The answer to the question, ‘how to find the best mortgage broker in Sydney’ or anywhere else for that matter is tricky.
Is it a mortgage broker that settles the highest volume of loans in a year?
Is it someone who has the best customer reviews online?
Or is it someone with tons of experience?
You can’t define a mortgage broker purely by their settlement volume, nor by their reviews or experience alone but put it all together then you have a shortlist of potentially great mortgage brokers.
So, what’s next?
How to find the best mortgage brokers in Sydney?
One key idea borrower needs to understand is that great brokers aren’t all things to all people. They tend to focus on a particular market or niche.
Moreover, a first home buyer will have different needs and requirements as opposed to a time-poor professional looking to invest.
Besides, it can be fairly difficult to distinguish between a good broker and a shabby broker!
To that effect, once you have a shortlist of potentially good mortgage brokers, ask the following questions to your mortgage broker to help you decide if your broker is good.
- Do you hold a credit licence or operate under someone else’s licence?
- Do you have an FBAA or MFAA membership?
- How long have they been in the mortgage industry?
- Which lenders do they work with most regularly and why?
- What awards have they won recently?
- What testimonials/customer reviews do they have?
- What do you do for your customers that others cannot?
- What lenders do you have accreditations with? If they don’t have many accreditations (less than 10) then they likely aren’t very good.
- How many lenders did you use in the last 12 months? A good mortgage broker would have used at least 8 lenders.
- What volume of home loans did you settle in the last 12 months? A top mortgage broker will settle over $40 million in home loans p.a.
- What type of clients do you work with the most frequently / what are your areas of expertise?
There’s no right answer to the last question; it’s about finding a broker who has experience dealing with clients in similar situations, e.g. first home buyers, investors, construction, Australian’s living overseas etc.
In conclusion, it’s more about finding the one that works for you than finding the “best”.
Best mortgage brokers for first home buyers
Buying your first home can be daunting and stressful in and of itself. Moreover, the difficulty in navigating different lender policies, finding the right loan and filling in the paperwork are just some of the reasons we have mortgage brokers in the first place.
A good broker intuitively understands that first home buyers require a bit of hand-holding as they want to be guided through the entire process. Communication at each step of the way is paramount here.
Whereas, if the same level of communication were being exchanged with an investor who’s been through the wringer before, the broker is not being efficient.
To get a feel for how good your broker is for first home buyers, ask these questions:
- How many first home buyers have you helped? Do you focus on first home buyer loans?
- What are the most common pain points for first home buyers?
- What home loan advice would you give to prospective first home buyers?
- How can you help me apply for FHOG or stamp duty concessions?
- What do you recommend before and after home loan pre-approval?
- Do you help first home buyers find a property?
- Can I get free property valuations?
How do we help our customers find a property?
For first home buyers in Sydney, NSW and throughout Australia, getting a home loan is just a pitstop towards the end goal of homeownership.
As such, many home loan brokers after pre-approval has been obtained, don’t do enough to guide first home buyers towards that goal.
A great broker can and will, if required, help you find a property.
- Suburb report: We have a subscription with APM meaning that we can provide you with a free suburb report for a location of your choosing. The report will detail the area’s comparable sales, recent market trends, demographics and long term trends. A report detailing the last 6 months is a safe bet to help you make an educated guess of the price.
- Property report: We will also provide you with a property report using our subscription to CoreLogic RP Data. It will detail estimated property value, property sale history, how long the property has been on the market, how many previous owners/tenants there have been and how much the property has sold for in the past etc.
- Recommended conveyancers: We will also help you find a suitable conveyancer that can handle the legal side of things as well as recommend other professionals if required.
- Free upfront valuation: A free upfront valuation can also be ordered through select lenders with the ultimate goal of settlement.
Best mortgage brokers for investors
Seasoned Australian investors who’ve been around the block a few times have different needs. They want a home loan broker with experience that can deliver precisely what they’re looking for and quickly.
In short, they want results.
Asking the following questions will help you decide what the investment mortgage broker can do for you.
- How many investment properties have you purchased?
- What investment strategy do you recommend for your customers? Avoid any that recommend new properties or off the plan investments.
- What have you seen your clients invest in that worked really well for them?
- What are the main risks that you see property investors face?
- Do you work with any buyers agents?
- Do you have access to RP Data or another property data service?
- What books have you read about property investment? Better yet, have you written a book on property?
- What industry awards have you won?
What does a good mortgage broker do?
A good mortgage broker will work with you to:
- Understand your objectives and requirements.
- Work out exactly how much you can afford to borrow with different lenders.
- Identify potential credit issues. If there are any, work out which lenders can approve you without changes or identify changes you can make to become qualified.
- Find suitable home loan options and recommend a couple of home loan products.
- Provide reasons for the recommendation.
- Explain how each loan works and the costs associated with the purchase.
- Give you the required funds to complete, and the loan fact sheet.
- Apply for a home loan and manage the process from pre-approval to settlement.
- Ensure the competitiveness of your home loan over the life of the loan.
Ultimately, it’s not only just about the broker but also about what systems they have set up.
Does the broker have a dedicated customer care team to answer your queries, and a post-settlement team to ensure you’re getting the best rates and terms on your home loan at any given time?
One simple question all good brokers ask themselves!
Good mortgage brokers when first assessing a deal answer this one pertinent but simple question: Will I lend this client my own money instead of the banks’ money?
If the answer is no, then, it’s about identifying why, and working out if these issues can be resolved.
There will be cases where for whatever reason, changes cannot be made and/or the loan may be unsuitable, a good broker has to advise the same.
However, if the answer is a definite yes, a good broker will then fight through to the end to get you approved. No matter how many objections, escalation, credit exceptions, or hard work it entails.
What does a bad mortgage broker do?
There are as many bad mortgage brokers as there are good ones. There are certain red flags that you need to be on the lookout for when choosing a broker:
- Overpromise: The truth is there are borrowers who in their present financial situation simply cannot qualify for a home loan due to a myriad of reasons. A bad broker may submit your application hoping for a Hail Mary resulting in you getting knocked back and leave a credit enquiry on your credit file, leaving you worse off for trying. These borrowers may need to make significant changes to be eligible for a home loan or enter a ‘prepare to buy’ program, which can be many months or even years down the line.
- Do the bare minimum: Doing the bare minimum is getting all the necessary documents, doing credit checks and serviceability calculations and submitting the deal. A good broker understands that credit assessors will enquire about the most minute of details, i.e. a visit to a casino from 3 months ago will create issues. A good broker would have already anticipated and explained the minute of deviation. On a light-hearted note, credit assessors will, and have held up deals where they’ve seen children’s toys in valuation pictures, where there were no dependents listed on the application. In this case, it was the client’s niece who had brought her toys. The point is, it pays to be thorough.
- Offer a limited range of lender options: A broker no matter how proficient he or she is, is still limited by the number of lenders that they’re accredited with, i.e. the lender whose loans they can recommend/write. The more different or complex your situation is, the more lenders you want on your broker’s panel. Generally speaking, you’d want at least 10 lenders on your brokers’ panel, but more is ideal.
- Make unsuitable recommendations: Simply because you can afford to make the current repayments doesn’t mean you’re suitable for the home loan. Many borrowers who enter into a home loan may find themselves trapped as mortgage prisoners due to interest rates rising, property prices dropping or lenders adopting stringent lending criteria making it infeasible to refinance. Any home loan recommendation needs to complement your objectives, the products you’re interested in, and any other factors that are important to you.
- Make unrealistic living expenses assessment: Lifestyle living expenses changes are hardest to make as such if with your current discretionary living expenses, you may not be able to comfortably afford the loan, a bad broker may get you approved by making unrealistic living expenses assessment. This may result in you being under undue financial stress. The fact is that if interest rates were to rise, then you could be under financial hardship.
One key difference between a good and a bad mortgage broker!
Often, a bad broker will overestimate your borrowing power, make assumptions, and do just the bare minimum required to submit your application whereas a good mortgage broker will after a thorough assessment:
- Work out if the deal can be submitted as is; or
- Work out what changes need to be made for this deal to get approved; or
- Work out if the client needs to enter into a ‘prepare to buy’ program.
That is the difference in you getting approved or getting knocked back.
Who are the best mortgage brokers in Sydney?
By now, you may have figured out there’s no such thing as “the best”, but we’ve listed a few which we believe to be contenders for the best brokers in Sydney CBD here:
- Home Loan Experts: We are the leading specialist mortgage brokers in Australia and the winner of ‘Australian Brokerage of the Year’ at the 2019 Australian Mortgage Awards and winner of ‘Office of the Year (more than 5 brokers)’ at the 2019 Australian Broking Awards. In 2020, we followed up with yet another win as the Major Brokerage of the Year at the 2020 Australian Mortgage Awards. We offer our services throughout Australia.
- Cathy Brown – Founder of Activ8 Finance: They are excellent with self-employed clients and working with accountants. Winner of Empowerment Award at the 2019 Connective Excellence Awards.
- Will Foster – Foster Finance: They’re excellent with high net worth clients. Will Foster was recently elected as one of the three MFAA directors.
- Kin Wong – One Lending Solutions They’re excellent for handling difficult loan scenarios and commercial loans. Winner of ‘Broker of the Year’ at the 2019 Connective Excellence Awards.
Get a free no-obligation assessment!
Our mortgage brokers are credit experts first and foremost as such they pride themselves on getting tough loans approved.
For a free no-obligation assessment from one of the best home loan brokers in Sydney, give us a call on 1300 889 743 or fill in our online assessment form.