If you’re trying to buy a home, you might want to consider hiring a mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers deal with mortgage lenders on your behalf – they can compare interest rates and find you a mortgage plan that will work with your lifestyle. But if you’re going to entrust someone with your financial future, you’re going to want to make sure that they’re a licensed, verified professional. Here are five things to think about when you’re hiring a mortgage broker.

1. Do You Need a Mortgage Broker?

Of course, the first thing to consider when you’re thinking about hiring a mortgage broker is whether you even need one. Mortgage brokers are great for first-time homebuyers or people who are unsure about their financial literacy. If you’re anxious about the process of getting a mortgage, or you just want some extra peace of mind, then you definitely should look into getting a broker.

Additionally, some companies will give better terms on mortgages that are handled through a broker, especially if they’ve had a successful relationship with them in the past. Some mortgage providers will only accept applications via a broker, so it depends on what type of loan and what provider you’re looking for.

2. How Are They Going to Get Paid?

A mortgage broker like Canadian Mortgage Services can be paid by either the mortgage lender or the borrower they’re working with, but it is illegal for them to be paid by both. While you’re looking at potential brokers, ask how much you’re going to pay in fees for their services and whether that expense is out-of-pocket or arranged in another manner.

Most brokers will be paid a percentage of the mortgage that they negotiate, so keep that in mind when you’re looking to hire someone. Even if they’re paid by the lender, it’s worth knowing what their commission rate is. If they’re going to make a lot of money off of you, they might be tempted to get you into a loan regardless of whether it’s the best choice for you.

3. What Are Their Qualifications?

By law, mortgage brokers must be licensed financial professionals. You can either ask your potential broker for proof of their license directly, or you can contact your local licensing authority to double-check. On top of that, check into the company that your broker works for to ensure that they are reputable and uphold professional standards.

It’s also worth looking into what providers they work with – most brokers will work with a specific range of companies, and they might even prefer to work with a specific type of mortgage. If you’ve already done your research and know what type of mortgage you’re going to want, you may want to search for a broker who specializes in that type of loan.

4. Will They Be Right for Me?

Your mortgage broker is going to be helping you through an incredibly stressful process that will affect your entire financial future, so it’s best to make sure that you’re going to work well together. It’s worth interviewing your potential broker to see if their style of communication and explaining concepts is right for you.

5. Does Their Portfolio Suit My Goals?

Most legitimate brokers will have a portfolio of previous work on their websites. This should give you some valuable information on what types of mortgages the broker has worked on in the past, and it might also tell you what types of clients they typically work for. Their portfolio may also contain information about any foreclosures that have been filed against them – a factor that you’re definitely going to want to avoid.