As a property investor, I became worried about the high interest rate I was being charged on my variable-rate home loan, particularly after getting a letter in the mail notifying me of a rise for the third time in the last 12 months.

Anticipating the next move is more likely to be up than down, I finally decided the time was right to refinance and called two mortgage brokers, as the one who handled my existing loan had left the broking industry.

The call with Broker A was brief and appointment-making was straightforward. I was not asked too many questions and I was not told to bring anything to the meeting, which was interesting. Broker B did not respond to my initial call and when he did return my call, I was asked quite a lot of questions and a fixed-rate product was recommended during the call, which was confronting.

Both meetings went well with discussions that were fairly casual. We discussed the details of both my property and current loan, as well as the pros and cons of variable-rate and fixed-rate mortgage products. However, these discussions were only noted on a piece of paper. Broker B did not ask to see the documents that I had brought with me. In the end the broker recommended the same fixed-rate product that had been recommended during the pre-meeting call.

I eventually decided to refinance with Broker A, as the company also offered a cheaper rate for property management services. After informing the broker of my intention to proceed, however, I was then asked to read, fill in, sign and return various documents prior to starting the application process.

Naturally, my first thought was one of inefficiency, as many of these documents could have been completed during the meeting, particularly the fact-find analysis document. Time was also of the essence in securing the fixed rate on offer. All the time spent completing the various documents was therefore time wasted.