Broker vs Lender vs Bank

Should I use a Mortgage Broker to Buy or refinance?

A mortgage broker, like any financing entity such as a bank, credit union, or direct lender should provide a specialty. Call it a niche or a competitive advantage. But NO company can be all things to all people. The closer you inspect the more you’ll be able to discern the specialty. It may be a communication style on their website, their reviews, or what they’re proud of the most. 

In your decision to align with the correct mortgage broker, lender, bank, or “FinTech” company you will first need to define your mission. 

If your defined mission aligns more with a certain type of financing provider then you should follow that channel. 

To further complicate that choice you will need to seek out the company in that channel that best represents your mission. Right sport, the right team.

At the end of this decision tree, your mission will have greater odds of success (and the mission will become easier).

You’ll want to sync up with the right corporate personality. 

To answer the title question above you first need to ask yourself: what is your PRIMARY MISSION? There can be only ONE primary mission (goal) yet there can be many sub-goals.

Often a SUB goal can compete with the primary mission. Let’s say your PRIMARY MISSION was a gluten-free or organic meal. You know in your heart, that’s not going to be the cheapest meal – you’ll find that at Dunk’s or MickyD’s. Could you see how that Sub goal of cheapest cost HAS to compete with the Primary Mission of the quality of the product?

Coming back to mortgages let’s posit your PRIMARY MISSION is along the line of successfully buying a home for your family, partner, or pets. That’s actually pretty complicated (more so now than ever before) and it’s also timely. Home buying is one of the bigger personal projects you’ll manage in your lifetime. 

Like any new homeowner you’ve got a level of financial concern: 

Can I afford this?” 

“Am I biting off more than I can chew?”

“What if I get fired?”

And it’s natural to turn your attention to a low-interest rate to help appease the voice in your head asking those questions. Your sub motive of finding the “lowest rate” now leads you to hyper-focus on that Sub-Topic, quickly competing with your PRIMARY MISSION.

I promise you this … you WILL find the low rate outlier – (they are magnetically optimized to your search).

Low rates are an alluring shiny dangling goodie. Displayed brilliantly in PAY-PER-CLICK banners. But it’s actually a rate too good to be true. Losing sight of your PRIMARY MISSION you strike on the lure of a rate leader for your financing. Now you’re on their hook …. with a credit card charge for a 4 figure fee. 

The application process seems smooth. It’s mostly online with very little human interaction. There’s a use-friendly document portal. You receive Green Lights on all activities. Behind the scene, there is no human assigning a Green Light. It’s an app coded in India or China. It honestly can’t tell the difference between your driver’s license and yellow smiley face; you get a Green Light either way. 

There is little or no interaction with phone calls or non-automated emails. But that’s just the way you’d prefer it right now because you have packing to do and are barreling down on a move date. 

Then you receive a call from the realtor selling you your new home:

Realtor: “What’s the name phone number of your attorney?”

You: “Why? Do I need one?”

Realtor: “No, not at all. We were just checking on your Commitment Date”

You, pulse up: “When is that? Actually, WHAT is that?”

With your alertness now on this key Red Date, you try to call your loan contact on the 800 number and it appears your access to a knowledgeable guide is quite limited. Your web search for a valid phone number leads you to a forum with other people posting the EXACT same question. They are also having difficulty locating a live pick-up number for a knowledgeable HUMAN. You stare at your screen in aghast as you learn your provider has five figures of “thumbs up” on their nickname Guaranteed Late

The list of potential specialties of mortgage providers is vast. It’s as vast as the number of participants in the industry. If they talk and act like a salesperson, you’re getting sold to. If she asks for your (financial) commitment to work with THEM you’re being obligated. If you communicate more with an “app” than you do a mortgage advisor, you’re being automated. Any of these may be OK with you. Or maybe not.

When I sense someone is torn between several goals I often try to coach them back to ID’ing their primary mission. For those that continue to place their Sub goals ahead of their Primary goals, I realize that we’re headed for gridlock, and will often suggest those clients pursue other (non GoldCoast) options. 

Here are some true examples of mortgage niches:

  • Mortgage providers for veterans or employees of the Pentagon
  • Mortgages for seniors.
  • Equity (and profit) sharing arrangements for teachers buying homes (yikes!)
  • Some mortgage companies won’t participate in a Home Purchase (they only do refi’s)
  • There are credit unions just for techies
  • And FinTech companies only for those who want to try the “first”of everything.
  • There are Zero Level Service providers all the way to Concierge Level providers.

As a mortgage broker we know we are not a fit for everyone. Some applications are beyond areas of expertise. The LAST thing you would want is someone representing you who doesn’t have the expertise in the Primary Mission you are pursuing; Our pledge is to tell you if that is your case in the first few minutes of our first call. 

The benefit of a low NMLS number (issued chronologically) is that we’ve been around the block several times and can most likely point you to the company (person probably) who will most likely specialize in your quest should we not.

Here are our top specialties:

  • Road Mapping the sale of your home and the simultaneous purchase of a new home.
  • Understanding your reason to refinance and personally escorting you to that goal.
  • Recognizing that mortgage applications for a Self-Employed Business Owner differs from those of salaried employees. 
  • We appreciate the appraisers roll in the Real-Estate-Eco-System and also know how to handle Property Inspection Waivers (aka Appraisal Waivers) as well as any company in existence. 
  • We provide and unreasonable amount of service. We even wrote an article about it: Home Buyer Services Success Stories

We are a free resource to you for anything Real Estate related. We warmly welcome your call and promise to tell you “straight-up” if we are not the best company to handle your needs better than any other company.

“Home buying is one of the bigger personal projects you’ll manage in your lifetime.”

John Donlon, Co-founder, GoldCoast Mortgage, Inc.