May 31, 2018 3

Should I rely on an online mortgage broker?

Buying a property in Philadelphia can be a complex, time-consuming and an incredibly expensive affair. In fact, it’s safe to say that buying a home will probably be the biggest purchase you’ll ever make.Unless you’ve got a good inheritance, won the lottery or swindled some rich widow – you’ll need a mortgage to purchase that ridiculously expensive condominium or resale HDB flat you desire.

But before you walk into the nearest branch of your “preferred” bank to meet with a loan officer, here is a better alternative that can also save you time and money!

There’s a better option to obtaining your mortgage aside from accepting the “trusted” recommendation of a bank officer or property agent – that option is an online mortgage broker.

Here are several major advantages to obtaining your home loan through a reputable online mortgage broker:

• Unbiased comparison: Bankers only offer their bank’s mortgage deals and property agents may be biased in recommending a particular bank’s loan package based on referral fees. Online mortgage brokers on the other hand show loan packages offered by multiple banks and offer unbiased advice on which is the best.

• Expert consultation: Many online mortgage brokers have loan specialists who are ex-bankers experienced in helping customers throughout the entire loan application process. That means you can expect consultation on everything from loan affordability calculation to submitting and closing your loan application.

• Concierge service: The process of applying for a mortgage can be tedious and confusing due to the amount of loan paperwork and document collection you’ll need to do. But a reliable online mortgage broker will provide concierge service when it comes to collecting and submitting loan documents and following up with the lender on the application’s status.

An online Philadelphia mortgage broker offers two main benefits for its clients:

1. Interest savings – Online brokers may use up to half of their commission from lenders to “buy down” the customer’s rate and/or provide cash rebates. The savings is typically 10 to 20 basis points versus a big bank, which is roughly $1,800 savings on a typical $200,000 mortgage.

2. Convenience – Speed and ease are the other big draws. There’s no need to drive to a branch or haggle with a salesperson who’s trying to quote you advertised rates (which are rarely the bank’s best rates).

The first impression of online mortgage broker is that they must be small shops who happen to be very good at online marketing. They buy ads on rate comparison sites to get ‘preferred’ placements, and give up as much of their commission as they can afford to “buy-down” customer rates and get listed as the best deal.