Who Should You Choose - Broker or Banker?
The conventional way, just walk into your bank or credit union and they'll be happy to help you. But putting a little time into this, you will learn valuable information and can potentially save you thousands of dollars.
Over the years, banks and credit unions have become much more competitive and client friendly in the mortgage business.
This does not mean you'll be blindly looked after and your best interests are at heart. The person sitting across from you at the table does not work for you, they work for the bank. This is why you want to ask the right questions, make sure you get the right mortgage and product that fits your lifestyle - not the banks bottom line.
Banks have been known to register your mortgage as a collateral mortgage. This can be detrimental to your long term mortgage plans if you're looking at moving up or porting your mortgage. Be sure to ask about this.
You will see on almost all mortgage professional websites when they have rates posted, it reads "posted rates" and "our rates". Post rates are what the banks offer - if you don't ask the right questions - you might end up with a mortgage at a posted rate costing you a lot of money.
I certainly am not stating banks are trying to screw you, but remember that person helping you at the bank works for the bank.
It's important you are familiar with what other interest rates are being offered so it's not foreign to you.
The Mortgage Broker
A mortgage professional does not work for any specific lender - they work specifically for you.
Your financial profile will be matched with the best lender who matches your needs, wants and lifestyle. The interest rate you'll be offered usually will be the best rate available. Mortgage brokers usually have good relationships with lenders and underwriters so you may find a professional who may be able to offer a slightly discounted rate if they have a good rapport with their lending partners.
Your Best Interests
This is very important, your mortgage professional is regulated by the Real Estate Council of Alberta and must follow a strict code of conduct. With this, the right mortgage professional will be your personal mortgage and refinance contact for many years to come.
When working with a bank representative, it may be less likely you will experience this. Though some large banks are offering dedicated mortgage representatives - but they still work for the bank.
After Hours and Vacations
This is a very key topic - especially as your Realtor® - we tend to conduct offer negotiations outside of the standard business hours. If you or I have a question for your lender, will they be available to answer you at 8pm on a Wednesday night?
When your mortgage broker or bank representative goes on a vacation or takes a day off, who is looking after your file? I have seen all too often home buyers scrambling on condition day trying to get an approval completed only to find out their representative is on vacation and nobody knows who you are.