May 24, 2024


Mad about real estate

Mortgage Broker Or Mortgage Lender: Which Should You Use?

It is recommended that you work with a mortgage broker or a mortgage lender before you shop for a house. You don’t want to end up falling in love with a home and then finding out you can’t afford it. Getting pre-qualified or pre-approved for a loan can help you decide what price range fits your situation. So what’s the difference between a mortgage broker and a mortgage lender?

A mortgage broker is basically a retail seller of a loan. They get paid a commission from the lender and a service fee from you. The service fee can include an origination fee, a processing fee, a closing fee, and/or points on the loan. The fees will be listed on the documents you sign at the title company, on the day of closing. The advantage of using a mortgage broker is that they have information on a wide range of lenders and loans that can fit your needs. A mortgage broker’s obligation to his/her customer is to find the best rate possible and make sure all the documents are prepared by the closing date. To do otherwise could cause the mortgage broker to lose customers and tarnish their reputation with other real estate professionals.

A mortgage lender is the actual institution servicing your loan. A lender could be a bank, a credit union, or a quasi-government company like FNMA or “Fannie Mae”. Sometimes a lender will sell the loan to the open market, but still continue to service it. The fee of a lender is typically less than that of a mortgage broker. The mortgage broker, however, might find you a better rate because they are not bound by the policies of one institution. It is, therefore, debatable that going directly to the mortgage lender for a loan will save you money.

Then who should you use? The answer is easy. Find the one who gives you the best deal. All mortgage brokers and mortgage lenders should tell you their fees upfront, so shop around. It is also a good idea, in some instances, to use a lender referred to you by your realtor. Realtors work with lenders all the time and yours might have a good feel for one that is reliable and honest. In the end, though, you should use the mortgage broker or mortgage lender that is right for you.