A mortgage broker’s service offering and what they will do for you will vary from broker to broker, largely depending on their value proposition and how they position their delivery methods within the lending market.
This principle applies to many industries. Consider appointing someone to produce a piece of furniture; a well-rounded carpenter will know how to marry up function and form, what materials suit the design’s geometry, and how to get longevity out of their creation – handcrafting it to perfection.
A different carpenter might do an ok job, using whatever materials they have available to produce something as quickly as possible before moving onto their next task. They might even deliver a pre-made piece for you, void of any bespoke elements.
In much the same regard, no two brokers are the same.
In today’s lending market, there is a lot to weigh up, comprehend, and consider. Your broker should do as much as they can to inform you and prepare you for the journey – particularly if you’re a first home buyer and entering the lending process for the first time.
SO WHAT SHOULD YOUR BROKER DO FOR YOU?
Strategize savings and prepare you for pre-approval
There is no hard and fast rule around how early on you can engage a broker, even if it’s twelve to eighteen months out from purchasing. A good broker will work with you in advance to strategize, run the numbers, and help put together a robust and realistic savings plan.
Source multiple lending scenarios
Your broker should present and talk through multiple lending scenarios, informing you of where the bank’s trigger points are regarding percentages. Through your broker’s insights, ideally, you will feel comfortable weighing up the risks versus the investment, and knowing where you are best placed within the appropriate thresholds.
Knowing how much to chip in could mean the difference between having enough left over to buy some new furniture, and feeling completely strapped – no new mortgagee wants to be in a position where they can’t afford a fresh coat of paint. Your broker should help you juggle this fine line, while ultimately fostering the best possible return on investment for you.
Present appropriate loan structures
In addition to multiple lending scenarios, your broker should also inform you of different loan structures, making you aware of all available options. For example, you should be briefed on the difference between cross-securing properties, versus non-cross securing, as well as what an offset account is, what a redraw is, and how these components of lending work for the borrower.
Manage expectations and advocate transparency
Your broker should be fully transparent and manage your expectations around the timing of the entire process, step-by-step. A sound broker will anticipate your questions and inform you of what to expect next, ensuring you don’t feel as though you are always chasing and facilitating the communication.
Our Senior Mortgage Advisor, Jason Pogorelec, cannot stress this point enough, “the process can feel a bit overwhelming, and it’s important that the client understands what’s going on and feels supported every step of the way.”
“It can be as simple as preempting questions around what’s going to happen, and when it’s going to happen, to educating people around how a private sale or an auction works. Every client is different, and their situations should be treated like your own.”
Assist with stakeholder management
Pogorelec believes brokers should be fully accountable and on the front foot, “it’s important to be proactive, and if that means taking on the facilitation of settlement admin, right through to facilitating stakeholder management, then you do what needs to be done to ensure the client has the best possible experience.”
Asked what the single most useful piece of advice would be for those about to engage a broker and Pogorelec pauses thoughtfully for a moment, “get the right advice from the start, well before you reach pre-approval. Having the right people in your corner will make the world of difference.”