The Real Value of Mortgage Brokers and Real Estate Agents

Hey everyone! It’s been a while since my last update, but that’s the Spring Housing Market for you. It’s hard to find the chance to write about mortgages when so many mortgages need to be inked themselves! But I’ve found a free moment for myself, and it’s the perfect time to talk about a topic that’s been on my mind for a while:

What are mortgage brokers and real estate agents really worth to a consumer?

That’s a tough question, because a lot of the time the value provided by people in those positions (myself included!) is difficult to quantify. There’s an excellent (if somewhat technical) article about this on Canadian Mortgage Trends, but the gist of the issue is that dollarization, “the practice of articulating the value (in dollars) that customers receive from… advice and assistance” is inherently challenging for a number of factors. The biggest roadblock in terms of mortgages and real estate is simply the enormity of the numbers at stake: specifically, the cost of purchasing a home and the extended duration of a mortgage makes it hard to pinpoint exactly which party provided what benefit where in the process.

And believe me, I understand that! In fact, confusion or uncertainty about what a mortgage broker does is one of the biggest hurdles my industry faces, and I deal with it every day. I’ve written extensively about what mortgage brokers do, how mortgage brokers get paid, and why mortgage brokers are better than going straight to the Big 6 Banks. The somewhat unfortunate truth is that posts like those are the best method I have of communicating the efficacy of my profession, simply because assigning a dollar amount to the value I bring as a broker is an incredibly complex equation that depends entirely on the specific person, home, time, and mortgage.

Let me put it another way: just like there’s no one-size-fits-all mortgage, there’s no one-size-fits-all way to say how much my services save you in the long run. All I can say is that I strive to bring every single one of my clients as much value as possible, and I don’t believe there’s a single case where using a broker would be detrimental to the process of securing a mortgage. I’ll say that again: it doesn’t matter how many dollars you ultimately end up saving, because using a mortgage broker will always bring you value – never take it away.

If you’re a little skeptical because I’m saying that as a mortgage broker, know that I believe the same to be true of using a real estate agent. In fact, one of the reasons I had the urge to write this post was because of all the recent media discussion surrounding the Vancouver housing market, much of which speculates that real estate agents are getting paid too much relative to the value they provide. Again, I totally disagree. I can speak from experience, because I’ve had the opportunity to work on both private sales and sales facilitated by a real estate agent, and I can tell you that the difference is night and day. With the latter, the process isn’t just as smooth as possible for the homeowner – it’s also as smooth as possible for me, the lawyer, and everyone else involved in the transaction. With private sales, all those parties have to work that much harder to do our due diligence, and it makes it a lot easier for something to go wrong. Something going wrong means more time, money, and stress, and that’s the last thing anyone needs when they’re transitioning their entire life to a new home.

As usual, I’ve gone on about this topic for longer than I meant to. Sorry! I’m just very passionate about helping Canadians get set up in their perfect homes, and I believe very strongly that making use of the services provided by mortgage brokers and real estate agents is the absolute best way to make that happen. I know it’s not always easy to quantify our value, but I promise you that it’s there. If you’re still doubtful – or if you have any questions – I urge you to call me any time at (250) 782-9665 to discuss it. My phone is always on, and my goal is to be worth as much as I can to everyone who calls me.

I’ll be waiting!

Lori Lalonde, Your Northern BC Mortgage Broker