You’ve saved enough for a down payment on a home and are ready to shop around for a mortgage. You want to be ready to make on offer when that perfect home comes on the market – congratulations! So who should you talk to about your Mortgage options?
One of the first questions we ask new clients is whether they have Pre-Approval in place for a mortgage and there are two options you can consider to secure it – your local bank, or a mortgage broker, both of which have some advantages.
Mortgage Specialist at a Local Bank Branch
- Offers multiple financial services; can be consolidated and/or discounted
- You’ve likely built trust and/or relationships with your bank over many years
- Can only offer their own rates and financial products
- You do your own negotiating
A Mortgage Specialist at a specific bank works for the bank and sells that bank’s primary products. They are often an employee and have a vested interest in taking care of the bank’s money. They are convenient, accessible at branches all over Canada and will make product recommendations that are in your best interests – within their portfolio of services.
Independent Mortgage Broker
- Can shop around for the best rates on the market; is not tied to one financial source
- Works as your intermediary and negotiate on your behalf
- Can be available outside of business hours for offer negotiations
- Is a less familiar resource and you (likely) have no pre-existing relationships
- Can’t discount or consolidate financial services
An independent Mortgage Broker works for you. They qualify you and shop you around to find the very best fit for your specific circumstances and goals because they can access ALL of the mortgage products on the market and help you determine the best fit for your lifestyle.
They are often there for you outside of business hours and we can count on them taking our phone call at odd hours when we are in the middle of an offer negotiation.
Our Two Cents
Consumers sometimes mistake a Financial Products Advisor at their local bank with a Mortgage Specialist; and someone that meets with a Financial Services advisor to discuss their mortgage may not be getting the same level of expertise they would with a Mortgage Specialist – and they, the consumer, may never know the difference. A bank is a retail location, designed to sell their retail products and it’s important to ensure you speak to the bank’s Mortgage Specialist who can help guide you in the right direction.
One of the Mortgage professionals that we work with told us a story: this advisor, with 25+ years’ experience with one of the big banks, had assisted a family member in securing a summer job at a local branch. Clearly, one has a higher level of experience over time. Yet, the consumer, walking into the branch may not recognize the value in that expertise. They have always banked there, and as such, simply visit the first person available when visiting the branch. I cannot reiterate this one point enough – always ask to speak with the Mortgage Specialist at your local bank.
Through our years of experience, we have successful relationships with both Mortgage Brokers and Mortgage Specialists at most major banks. At the end of the day, we advocate for what’s going to allow our clients to make the most informed decision; and both a Mortgage Specialist at a bank and an independent Mortgage Broker can help with that
Do What’s Best For You
Over the life of a mortgage, a large sum of your hard earned income is being paid out as interest and you want to make sure the product and terms you have serve your family’s long term wealth-building strategies.
Definitely shop around, (especially at renewal time, if you already have a mortgage) and go with what makes you comfortable. Every lender wants your business. You owe it to your own financial wellbeing to hire the very best expert when it comes to your mortgage product.
And when you are ready, give us a call. Having a team of experts working for you is, after all, what you deserve.