Keep reading to:
Buying a home is a big step – and it’s important to ensure you have all your ducks in a row before getting started.
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned property investor, a mortgage broker can be a huge asset and can help guide you through the loan application process from start to finish.
Here’s what you need to know about mortgage brokers and how they can help.
A mortgage broker is a licensed credit professional who liaises between you and your lending institution. They collect information about your financial situation, goals, and preferences to find the right loan to match your needs.
A mortgage broker can help you buy a property or refinance your existing mortgage, and they are obligated to make recommendations based on your best interests.
A mortgage broker’s job is to help you figure out how much you can borrow and help you find a loan that’s suited to your needs. A mortgage broker can also educate you on the different types of loans and how certain features work.
With many options available, a mortgage broker might know about options you may not have been aware of and can explain things in a way that is easy to understand.
Usually, the process of working with a mortgage broker starts with securing pre-approval. Your broker will gather basic personal and financial information to see what loan amounts, interest rates and repayment terms you qualify for.
Once you have pre-approval for a certain loan amount, you can begin searching for a property within your budget. When you find the one you want, you can make an offer that is conditional upon your loan approval.
At this point, your mortgage broker will send the details of the property to the lender. The lender will conduct a valuation on the property to ensure that it is acceptable security for the loan. You may also need to answer some clarifying questions or provide extra information like updated payslips.
Once your application is formally approved, your mortgage broker will provide your formal loan offer. Depending on your circumstances, your interest rate may be slightly higher or lower than the one you were pre-approved for.
If you accept the offer, your broker will arrange for you to settle on the loan when the time comes to take possession of the property.
Most mortgage brokers are paid in lender commissions, meaning there are no out-of-pocket expenses for you to cover. Usually, the commission ranges between 0.65% – 0.7% of the total sale price, plus a smaller trailing commission of around 0.15% per year on the remaining amount for the life of the loan.
Some brokers may choose to charge a flat fee or percentage, but they will discuss this with you before getting started. There may also be some upfront fees associated with applying for and settling on your loan, as well as the cost of a professional valuation.
Before making any commitments, it’s important to talk to your broker about any concerns and make sure you understand the fine print. Here are some questions you might want to consider asking your mortgage broker:
How many different lenders do you work with?
How do you get paid?
Will there be any upfront fees?
What documentation will I need to provide?
What lender do you recommend and why?
How much can I borrow based on my income and deposit amount?
Will there be exit fees if I refinance?
Are there things I could do to improve my application success?
What loan features can I opt in or out of?
Can I make extra repayments to pay my loan off sooner?
You should also make sure that your broker has a valid credit license. If they don’t, they are operating illegally. Check ASIC’s online registry and look for your mortgage broker’s name under Credit Registered Person, Credit Representative or Credit Licensee.
If you’re looking for a mortgage broker, referrals from friends, family and colleagues can be a great place to start. If their broker helped them to achieve a good outcome, it’s likely that they will do the same for you.
You can also go online and research mortgage brokers in your local area. If you’re self-employed or have a complicated credit history, it can be a good idea to look for a broker who has experience working with people in similar circumstances.
So, if you’re ready to take the next step on your property journey, a mortgage broker can help you to navigate the process and find the right home loan for your needs.
If your hunt for a home loan is only just starting – here are a few things you’ll definitely want to know.
Dreaming of buying your first home? With government help, you could make it happen sooner.