Mortgage Confidential: Mortgage broker vs. banker

Mortgage expert David Reed invites Walletpop readers to ask him questions about real estate financing. leave your questions in the comment section of this post.

Which is the better choice, a mortgage broker or a mortgage banker? First, let's dig a little deeper and find out exactly what each of these terms mean.

A mortgage broker does not lend money nor make a mortgage but instead finds a mortgage from other lenders on behalf of their client, the buyer. A mortgage banker places a mortgage directly to the buyer from its own funds. Does that make the mortgage broker more expensive?

No, because the mortgage broker has access to other mortgage company's loans at a discount, mark them up to "retail" and can compete with any direct lender. Much like an independent insurance agent who shops around for the best deal. In fact, that's an advantage mortgage brokers tout...having the ability to shop for the best deal. A mortgage banker can't shop around, they use the interest rates and fees set by their company. So if the broker can shop around for the best deal, isn't the broker the better choice? Not necessarily.