Mortgage Brokers vs. Bank Mortgages….And All The Red Tape…


6 minute read

February 5, 2013

We’ve discussed this before, but it’s time to delve into it again.

Have we finally reached the point of no return?

First, a disclaimer: I apologize if I offend anybody who works in mortgages for one of the major banks.

I know that many of my readers, and some of my very close friends, work in mortgage departments for banks, and while this may come off as a very biased account of a recent experience, I think that public opinion is probably on my side here.

The people that work in mortgages for banks, aka “mortgage specialists,” are not bad people, and they’re not bad at their jobs.

It’s the “higher-ups,” or the “red tape” they are put through that makes it impossible for them to compete with mortgage brokers in 2013.

And that’s what today’s blog is about: MORTGAGE BROKERS VERSUS BANKS

At this time, I’ll make a second disclaimer: I have no vested interest in seeing my clients, or anybody, use ‘my’ mortgage broker.  I don’t get referral fees, nor would I accept them if offered.

Having made that clear, let me tell you about what happened last week…

A client of mine, who we’ll call “Richard,” is a first-time buyer who was focused on condo-lofts in the King West area.

Richard is pretty savvy, and he certainly knows his stuff.  He’s seen about thirty condos, and two minutes after walking into this King West condo last weekend he said, “It’s great.  Let’s do it.”

I love when my buyers know what they want!

We reached an agreement with the seller, conditional on financing and a review of the condominium’s Status Certificate, and away we went.

Buyers usually have pre-approvals in place, but as luck would have it, Richard’s 6-month pre-approval expired the day before we made the offer!

No matter, right?  We’ll just get financing from one of the many, many lending institutions who are lined up to give out money these days.

It should be a slam dunk.  Right?

To all you “Mortgage Specialists” out there, I don’t know how you do it.  I don’t know how you put up with all the red tape, and I don’t know how you keep from going crazy.  You work way, way too hard to deal with the hurdles, and the hoops you need to jump through to approve financing that should be rubber-stamped.

Richard was looking to get financing through one of the major five banks, and it took three days for them to reply.

Three days.

My mortgage broker can get an approval in two hours, if you ask him nicely…

A mortgage broker works with sixty lending institutions, and thus the service, speed, rate, and term will almost always trump what your good ‘ole neighbourhood bank can muster up.

After three days, Richard’s bank determined that they needed to do an appraisal, and they sent an email to Richard and I that said, “Please extend the condition on financing until Monday at 5pm.”


I’ll get right on that…

It felt a lot like dealing with the relocation company that I wrote about last month.  They make these assumptions that everything is so easy!  Sure – just go and get the seller to allow you another four days to tie up the property so that nobody else can make an offer!  That should be easy, right?

They have very little knowledge of how real estate and negotiations work, or, they do, and they just don’t care.

I informed the mortgage specialist at the big bank that we had until Friday to get the condition satisfied, and that he’d better get the financing in place.

To his credit, he was able to move things quick(er), although they required an appraisal of the property.  The appraiser wasn’t available until Saturday, of course, so they had to once again “escalate” the file so that we could get an appraisal that afternoon.

The appraiser was “rushed,” and it was clear that he wasn’t happy.  He got in to the property on Thursday afternoon, and later that day, he submitted his “appraisal” that was significantly below the purchase price.

Sorry, but I think appraisers are a joke.

These guys and gals go inside a condo or a house for ten minutes, look around, and then throw down an arbitrary value are who the banks are trusting?

FYI – this condo was worth more than my client paid.  We got into the unit on the first day of the listing, and he and I both agreed that it could have been listed $10-$15K higher, and we ended up getting it for $6K under asking.

But try telling that to the appraiser.  Because I did!

I called him and asked how much he figured the Wolf range and the Sub Zero fridge were worth, in the $30K kitchen that had been featured in two different home/style magazines.  But the appraiser, who sounded like he was at a bar, wouldn’t talk to me.  He said he wasn’t permitted, which is most likely the case.

I called the mortgage specialist and told him that the appraisal was low and it was going to cost him a deal.

The mortgage specialist suggested two options:

1) That my client put down more money, and pay for the difference out of his pocket.

2) That we “escalate” the appraisal to senior management, who, so long as we get a seven day extension, can likely get the value appraised.

I apologized to the guy, because he was really nice, and was doing all he could do, and told him that I would take Richard to my mortgage broker on Friday morning.  Both of his “options” were silly, self-serving, and would cost Richard money, the property, or both.

Richard and my mortgage broker talked at 9am on Friday, and from the time my mortgage broker clicked “send” on the email to his lender, to the time he received a return-email with an approval, a whopping fifteen minutes had passed.

No exaggeration, folks.

That is what a good mortgage broker can do.

If a broker has the experience, knowledge, and contacts, he or she can get approvals done in a day, in an hour, or in this case – in fifteen minutes.

It took the bank FOUR DAYS to muck around before they finally got some BS appraisal, and it took a mortgage broker fifteen minutes.

The lender, which could have been any one of several lenders that my mortgage broker uses, looked at the purchase price, the down payment, the borrower’s income, debt, credit score, and approved the mortgage instantly.

Isn’t that how it should be?

I know the cynics are going to say:

“Good for you.  You got somebody ELSE to approve a value that the appraiser didn’t deem fit.”

Well, I think I know more about downtown Toronto lofts than some appraiser who was inside the unit for five minutes to give a subjective value when he was rushed and frustrated, so I don’t think the appraisal was the problem.  I also think that ten other appraisers would have appraised the property at the value we paid.

Cynics might also say:

“Great, so you got financing from some Joe Schmoe Bank for your client who was trying to get financing from one of the big-five.”

And that’s where things get really interesting, since it was actually one of the big five banks that came through in the end!

The mortgage industry is strange.

Think of the relationship: the banks are working with the mortgage brokers, since the banks want to loan to applicants/clients of the mortgage brokers, but the banks are working against the mortgage brokers, since they are direct competitors.

Have you ever seen something so bizarre?

It’s like fighting a war where your allies – the people watching your back, are also your enemy.

And this, in my opinion, is why the banks have such awful customer service, such slow turn-around times, and such incredible red tape.  Because even if they lose the business to a mortgage broker, they get it back in the end when the brokers get their clients loans from the banks.

After all, the mortgage brokers are shopping the big five banks, in addition to many other lending institutions.  So if the bank “loses” the business to a mortgage broker who is quicker, more personable, and easier to deal with, that business might come right back to the bank, via the broker!

A friend of mine works as a mortgage specialist at one of the big five banks, and he told me off the record that he can’t understand why people still go to banks for approvals.  He told me that in order to work on an application, he has to do about five times the work that he believes is truly necessary, and that the application has to pass through dozens of hands.  He likens it to the movie Office Space where he has eight different bosses, all telling him the same thing, when he’s just trying to do his job.

I don’t fault these mortgage specialists at all, but rather I fault the setup at the banks and lending institutions.

If they don’t shape up, they might lose more business.

In 2013, you simply cannot take four days to work on a mortgage application for somebody who is exceptionally well-qualified financially.

I’m sure not every mortgage broker can get a deal done in an hour, but mine can.  My mortgage broker routinely rescues deals off the operating table, and every time, I fault myself for not pushing my clients harder at the onset to use a broker and not a bank.

So, let the debate begin.

I’m not averse to hearing feedback and/or criticism from you mortgage specialists out there.  I think you guys have it rough, and I respect what you do.  But I just think a mortgage broker has no much more to offer.

In the fast-paced world of real estate in 2013, time is of the essence.  And no consumer should accept a 4-5 day turn-around on a mortgage, no matter what their “specialist” tells them…

Written By David Fleming

David Fleming is the author of Toronto Realty Blog, founded in 2007. He combined his passion for writing and real estate to create a space for honest information and two-way communication in a complex and dynamic market. David is a licensed Broker and the Broker of Record for Bosley – Toronto Realty Group

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  1. Vincent

    at 7:46 am

    100% agreed. Never went to the bank for my mortgage, went straight to a mortgage broker and got it done in no time. In the end it didn’t matter which bank I had my mortgage with as I knew my mortgage broker gave me the best deal and conditions I asked for.

  2. Ralph Cramdown

    at 8:15 am

    The Wolf range and the Sub-Zero fridge are, of course, worth zero, as they’re chattels and aren’t part of the security for the loan.

    The big question is did your buyer have 20% down? If yes, it was the bank that ordered the physical appraisal. If not, it was CMHC.

    In the deal I was in last spring, prospective buyers waited five business days (8 calendar, over a long weekend) for an answer from big comfy chair bank. Much of the reason, I think, was that they wanted an answer from their bank before submitting an offer rather than submitting an offer with subjects, and the bank wasn’t going to move quickly with no paper. Their interest put pressure on the eventual buyer (who didn’t put in a financing clause, so I guess he was “exceptionally well-qualified financially” LOL) so it worked out for me but, like you, I wished that I’d started pushing the mortgage broker option earlier, just in case.

    I think that we’ve just experienced a long period of exceptionally easy credit. In future, we can likely expect more on-site appraisals, more requests for the client to throw in more cash to improve the LTV, and more selective lenders. The bank that ‘lost’ the deal with your client may have no regrets about it at all.

    1. JC

      at 4:20 pm

      I agree with you about the chattels. I would add that in most cases, just because someone spent $30,000 on a kitchen does not mean that it is worth $30,000 to someone else and certainly does not mean the place is automatically “worth” 30 grand more.

      1. RPG

        at 4:47 pm

        I think you guys might be overlooking the point here, which is that an appraisal is extremely subjective. The appraiser might live in a basement apartment, and thus not know how to value built-in closets, light fixtures, a gas line on the balcony, a condo that permits BBQ’s (that has a value, and there’s no way an appraiser would know), not to mention the location, building, brand, etc. I have no faith in appraisers, and I feel like it’s a make-work project for people that aren’t fit to do anything else.

        1. johnny chase

          at 5:25 pm

          um… isn’t that the appraisers job? I think he would know. They’re just concervative is all.

          1. ScottyP

            at 5:34 pm

            It’s true that it’s his job… but the question is, is he any good at it?

        2. Ralph Cramdown

          at 5:31 pm

          So print up some business cards and advertise that you’re willing to lend against real estate with no appraisal required. I’m sure you’ll get lots of business.

          1. Appraiser

            at 5:19 pm

            Seriously? Built-in closets,light fixtures & BBQ gas lines? Add it up for us genius and justify the value from market-derived data and comparables with appropriate adjustments. Good luck. Appraiser don’t deal with minutiae.

            Speaking of having no faith. I have no faith in retards who post garbage opinions.

            P.S. I live in a paid for 3,000 sq. ft. home backing on to a ravine. Crawl back into your basement apartment jerk.

      2. lui

        at 7:19 am

        JC is right,same as the guys who install $10,000 aftermarket parts then figure his car is worth $10,000 more than a stock one..same as a home if a owner puts in the best appliances in the kitchen that cost $$$ no way the house is worth $$$ more…

        1. JC

          at 11:41 am

          I hear this all the time about appliances…. they cost $x,xxx.xx.
          So what? They’re used!
          I know someone that spent $20,000 on a bathroom renovation and seems to think that his condo is now worth $20,000 more than an otherwise comparable unit. It’d be the first thing I gut. I hope he enjoyed it.

  3. johnny chase

    at 9:35 am

    Dave – who was the lender that eventually financed this purchase? Is it going to be packaged and sold off with a million other “B” rated morgages with other buyers who have 5-20% equity in their condos?

    For some people, it doesn’t matter – they just focus on the rate and how it was .3% better than the big bank rate. Many had no idea that their mortgage was packaged and sold as a ABCP and when the sh*t hit the fan, many had no leeway to negotiate with their lenders – becuase they had no idea who holding their paper anymore and didn’t have a relationship with them. Hopefully, all will work out in the end but you never know…

    1. John Galt

      at 11:55 pm

      Asset Backed Commercial Paper does not equal mortgages. Two different animals.
      Most mortgages are bundled and sold to institutions such as pension plans, CPP, other lenders etc.

      ABCP is/was primarily a short term investment mechanism for companies to sell off their receivables…usually 0-180 days.

  4. George

    at 9:44 am

    I have worked with both options. In my experience, brokers are proactive and get things done well in advance of deadlines. Banks wait and wait, leave you unsure about the process, and miss whatever deadlines they feel like missing.

    But that’s the way of the world. When you put one person in charge of something, they will take responsibility to do the job right. When you put a group of people in charge of something, no one takes responsibility.

    1. ScottyP

      at 5:27 pm

      Hear hear, George.

  5. RJ

    at 10:22 am

    I tried a broker for the first time and was very happy with the process and service quality ( ). But I didn’t try because my bank had particularly lengthy timelines.

    I got fed up with the hard-sell tactics; pushing other products, and making recommendations on how I should change the products I have with other banks. I just wanted the best mortgage to suit my needs, not someone else’s assertion of what my needs should be.

    In retrospect, I should have tried a broker long before, so I guess the aggressive selling at the bank did result in me getting better results…from someone else.

  6. Jarrett

    at 10:33 am

    Excellent post and it is great to know that we have real estate professionals supporting the mortgage brokers out there. It is nice to know we are appreciated for our hard work, customer service and understanding that each person is unique and so should their financing.

  7. grasshopper

    at 10:55 am

    I disagree. Maybe I just dealt with a terrible broker, but the broker I tried to use couldn’t get me a rate as good as dealing directly with the bank. I initially went to a broker recommended by a friend and got something reasonable. Out of curiosity, I then contacted the major banks to see if they could do better. I got better rates, in writing, from two of the banks and found that they were just as responsive as the broker. I took those back to the broker who said that he was unable to match the bank offers.

    1. David Fleming

      at 12:05 pm

      @ grasshopper

      It works both ways; go to a bank after getting a quote from a broker, and they’ll beat it. Go to a broker after getting a quote from a bank, and they’ll beat it. That’s how they work. Fish eating fish…

  8. lui

    at 12:33 pm

    Agree with Vince…Im self employed so the banks looks at me like a leaper,went to a broker got it approved in 24 hours and at the bank that wanted my next born to get the loan……….Funny when the bank sees my mortgage is up for renewal than they come knocking for my business…

  9. JC

    at 4:28 pm

    I’ve run into this as well. Murking (and if thats not a word, it should be) the waters further is that TDCanadatrust (and most of the others I’m assuming) have “Mobile Mortgage Specialists” that seem to have much more leeway and ability to move mountains than when you deal with the Bank directly.

    I got a faster answer from one of these specialists than I did with the Manager at the Bank branch that I’ve held an account with since I was 14 years old. What was more maddening was that I could have purchased the home outright and not bothered with a mortgage – but of course since I’m “self-employed”, I’m a “bad risk”.

  10. Appraiser

    at 12:32 pm

    As an appraiser, I suppose I should take umbrage with some of the comments posted here and in particular the author’s offhand remark that appraisers are a joke and that they make arbitrary decisions regarding value estimates. I also take note of the further attempt to disparage the appraiser by intimating that he was at a bar when you called him to inform him of your special knowledge of appliances.

    I wonder David, are appraisers only a “joke” when they come in below sale price? And by arbitrary, do you mean to imply that a number was simply pulled out of the appraiser’s ass?

    You may want to brush-up on your articling courses David, in order to re-familiarize yourself with the relative merits and inherent differences between the cost approach and the comparative sales approach in residential appraisal.

    Many appraisers including myself, are also realtors and members of TREB. Many others have access to TREB through their employer. Our sales data is exactly the same as yours.

    I suggest that those who wish to inform themselves further google the Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC) and check out what it takes to become certified.

    1. AsianSensation

      at 1:15 pm

      It would be an interesting test to have multiple appraisers do the same unit to see the variance between them. David should pass this listing’s information over to you so you could provide your feedback.

      1. Appraiser

        at 5:05 pm

        @ AsianSensation. I charge for my appraisal work. Thanks.

    2. Devore

      at 10:23 pm

      “I also take note of the further attempt to disparage the appraiser by intimating that he was at a bar when you called him to inform him of your special knowledge of appliances.”

      Imagine that, someone in a bar on a Friday evening. I suppose he should have been at his office, patiently awaiting some realtor he’s never heard of to call him outraged to quiz him about appliance packages.

      Come on David, for someone who regularly writes about the bad apples in the realtor and brokerage industry you are sure quick to paint everyone with the same tar brush.

  11. JG

    at 1:26 pm

    I’m a little late to the party – but I will add my thoughts;

    Full Disclosure -yes, i am a ‘mobile mortgage advisor’ for one of the “Big 5 Banks”

    I have seen it both ways. Its of my opinion, its the individual you work with that makes all the difference. I’ve come into deals mid-way, or as you say “rescued deals off the operating table” that had started with a Broker. I’ve had Realtor’s question my ability, when they had Brokers whispering sweet nothing in their ears, only to have the deal blow up in their face because they did not trust what i was stating to them.

    I regular work with and compete with Brokers, so I have seen my fair share of the excellent ones and the deceiful ones.
    My recommendation to those out there seeking mortgage advise;
    -ask them (broker or specialist) how long they have been in the business?
    -can they thoroughly explain the in’s and out’s of a mortgage product? i.e. standard or collateral charge, fixed term versus Variable, product features – both pro’s and con’s, etc.
    -do they understand what affects the Fixed rates versus how the Variable rates are affected?
    -can they provide references?
    etc, etc.

    Even though I am considered a Mono-line broker, I view my work as if I am an independant broker. Full service from beginning to end. This is why, to the comment above, working directly with a Mortgage Specialist versus walking into a bank, typically, you will have an excellent experience – both in terms of competitive rate and service. A good mortgage specialist, just like a good broker, views their business just like that – a Business. Every client counts.

    Yes, there can be some red tape involved at the bank, but as i stated, an experience specialist will see this from miles away and already have a plan in place to deal with it.
    4days for a reply – unacceptable. Same day turn around is the expected. At the very most the next day.
    This person at the bank basically dropped the ball on this one, in not having the appraisal ordered ASAP. Again, all this could have happened well within 4days. I fault the person as much as the bank. Where was the follow-up?

    Just my 2cents – in the end, it hangs heavily on the individual. I dont think its a Broker vs the ‘big 5 banks’ issues, as it is a personal/experience issue.

  12. John Galt

    at 11:50 pm

    Great posting, great comments…and lest we forget, NEVER get mortgage insurance from the bank! Always get a separate term policy from your friendly neighbourhood insurance broker (or whoever you have). The cost of life insurance via the bank is ALWAYS higher than what you would find by shopping around.

    If your bank offers you the insurance, get them to put it in writing, then get a quote from an independant..and see the difference..then ask the bank WTF?

  13. Greg

    at 2:57 am

    I also felt that David was only upset at the appraiser and called him a “joke” because his value was significantly less than the purchase price which prevented the deal to go through as quickly as he wanted it to.

    And if he thinks the Wolf range and sub zero fridge can signigicantly impact the value of the unit, then i begin to doubt that he’s working in the best interest of his client.

    I believe that each and every lender, no matter big or small, before approving a mortgage, should do an on-site appraisal.

    1. Jake

      at 7:31 am

      Let me ask you this – if a home has a custom wood kitchen vs an ikea kitchen, would that impact the value? If so, I don’t see how a $10,000 sub zero fridge (that comes WITH the home) does not make a kitchen worth more than a $1000 kenmore sears special.

      1. Greg

        at 8:52 am

        It is worth more, but not significant enough to make it à deal breaker. I am positive that the appraiser had already taken the appliances into consideration and assigned a value to them; it is just not what David wanted.

        1. ScottyP

          at 9:01 am

          So Greg, what you’re saying is that you trust the judgment of some guy who was called in by a big bank and did a 10-minute appraisal at the last minute more than that of the writer of this blog, who spent a lot more time and effort valuing the property on behalf of his client.

          How can you be “positive” that the appraiser took the appliances into account? In David’s estimation, the property could’ve been valued 10-15K higher. That means there was a pretty significant gap here. How are you so sure that the appraiser did his job to the best of his abilities, or that he had any ability to begin with?

          1. Greg

            at 4:18 pm

            I am not disputing the credibility of the writer of this blog. David is unquestionably one of the most knowledgeable and experienced realtors out there but when he has vested interest in this kind of dealing, it makes his calling out on the ability of the appraiser whose decision can potentially kill the deal less credible.

            1. David Fleming

              at 10:36 pm

              @ Greg

              I appreciate the kind words. Thanks! 🙂

          2. Krupo

            at 12:33 am

            Oh, Greg: WTH? Obviously the broker has an interest in the deal going through. If it didn’t, you might have be making a helpful point.

            But… the deal went through. And with a major bank. So… someone screwed up, and money talks. Give Dave the benefit of the doubt when he presents a scenario where he’s helping a client score a place below asking.

            In his posts, if it was severely over-priced to begin with, a pertinent fact like that would typically be shared. Client gets deal, gets mortgage, ironically from one of those same banks. Comedy.

            The appliances, as usual, are colour, and bright shiny things seem to have thrown a few people into a bit of a rage.

        2. David Fleming

          at 4:11 pm

          @ Greg

          Realtor vs. Appraiser: who knows better?

          I just sold a house for $3.1 Million the other day that I know is worth more. It was for sale a few years back for $3.8 Million, and long story short, the property has been stigmatized by the market (sale, lease, sign up, sign down, moving trucks, question marks, chatty neighbours…), and it’s not going to sell for it’s real value. I sold this property, through an off-the-market deal, for about $200-$300K less than I believe it’s worth. The appraiser will give it a value of $3.1 Million, right? I was at the “appraisal” and it took six minutes.

          Are you telling me that the appraiser, in the house for six minutes, knows more than three Realtors with a combined 70 years of experience?

          It’s not a matter of “what David wanted,” but rather what the property is worth.

          Real estate appraisers know very little about real estate. They’re just a cog in the wheel of corporate liability.

          1. Jake

            at 4:38 pm

            Appraisers care not just what the house looks like inside but what the overall market conditions are in similar homes on similar lots. Tell me: on the condo you sold to your client, what were the comparables within the last 30 to 60 days? Also, tell me David: Are banks in the business of buying and selling homes or are they in the business of lending money? Obviously the latter, so if you don’t like the system tell your client to pay cash. Truth is, at these rates even the stupidest people know better than to pay cash (or the great majority don’t have the cash).

            I’d also like to know what the appraiser ended up valuing your bargain $3.1M home for?

            1. David Fleming

              at 10:41 pm

              @ Jake

              The house was appraised for $3.1 Million. Do you think an appraiser would EVER value a home for more than somebody paid? And if an appraiser lives in a basement apartment, is he or she qualified to evaluate luxury real estate?

              As for the condo, I have to say that you’re being a bit too much like an appraiser – asking for “comparables” from the past 30-60 days. FYI – this condo is in a 42-unit building where only 2-3 units come up for sale each year, and where only ONE of these units has been for sale in the past 24 months.

              So yeah, I think I’m more qualified to value a sexy, chic, King West loft in a building where units sell overnight than a 50-something appraiser who needs a map to get to the property.

              You’re right though – banks are in the business of lending money. They want to make sure that they’re not over-extending, and I understand that. But if 19/20 “expert appraisers” would appraise this property at the purchase price, then what does it say about that ONE appraiser who was in a bad mood because he was called in on short notice, couldn’t find the lockbox, and got a parking ticket?

          2. Jake

            at 11:14 pm


            Just because someone doesn’t LIVE in a $3.1M house doesn’t mean they can’t appraise it. Just because someone doesn’t drive a 1968 Dino, doesn’t mean they can’t appraise it, nor wear a vintage rolex etc. You don’t need to LIVE int he property to know the worth- much like you do not live in that $3.1M house.

            Furthermore I sound like an appraiser because the banks do not care what another unrelated building had sold units for, they care about the building in question and then open up the scope.

            Finally, if 19 out of 20 appraise it for asking price then you get a second opinion and never send the appraisal to the bank until you have a lengthy discussion, and/or get a second valuation. Unless cmhc directly orders the appraisal and still you can get around this problem.

            I’ve had many a run-in with appraisers, lowballing, not valuing basement (walk-out fully functioning ground level basement living space for that matter), using comps that make no sense, and I’ve also seen the other side i.e. appraisers overvaluing properties, being paid off, and the whole CMHC Emili system is bunk too, so we need to realize that such up-and-down manipulation will eventually hurt everyone:

            and the market, which in turn will hurt the homeowner, which in turn will hurt


            Kumbaya let’s work together 😉

            1. David Fleming

              at 10:55 am

              @ Jake

              I went to bed last night thinking, “Geez, that basement comment was a serious cheap shot!!”

              Sometimes, I give people MORE incentive to disagree with me!!!! 🙂

          3. Appraiser

            at 9:44 pm

            Speaking of jokes. I was astonished to read that a supposedly experienced top-producing realtor would know so little about mortgage financing as to believe that a mortgage pre-approval would have any bearing on the transaction in question. A pre-approval is little more than a marketing tactic and is ALWAYS subject to many other variables, not the least of which is the specific property under consideration. Now that’s funny.

            Put that in your cog and wheel it.

            1. Jake

              at 10:45 pm

              The last comment by the appraiser is



              Funny the disconnect between appraiser and Realtor these days.

  14. Jake

    at 7:29 am

    You could probably guess as a mortgage broker I’m in favour of this article. Well, you guessed right! After ten years and many many many horror stories of big-bank brokers not treating their clients with respect and especially their timelines, I often wonder why not use both and decide whose service and expertise you prefer? Try your bank and try a broker. It won’t hurt, we don’t bite. Remember we don’t get paid if the deal doesn’t close whereas a “mortgage agent” at the big bank may be on salary + small commission so to them it doesn’t really matter.

    Truth is, though, that for every bad big bank broker there’s probably an inexperienced independent broker/agent out there, and I’ve heard those horror stories too. I don’t get it though; if you can’t do the deal, fess up and move along.

    As for appraisers, I’ve worked with some bad ones, and some good ones. Once you find a good one you stick with them. An appraiser isn’t out there to kill the deal, and if you have a solid relationship with one you can avoid problems like this. Sometimes you won’t agree on the valuation but having the discussion with the client and Realtor may put things in perspective. If the BIG BANK orders the appraisal then good luck talking to them (as was your case, David – the guy was at a bar and wasn’t “allowed” to talk to you).

    But as someone else said – it depends who ordered the appraisal. There’s always a workaround.

  15. Floom

    at 9:15 am

    Quick comment, I work at a bank and received a better rate and better service by working with a mortgage broker. I would have loved to have supported “the mother ship” but the bottom line is the bottom line. The key is select a reputable, professional mortgage broker -get a referral, not a google search.

  16. kristine j. fisher

    at 6:24 am

    Thanks for your valuable information about “Mortgage Brokers vs. Bank Mortgages
    I think mortgage broker is better than bank . am i right ?
    Cause mortgage broker can help us by reducing our time as well as its totally Hassle-free.

    Also, i want to mention that , I see your blog regularly. Your blog is very useful to us.

    1. kathy ross

      at 4:08 am

      wow, great article!. very informative & helpful.
      Best mortgage broker can help us by reducing our time as well as it’s totally Hassle-free.
      I think a good mortgage broker should know about Mortgage Laws also. am I right?

Pick5 is a weekly series comparing and analyzing five residential properties based on price, style, location, and neighbourhood.

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