Definition: (One who acts as an intermediary on behalf of individuals to help them find a loan specific to their needs from a bank or lending institution).
Mortgage brokers that are still in business today are because of hard work, pride and dedication to their craft. Continuing education is required to keep up with the stringent laws and changes that have been put into place in the mortgage industry over the past several years. Keeping up with these changes has not been easy for many. As a result, the mortgage brokers that are still active and conducting business are a direct result of the hard work and effort they have put forth. The others have fallen by the wayside.
This is good news for you the consumer! Mortgage brokers are better than ever at helping you find financing for your home. If they can’t find affordable financing for you, maybe you are not ready to purchase a home. Sometimes I have to tell a client they should wait eight months and get their credit score raised so they can qualify for a loan. Sometimes it requires saving more for a down payment or for reserves. It makes my day when someone calls me back a year after I last spoke with them and asks me to check their credit rating and I find they have taken my advice on cleaning up their credit. I love informing them that now is the time to call a realtor and start searching for their dream home.
So what exactly does a mortgage broker do? It starts with a phone call from someone interested in purchasing a home. Then it goes as follows;
Assess the borrower’s circumstances. This includes reviewing a credit report as well as income documentation and assets. This is a fact finding interview. I give the borrower as many options as possible since I work with more than 10 lenders. After discussing what their options are I help them choose which one best suits their needs, Conventional, FHA, Jumbo, VA, USDA or a HARP loan.
I generate a lenders agreement in principle (pre-approval letter). Next, I gather all documents that are needed; pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, contracts, insurance, title, surveys, etc. Then I complete an application with the borrower and go over all the closing costs. I explain all legal disclosures and the underwriting process and submit the file to the lender. I like to accompany my borrowers to closing and be there for them on their big day.
Once a customer closes on their home, this is not the end of my relationship. I keep all clients on an email list that periodically sends them updates about the mortgage market. As people’s lives and careers change, so do rates and the market. Empty nesters are downsizing and growing families need more space. I get to be a part of my client’s lives as I watch them have babies and see grown children leaving for college.
The best compliment I can receive is when a client calls me with a referral. This is also the most rewarding part of my job!