Gone are the days when you had to sit in a bank manager’s office to solicit a mortgage for financing the purchase of your property. Today you can negotiate the terms of your mortgage application with a bank representative, from the privacy and convenience of your living room or your own office. The duties of traditional mortgage officers are largely being done, outside the bank, by “sales employees” and freelance “Mortgage Brokers”. The services of Mortgage Brokers offer many advantages — and a few pitfalls — to a potential property owner. Here are a few tips about using the services of a mortgage broker to your benefit.
One Stop Experience
My friend and colleague, Dorothy Sangster, of Sangster’s Real Estate Brokerage, is both a Real Estate Broker and a Mortgage Broker. She describes her services as a “one stop experience”. As a real estate broker, she sells properties on behalf of vendors and she negotiates purchases on behalf of buyers. As a mortgage broker she assess; the cost of the property, the required deposit, the buyer’s personal income and expenses. On the spot, she calculates the mortgage sum the buyer is qualified for. Her real estate and mortgage services allow you the purchaser, to easily and quickly make a decision about the property you like and can afford.
You save much time and avoid the hassle of applying at the bank and waiting days for a decision. Less delay means a shorter completion time for the sale, therefore, the vendor too, is happy. Ask your Realtor if he or she is a mortgage broker or if anyone in his or her company is. You may find the “one stop experience” of much convenience when you are seeking a mortgage for purchasing your property.
Some mortgage brokers are specialists. They don’t sell real estate, nor are they engaged in any other gainful employment. They write numerous mortgage applications per month and pre-qualify the applicants on the spot. Their expertise in the business is their main asset. Many of these brokers will go the extra mile to ensure that your application is processed and approved promptly.
It’s common to find mortgage brokers who are affiliated with two or three financial institutions. This multiple affiliation, allows them to literally “shop around” on your behalf, for the best deals. This facility is extremely beneficial when the applicant requires special conditions in cases such as second mortgages, refinancing or bridge loans. Your choice of mortgage brokers will therefore depend on the type of financial service and the degree of convenience you are seeking.
Who Pays the Mortgage Broker?
Almost all financial institutions charge a fee for a mortgage application, whether or not you use the services of a mortgage broker, a “sales employee” or an in-house loan officer. The fee varies depending on the institution and the sum of the mortgage. Some brokers however, with the approval of the bank they work for, charge an additional fee for their services. This fee varies from broker to broker. You should therefore enquire of your mortgage broker what fees are involved in using his or her services. Ask him or her to furnish references from other clients and determine for yourself which mortgage broker, if any, you will use to apply for your next mortgage.
Sydney Davis is the Managing Director of Sydney Davis and Associates. He is a member of the Realtors Association of Jamaica and licensed by the Real Estate Board of Jamaica as a dealer, and property manager. Our office is located at 80 Constant Spring Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica.
Email: [email protected]