I think the general consensus is that most people have no clue what a mortgage broker actually does in their job, how they are paid and do they REALLY have your best interest at heart? So let's tackle the facts!
First and foremost - a Mortgage Broker works for you. We are paid on commissions by the lenders to bring our clients to them and to do all of the work for your file so that they don't have to. So in order for lenders to entice us to bring our clients their way, they are constantly changing their promotions, interest rates and product lines to make them the most attractive product solutions for our clients. We work with over 50 different lenders, which means we keep track of a LOT of products and promotions on a daily basis.
As a result of being paid on commissions, it is in our best interest to get you approved for a mortgage that makes you happy. Happy clients recommend us to their friends!
Not all lenders are created equal. Each of our lenders has different guidelines and requirements for how we can compile a mortgage application. Some lenders accept Child Tax Benefit, self employment income can be looked at in a variety of ways, restrictions on credit score or credit history change from lender to lender, even locations of the property will vary between lenders. One of our jobs is to know all of these rules and find the best option to place your file. For many applicants with a fairly straight forward file, you will receive options on which lender you would prefer. However, for others, we may only find 1 or 2 lending options based on your unique set of parameters or where the property is located.
Whose best interest do I have in mind?
YOU. Always you. As a commission based agent there is often a misconception that brokers steer clients towards unsavory products in order to get paid the highest amount - and in reality, there probably are some Brokers out there who do that. For the most part, brokers want to maintain long lasting relationships with their clients and the only way to do that is with trust and honesty. I genuinely want to see my clients in mortgage products that they are happy with and that suit their financial goals. The differences in commissions between lenders/products is very minimal and is not even a consideration to a good broker. A happy repeat client who refers their friends and family to us is worth much more than the $100 difference in a mortgage commission.
So what exactly do I do all day?
A lot of phone calls... I call lenders, underwriters, other brokers, insurers, realtors and lawyers. Then I call you!
A lot of paperwork... I review your income documents, down payment history, property details, appraisals, inspections, tax assessments, property titles, lender promotions, interest rate sheets and lender guidelines to piece your file together. I operate as a 98% paperless office, which means most of what I do leads into the next point.
A lot of screen time... I compile all of your data and use industry standard software to work out different scenarios for different lenders to find the best approach to take with your file. Documents are e-mailed, uploaded to lender web portals, reviewed and reviewed again! I work with a plethora of programs and websites and probably part of my day consists of just keeping track of my passwords for all of them.
A lot of problem solving... Sometimes being a Mortgage Broker feels like a combination of a private investigator, NASA scientist, wizard, super hero, and mathematician and my specialty is fitting square cubes into round circles.
And a little bit of kitty snuggles...