It can be hard to decide who is best to help you find the right mortgage. What makes one broker a better fit for you than another? While the search can seem overwhelming, it is worth taking the time to find the right broker for you. A few tips to help you make this choice:
Fit for the Team:
- Don’t speak to just one broker or mortgage specialist: Often it's not just about someone's qualifications on paper, but also if they are a good "fit" for you; someone you can trust to handle one of the biggest transactions you will complete in your lifetime.
- Availability? Do they have a flexible schedule? Will they meet you at home, or will you go to them during work hours?
- Have they dealt with someone in your situation: Not all mortgages are suitable for everyone. You will want to work with a broker who has dealt with similar situations to yours, whether that is re-building credit, dealing with someone who is self-employed, buying a first home, or helping a separating couple re-finance in order to divide property.
- Speak to former clients: Ask the broker for references. Speaking to a former client can give you some insight into how the broker handles a transaction, and if they met all of the needs of the client.
- Talk to other professionals: Has your agent, or real estate lawyer ever worked with the broker before? Both terrible and great brokers can build a reputation very quickly among other professionals. Wouldn't you prefer to find out before signing the dotted line?
- How long have they been in the business: This is not to say that some young, or new brokers may not be great, but experience is definitely an asset. Are they full-time or part-time? How many years have they been a broker?
- How do they plan to help you, specifically? Get a detailed explanation of the plan going forward.
- Consider if they are affiliated with certain lenders, will they check with many lenders to find you a mortgage.
- Rate focused?: A great interest rate is a huge plus. However, there are other benefits that can be included in some mortgages that are just as good, such as prepayment options or flexible payment options. Also, there are penalties etc. that can make a deal less appealing. Make sure that your broker is considering all of these things for you, not just the lowest rate.
Buying a new home, or re-financing a current home is one of the largest transactions the average Nova Scotian is going to complete during their lifetime. It's important to take the time to ensure that the person you are hiring to help you is right for you.
There are a lot of things to consider when you decide to buy a home, sometimes it can be overwhelming. If you have any questions about making this decision we offer a flat fee consultation service. You can come to chat and ask questions. We'll give you some advice about your options and what your next steps might be. There is no commitment after the consult. If you have decided to go ahead with a purchase, and wish to retain us we would love to work with you. You can find our information at : www.highlanderlaw.ca.
By: Briana C. O'Grady, J.D.
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