If you’re looking at buying a home, you’ll need to speak to a mortgage specialist. But what’s the difference between a mortgage advisor, a mortgage broker and a mortgage agent? While the job titles are related, they have some significant differences.
What is a mortgage advisor?
Unlike a mortgage broker, a mortgage advisor works solely for a particular bank or financial institution. They still play an intermediary role between a bank and a borrower (just like a mortgage broker does) but they don’t shop around different mortgage lenders.
A mortgage advisor is also known as a mortgage agent. Their main job is to outline the products of their respective bank and work with you to come up with the best mortgage solution. They will then negotiate with the bank on your behalf to get you the best deal.
A mortgage advisor works solely for a particular bank or financial institution. They still play an intermediary role between a bank and borrower but they don’t shop around different mortgage lenders
Like a mortgage broker, a mortgage advisor gets paid by the bank, but instead of a referral fee, payment can take the form of a commission, or they may earn a salary plus an added commission for every mortgage contract they finalize. It’s possible, too, that a bank-based mortgage advisor may just earn a salary with no bonus for mortgage contracts finalized.
What are the benefits of using a mortgage advisor?
A mortgage advisor will walk you through the different mortgage options offered by their employer and help you determine the best mortgage strategy for your situation. A mortgage advisor can also help you with the application process and answer any questions you may have.
Keep in mind, though, you’re not under obligation to take a mortgage agent’s advice or to go with any particular mortgage product. Their role is purely to provide information that may or may not be helpful to you, the mortagee.
Some of the main benefits of using a mortgage advisor include the following:
- An in-depth explanation of the different mortgage products offered by the bank (from fixed-rate to variable-rate mortgages, along with closed and open mortgages and various mortgage rates, terms and pre-payment options)
- Face-to-face meetings at a physical office rather than online
- Oftentimes bank perks are on offer, i.e. discounts on banking fees, lower interest rates than posted (keep in mind, however, that tied-selling is illegal in Canada)
- Oftentimes, payment of the appraisal fee on the home you want to purchase
- Possibility to build a long-term relationship for re-financing or investment properties
What are the disadvantages of using a mortgage advisor?
While there are a lot of benefits to using a mortgage advisor, there are also some disadvantages as well:
- You only learn about mortgage products — and rates — from one financial institution
- Any shopping of different lenders must be undertaken by you or a mortgage broker (an independent mortgage professional who works with multiple lenders to find you the best rate and product)
- A mortgage broker may be able to get you a better deal, such as a lower interest rate and better terms
- Often, mortgage advisors are limited in how much they can help borrowers who don’t fit the “ideal” client, such as long-term employment at a large company or a client with a great credit score. In these cases, mortgage brokers will typically have greater flexibility and more options than mortgage advisors (agents).
If you have a good credit history, then it can be worth your while to visit a mortgage advisor to discuss what rates and solutions their particular bank can offer you. Quite often, if you are a client with a history at that bank and you have a good credit score, the mortgage advisor can obtain extremely competitive rates that can help you save you money during the term of your mortgage.