"What to look for in a                  Mortgage Broker" 

Here's what to ask a mortgage broker ...

Q. How long have you been a mortgage broker? 
A.    Your mortgage is one of the biggest financial commitments you will ever undertake. If the mortgage broker doesn't have at least 10 years experience, then consider they haven't gone through a property cycle. An experienced mortgage broker uses their experience in anticipated changes in credit policy to meet your changing needs. An inexperienced broker simply won't have an understanding of what this means. For example, you may be wanting to start a family. There are lenders whom will allow to take a "maternity leave" holiday and not making payments while you are on one income. Do you have plans to invest in property? Many lenders will cap the amount they will lend to you, curtailing your property aspirations. Further, many lenders have Loan to Value (LVR) restrictions on your suburb! Imagine having all this equity sitting there and not being able to invest when an amazing opportunity comes up. 
Q. Have you got a "money back guarantee"?
A.   Every mortgage broker will say they will give you the best service. However, what assurances are they giving you?  Most of the time, it's just lip service. At Hunterwood if we can't improve your finance, accounting, financial planning and investment property aspirations we will give you an iPad for you troubles. We are so confident that the services we provide will make a tangible difference to your financial well being we are delighted to offer you a money back guarantee. 
Q. Does the mortgage Broker specialise in anything?
A.  Just like some solicitors specialise in property development law, some mortgage brokers are specialists in development  finance. Some brokers are very good in the commercial space whilst others won't have a clue. You're on a winner if you have found a broker that has experience and specialist skills in the area you are looking at. Stick with them. 
    Hunterwood is proud to be able to assist with a number of areas of finance eg asset lending, commercial, residential, credit impaired etc. Further, Hunterwood has developed expertise in assisting you to develop a property portfolio so that in 10 to 15 years time you can sell a few investment properties and pay off your owner occupied home loan. If your broker can't illustrate a way to pay off the home loan quicker than the standard 30 years, we would encourage you to look elsewhere. It's in the broker's interest to keep you in debt as they get paid a trail income. 


Q. Is your mortgage broker backed up by an in-house support team?
A.    The reality is mortgage brokers are constantly searching for new business while managing loan applications. This means while you think they are working on your loan, they are actually out there chasing more work because they now have "signed you up". The vast majority of mortgage brokers are busy writing blogs for their social media, networking with accountants and solicitors and generally allocating 50% of their week to finding new work. In the interim, your file is sitting on their desk.......
      An efficient mortgage broker is one that has staff around them to complete the application, lodge it to the lender, ring you with news (or no news) and most importantly follow up with you post-settlement when payment is due. A good mortgage broker, therefore, has the time to focus on keeping abreast of the daily changes in credit policies. Mortgage brokers have 12+ lenders they will wo.rk with. With one email every day advising of changes to LVR's, postcode restrictions, SMSF restrictions, APRA requirements, macro-prudential requirements, off the plan, cash out policies, FHO policies, refinance incentives etc, an astute broker needs time to be on top of the best offer for your needs. The reality is the opposite.
      Did you know that 90% of brokers use just 3 or 4 lenders even though they advertise they represent 20 lenders?  An efficient mortgage broker has a dedicated support person that rings and introduces themselves to you saying they are now the point of contact. For example,  "Hi, I am Sally. I am working with your broker Jeff. For any questions relating to the home loan you selected please ring Jeff. If in the unlikely event I haven't communicated the status of your loan via email or phone call, please ring me here in the office. My role is to make sure you understand where the loan is at and deliver any news, good or bad. You are in complete control and between Jeff and me, we will assist you with obtaining the loan for you. Any question I can help with". There needs to be a person acting on your behalf communicating to stakeholders like solicitors, valuers, builders, council, internal bank staff and the other 13 point process we at Hunterwood have identified.
      Hence, a top 1% mortgage broker should be in the position to give advice without having to worry about prospecting, submitting the loan to the bank, following up with the credit officer, valuer, solicitor, builder, real estate agent and so forth. Otherwise, because the broker is so busy, they missed out on the offer

Here's what to ask a mortgage broker ...

Q. Do they have contacts both internally in the bank and externally with other service providers to expedite your plans
A.     As saying goes, sometimes "it's not what you know but who you know".  This is certainly true for the mortgage industry.
       A mortgage broker can come out of banking with an amazing amount of internal contacts that can get you over the line. Also, an experienced mortgage broker that has developed the respect of the lenders will develop relationships that are tangible. What we mean is things like asking "exceptions to policy", knowing whom can sign off on  deeper discounts to the interest rate, know the valuer who is working with the lender to support your home price.
      Further, have they developed contacts to assist with overall plans. For example, good investment property professionals, good tradespeople to help you renovate, solicitors that specialise eg off the plan. The value adds these relationships can bring to your aspirations are invaluable. Getting a pre-approval to build a home is one thing. Being introduced to a builder who won a Masters builder award can save a lot of a headache, time and money. 
      Hunterwood has a proud history of working with some of the very best in the field. With a combined experience of 50+ years, it will be our pleasure to refer you to people we trust. 


Q. Do they disclose how they get paid?
A. Is your mortgage broker steering you to the lender paying the highest commission? Are they steering you to an in-house product with greater profitability? What other incentives are they receiving? In many cases these products may be right for you, however, a broker should present a couple of options and being transparent with what they receive in commissions. At Hunterwood, the lenders commission range from .6% to .75% of the loan amount. 

Here's what to ask a mortgage broker ...

Q. Does your mortgage broker empower you with knowledge.
A.    We are not talking about the reserve bank reducing the cash rate or a newsletter with a nice photo of the family on holidays. We are talking about, you walking away from reading a newsletter or watching a video where you have learnt something that will make a difference. Look at their newsletters or social media blogs and see if it's something you can find anywhere. If so, then you will find very little value in the ongoing relationship. Alternatively, if there are interesting facts on say why Brisbane is the next place to invest and here are the 4 key growth drivers. Then, you're on to a broker who has the time and expertise to help you with become empowered! 
Q. Does your broker have systems in place to contact you every 12 months as a minimum? 
A.    The loan you take out today will be the best for your needs. However, the lending landscape is very competitive and new offers come up all the time both officially and unofficially. It makes sense to review your loan, particularly if its 3 years old. It may still be the best one for you needs, however, it makes sense to have it reviewed regularly.  Most brokers will pay lip service to the concept of "client for life". The way to check this is to ask them to see their calendar and see which upcoming appointment / telephone consultation is an annual review.
     Also, ask them to see the Anniversary home loan health check letter. Your circumstances will change over the years and it's important your broker adjusts your circumstances to reflect your growing wealth, new family and aspirations and so forth. 



Here's what to ask a mortgage broker ...

Q. Will your mortgage broker go for a "pricing request" or "exception to policy".  
A.    It's no secret lenders will reduce the interest rate depending on the amount you borrow and the sort of collateral you provide to reduce the risk. The secret is to be on top of the lenders who are desperate to get new business and prepared to offer you a deal that is simply not advertised. A broker needs to know the lenders who have an appetite for buying market share and then put in a formal request to improve the interest rate and with a person of authority higher up in the food chain.
      Ask a potential broker if they are in the habit of submitting a "pricing request". If they have systemized the process, then chances are you will get a better deal. Ask the broker if they know whom to turn to in a lender that has the authority to sign off a deeper discount. Further, ask when was the last time they went out of their way to ask for an "exception to policy". See your application is going to land on a credit officers desk who is under the pump to approve / disapprove your loan. They are taught to approve the loan ONLY if it ticks all the boxes.
      However, what if your situation is little unusual? For example, you're on paid maternity leave and want to renovate. Technically your not working and some lenders will simply reject the application. A good broker will ask for an exception to policy and know how to present this so it will be approved.  

 Testimonials ...

" John, we would like to wholeheartedly thank you for all the professional guidance and friendship you have shown us in the process of enabling the acquisition of our investment property. This could not have happened without your assistance and we are enormously grateful. We would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending your services to prospective clients. Once again, a huge thank you and best regards always.” Alex and Yvette, Sylvania Waters NSW



“We were so impressed by the valuable advice and information shared. I believe using a broker makes the process much easier.” Ann, Sylvania NSW

“The ease of access to your team was outstanding. We're really happy.” Narelle & Peter, Engadine NSW



"Always exceed expectation! I like to leave it to the professionals. I value John's advice and recommendations.” Luis, Kellyville NSW



"Your team was so completely lovely and attentive. Nothing was too much trouble. They were also extremely knowledgeable.” Mariana, Wollstonecraft NSW


" You're all very personable and professional. I like the way John speaks so passionately about investing, it is inspirational."  Graham Lloyd 

" Very happy with service and outcome. Thanks for your advice re: investment. We were initially going to sell our unit to buy our townhouse. Thanks for advising us to keep the unit as an investment. It is now paying itself off.  We have two properties thanks to you. Cheers! "  T & C Brooks

 Testimonials ...

" Very helpful in helping me sort out complex finance issues related to mortgage." L. Xu




Finance | Investment Property Solutions | Accounting | Financial Planning


                       Hunterwood Solutions Pty Ltd

                                  P. 02 9522 3000              F. 02 9522 3700

                           Post. PO Box 4715 Sylvania Waters NSW 2224

              A.Office  18/3, Richmond Avenue, Sylvania Waters NSW 2224