Banks vs. Mortgage Brokers

Banks vs. Mortgage Brokers

For most of us, buying property will be the greatest financial investment we’ll ever make. That being said, becoming a homeowner it isn’t something to enter into lightly. Doing your research beforehand will help you navigate your way through this complex process.

One of the questions potential buyers often ask is: What is the difference between going through my bank and using a mortgage broker? Understanding the different roles will help you make a decision that’s right for you.

Most of us already have a fairly good idea of what banks do because we’ve dealt with them for years. You probably began the relationship with your bank with a savings account opened by your parents, added a chequing account once you started earning your keep, and moved on to RRSPs and various investment options as you started thinking more about your future financial goals. Banks offer a number of services in addition to personal banking, including credit cards, loans and mortgages. One of the benefits of working with banks is that their diverse services allow for relatively easy consolidation. Unfortunately, when it comes to getting a mortgage, banks can only offer their services, for which you’ll have to negotiate yourself. This is the main difference between banks and mortgage brokers, and what gives mortgage brokers an edge.

Think of mortgage brokers as licensed, freelance mortgage specialists. Working with your preferences in mind, mortgage brokers search the marketplace to help homebuyers find and secure the most competitive mortgage rates. A mortgage broker will sit down with you to review your financial history and help you devise a plan for the future. Unlike banks, they have access to multiple lenders and mortgage rates. Contrary to what many people believe, you don’t pay mortgage brokers, they are paid by the lender providing the mortgage product.

So which is the right choice for you? If you have a great relationship with your bank, it’s understandable that you’d want to remain where you feel comfortable. However, more and more Canadians are choosing to work with mortgage brokers, who’ll see homebuyers through the entire process, negotiating rates and terms on behalf of the homeowner.