Five ways to help you get your cases right first time, every time

After working more than 15 years in mortgages — including roles in national accounts, as a BDM, and now as head of specialist finance for InterBay Commercial — I’ve been asked all manner of weird and wonderful things, including some strange questions which I couldn’t possibly repeat here!

However, I was recently asked something by a broker which really got me thinking. They were placing their very first commercial case and wanted to know what the secret was for getting their application right first time to ensure there weren’t any hold ups further down the line. 

It’s a great question, as it means a lender will be able to make an informed decision from day one. This can make the application process more efficient, helping brokers to meet their customers’ expectations and reduce the need for finance providers to request for more information.

Commercial and semi-commercial applications by their very nature can often be a little more complicated to place than a standard mortgage, so I thought I’d share some tips to help brokers avoid some of the more common pitfalls when sending in cases.

Agreement in principle (AIP)

At this stage, the aim is to avoid any hidden surprises when a case comes in or, in the worst-case scenario, once the valuation has been carried out and fees have been paid. You can help to avoid this by:

  • always supplying a full rationale of a case, making sure you flag any quirky details surrounding the property or the client
  • supplying a breakdown of the residential and commercial rents if it’s a semi-commercial property
  • providing a full description of the property, which will help to ensure lenders get the valuation fee correct on the AIP. Sending in photos at this stage can also prove useful

Full application 

At this step, and once fees have been paid, your case should hopefully be progressing nicely. However, there are still things you can do to ensure you receive an answer in the quickest possible time, such as:

  • making sure you supply all the documentation a lender requests on the AIP, remembering to only send the information they ask for. Sending material that’s not requested can actually slow a case down, as lenders are obliged to underwrite everything they receive — whether they need it or not. If they require any more information, rest assured they’ll soon get in touch to let you know exactly what they need
  • trying to avoid sending piecemeal information as this can delay an application and add to the turnaround times

So, there you have it, five ways to help you get your cases right first time, every time. If you follow these simple tips, you’ll be giving yourself the best possible chance of getting your applications processed as quickly as possible. 

Of course, there’ll still be times when you might need a little extra help with submitting your cases, so don’t forget to pick the brains of your lender’s sales team. Take it from me, there’s nothing BDMs enjoy more than using their experience to help with challenging cases. And never worry about asking the wrong question. As I mentioned at the start of this article, we’ve heard it all before!

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