How to interview a mortgage professional

Avoid nasty surprises later on

There is so much information about everything these days and quite frankly it is overwhelming to say the least.

You want to make the best decision possible when it comes to the loan you are taking for your home but how can you be sure you are choosing the right mortgage professional to help you?

Here is a list of questions you should be sure to ask. Even if you are working with your own financial institution you should take the position of ‘buyer beware’.

Do some online research ahead of time. Check out feedback from other people and take a look at the website. You can see what the best rates are in the open market to know if you are being offered the best deal.

Ask questions! Here are the ones I think are the most important:

Start by asking them a bit about themselves.

• Do you do mortgages full time?

• What other accreditations do you have in your field?

• How long have you been in this industry?

• Do you regularly attend training?

Then ask the following about the mortgage:

• Is it fully portable anywhere in Canada? What are the restrictions upon porting?

• How is the penalty calculated? Am I being offered a discounted rate which will come with a higher penalty if I end up breaking the mortgage?

• Will my pre-approval be fully reviewed or is it just a rate hold?

• Will you pull my credit prior to me writing an offer?

• Is this a collateral mortgage? Can you explain why that is in my best interest?

• How do you get paid? Are you a commissioned-based position or a salaried one?

• What are the pre-payment privileges?

• Should I consider something besides the five-year fixed rate?

• What other costs should I expect? Lender fee, appraisal, legal, title insurance?

• Is life insurance mandatory with this loan?

• What paperwork will you require?

• What are your best rates?

Once you have taken the time to ask the above, you will be better educated and you will have taken the time to determine that this person is the right one for you.

It is going to be hard and feel downright un-Canadian to be so forthright, but you will be glad you did when the process is smooth, and you avoid nasty surprises later on.

Pam Pikkert is a mortgage broker with Mortgage Alliance – Regional Mortgage Group in Red Deer.

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