The Value of a Mortgage Broker
Posted on Oct 2, 2012 in Mortgage Market Updates and News
The real estate and mortgage industry is a competitive business. Recent changes in policies have slowed down the market somewhat, but hasn't stopped it. Forecasts may point to a slower pace in sales but each year hundreds of thousands of properties trade hands and this will continue. For consumers, competition is a good thing because it gives you choice. In the mortgage industry, with historically low interest rates, it's easy to shop the market to find a low advertised rate, whether from your local bank or from your mortgage broker. However, mortgages are not as simple as some make them out to be, especially when rate is all that is considered. Home buyers need to educate themselves on what is contained within the mortgage: pre-payment terms, penalties, fixed vs. variable, open vs. closed, etc.
When a borrower works with a licensed mortgage broker, that broker takes on the role of a trusted adviser and problem solver, which differentiates them the rest of the crowd. Brokers take the time to first understand a client's needs, both short term and long term, then recommend the right mortgage and present options. In addition to straight home purchases, brokers work with clients who refinance to consolidate debt, who are looking to purchase second homes, who are looking for the best options at renewal time and brokers help clients make property-related investment decisions.
Not only has the market become more competitive but many lenders have tightened their guidelines and others are leaving the mortgage market. However, brokers have access to a variety of lenders with different criteria than the banks. And new lenders are coming on board to fill the gap others have left. That means if your personal profile does not quite fit a particular bank's profile, you may still be able to qualify when you select a mortgage professional to work with. There are still plenty of interesting mortgages available, and no one is more knowledgeable and more informed than mortgage brokers.
Many clients are doing research online and we encourage that. We can counsel clients who have less-than stellar credit or home buyers who don't qualify under the new mortgage rules on ways they can get that home. We take care of our existing clients, understand our lenders and keep educating ourselves. We add value by making sure we understand what a client wants and needs - their financial and personal goals - not just in the short term but over the long haul.
-Sharie Marie Francoeur, TMG The Mortgage Group Canada Inc.