Unless you are able to pay 100% cash for a house or are left one in a will, you will have to get a mortgage loan at some point in your life if you wish to become a homeowner.  Mortgage products can vary greatly between lenders, and a smart borrower will do their homework to find the loan that works the best for them.

However, a borrower doesn’t have to do all of the work themselves.  One great person to have in your corner when you plan on buying a home is a mortgage broker.  Brokers have specific connections to lenders and listing agents, and can use these connections to find you a better deal. These personal relationships serve a mortgage broker well, as they can reach out to listing agents and talk about your strengths and express their confidence in you as a buyer.  This will go a long way when trying to purchase a home in a seller’s market, where there may be many different buyers making offers on one home.  Think of the mortgage broker as one more person in your corner, motivating a seller (through their agent) to consider your offer more favorably than someone else’s.

Make sure your mortgage broker and your realtor are strategizing together and are on the same page with regards to the strengths of your financing.  Your real estate agent should always be aware of, and able to present, your financial details clearly in any offer you make on a home.

It is a mortgage broker’s job to shop around and find the best possible loan product for you at the lowest possible interest rate.  Through their position and connections, they are able to shop around with numerous lending institutions to find the best loan.  This means that hiring a mortgage broker can turn out to be a highly profitable endeavor with potential savings well into the thousands of dollars.

Another great aspect of having a mortgage broker is that they are the go-between for you and your lending institution, meaning you never have to communicate with the bank—which can sometimes be a stressful ordeal.  Once the broker gets your financial information, they can handle the entire loan application and approval process for you.  They can prepare you in advance for going under contract or even help you take steps to improve or repair your credit standing to help make a more attractive loan option become a reality.

Another helpful tip to keep in mind when shopping for your mortgage broker: it is ideal to work with one who has an experienced full-time assistant.  This effectively gives you one more  backup loan expert in your corner who understands you and knows your desires in the event that the broker is temporarily unavailable.

As always, it is important to do your homework when looking for a mortgage broker—check for online reviews, ask them plenty of questions, and shop around for competitive rates.  Having an experienced, connected, and staff-supported mortgage broker to help you will make a huge difference in your home-buying experience.  If you have any questions about finding or using a mortgage broker, please contact me at Michaela@michaelaphillips.com.

About the Author: Michaela Phillips entered the mortgage lending industry in 1994. Throughout her 20 years in the business she’s been one of the top producers for every company she’s worked for. As of late 2013, she’s the VP of Mortgage Lending for Guaranteed Rate, Inc., the 8th largest retail mortgage company in the country. Being a VP at Guaranteed Rate offers many advantages to her and her clients, unparalleled customer service, efficiency, and most importantly, competitive rates.

She enjoys teaching her clients the pros and cons of being a Real Estate Investor, and more so, watching them build their Real Estate “Empires,” large or small, but all successful. NMLS: 312874