As a solicitor with over two decades of experience in property law and conveyancing, I can honestly say that in my experience mortgage brokers play an invaluable role in assisting home buyers obtain finance for property acquisitions and refinances. They are real people who you can build a long term relationship and understanding with in much the same way as bank managers used to in decades past. Staffing at bank branches now sees a continual revolving door of staff who are never at the one branch or in the one role long enough to build a meaningful relationship with.
Banks are increasingly trying to push people out of the branches and onto their online platforms which makes interacting with banks when it comes to obtaining a home loan an even more frustrating and impersonal experience (let’s not even start about the ridiculous offshore call centres banks funnel you through!).
In contrast, I have seen many of my clients build long term relationships with the one broker who they have used for a period of many years and in a number of different property transactions. The mortgage brokers have a keen understanding on the commercial and personal affairs of their clients and are able to fight for their clients in a number of important respects including:
- Shopping around for the best deal for their client’s circumstances
- Assisting the client in documenting their loan application to the bank. Brokers have a very good understanding of the loan application process and the documentation required and the manner in which it should be presented to facilitate a loan approval issuing from a bank
- Liaising with the bank in submitting loan applications and following up the banks to ensure that documents are issued in a timely and correct fashion so that the client’s finance is ready for settlement. There have been many occasions where I have seen clients rely on brokers to push the banks to issue documents and speed up the certification process where otherwise there would be long delays in a bank being ready in time for settlement (often due to incompetency on the part of the bank in issuing documents with incorrect spelling of client’s names, losing documents etc etc).
- Brokers are accessible. They perform the function that “private bankers” within the major banks provide to very wealthy individuals.
In recent times as Australians are faced with an ever tightening credit squeeze and it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain home loan approvals, the support and assistance that a mortgage broker can provide has become even more relevant. I would shudder to think what it would be like trying to get a home loan in today’s environment from some online home loan service provided by a major bank where my calls are answered by a different person each time I call the bank!