaction. Unlike your bank, brokers have to disclose all costs in writing. You should be well aware of all fees and costs before you get to the lawyer’s office.
You should know what the process entails, including timelines and guidelines. The new landscape of lending is here and your mortgage professional should have a process in dealing with you and the lender. They should let you know what documents are needed, and deadlines to ensure a smooth closing. Roles and responsibilities should be clearly laid out at the beginning to ensure clarity and avoid duplication of effort. Be wary of the “NO problem” guy. When it comes to mortgages, you need someone who is serious about the details. A Mortgage Pro will make sure you have all the right paperwork ready — after all, it’s better to be over prepared and have all your documents during negotiations.
Clear, transparent and timely communication is mandatory for a true Mortgage Pro. As we all know, most people are eager to pick up the phone when there is good or great news. But when things are tough, the only ones that will call you back are true professionals. So look for a professional that keeps the lines of communication open at all times. Proactive communication is the last and most important part of your checklist.
We encourage you to take this simple 5 item “trust-worthy” checklist and put it to the test. Your home buying experience should be in the hands of someone who has your best interests in mind. Get all the facts with YourMortgageYourWay.ca