Loan Officers vs. Mortgage Brokers in Boston – Direct Route or Middle Man

While you could contact an independent mortgage broker when you are looking for a mortgage loan in Greater Boston, you may get a better deal by approaching the lender directly through one of their loan officers.

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Job of a Mortgage Professional:

The job of a mortgage professional is to maintain a thick understanding of the various mortgage loan types and conditions in Boston and, based on your specific application and his analysis, offer the best mortgage loan possible at a reasonably low interest rate.

Advantages of Going Directly to a Loan Officer for the Lender:

  • Better working knowledge of the market
  • Strong experience in the field from *within* a lending office itself
  • Direct contacts within the lender apparatus – no need to call in favors
  • Strong competitive focus against loans offered by other lenders (works to your advantage)

By contrast, using an independent mortgage broker has its share of problems:

  • The broker may not have your best interests in mind when providing you with loan product selections.
  • The time invested in researching market options may be less or less current.
  • The independent broker is outside of the lender institution, and that can make it hard to maintain an effective relationship once the loan is written.

Best Way to Ensure a Mortgage Professional Gets You a Good Mortgage Loan:

  1. Contact a loan officer directly: cutting out the independent broker middle man. You can still get the benefits of independence, by doing some research yourself, so you’re armed with excellent questions to put to the loan officer.
  2. Do Some Research: Put together a file of information (your income, your projected loan size, your projected down payment). Look at national rates and get the terminology down (APR, etc.). Research a bit on various loan types (this blog has most of that information). This way, you have some sense of the playing field when you sit down with the lender.

What if you’ve already contacted an independent mortgage broker? Get a quote and some advice from an in-house loan officer anyway. Compare what you’re hearing to find out if the deal the broker is offering you is truly better than from the lender directly. If you find that the deal offered by the broker looks better than all other offers, ask the broker about his or her compensation (e.g. are there any points being added on the back end that weren’t mentioned up front)? Re-evaluate the deal to find out if it is still worth opting for.

By following the above process you are sure to get a great deal. Think of it like buying a car. Are you going to get a better deal on a new Ford from the Ford dealership or from an independent dealership with various inventory from a big pool of manufacturers? Often, both offer deals, but the dealership has the advantage of in-house flexibility, and special programs that are only offered via *direct* relationship with the client.


Phil Ganz (354 Posts)

Philip D. Ganz is a Boston Mortgage Broker and Boston Home Loan specialist. For information, expertise, consulting, or advice about home loans, refinancing mortgages, or commercial property loans, contact Phil with no obligation: 617-529-9317

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