Financing in 94501>Question Details

Joe Fleane, Home Buyer in San Francisco, CA

Should I go to a mortgage broker or a bank for a loan?

Asked by Joe Fleane, San Francisco, CA Wed Aug 5, 2009

I am a CA state employee. I started the pre-approval process with a broker because they handle CalPERS loan programs. I don't really know what difference it makes. Does it matter who you go to for the loan? Or are loans basically a commodity you can get from whoever has the best terms? Does it make sense to go to a site like

When I went to the real estate agent last weekend, they said I should use their own loan officer.

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Help the community by answering this question:


The answer will always depend on who you're talking with.

Shop around for lenders who do handle CalPERS

But whatever you do, try to speak with local lenders --- don't go online to E-Loan or Quicken Loans, and other such companies who promise that they will preapprove you for the loan.

The biggest headaches we and our clients have is working with out-of-state lenders and out-of-area appraisers who are hard to get hold of, who do not respond in time, who misrepresent themselves and what they offer (as in an experience we had with Quicken Loans).

Since buying property is one of the most significant purchases you will make, it behooves you to work with someone with whom you can sit down with, whom you can call directly after hours if necessary to resolve a problem, who treats you as a client and not as a number and who can work WITH you and your realtor and who will not take an adversarial position while working on the loan.

Since you're in Alameda, call:
Garrick Werdmuller
Your Personal Mortgage Consultant for Life
510.282.5456 Mobile

He is one of the most resourceful, trustworthy, responsive and reliable independent mortgage brokers I know. I am sure he can help you.

Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 5, 2009
p.s. I have been a broker in Alameda for over 25 years. An agent should never tell you to use their own loan officer. An agent should always give you a few lenders to call. Also, if the lender is owned by that agent's real estate company then that needs to be disclosed to you in writing. Ask or go to the Dept of real estate website and find out if the company owns the lending company. You can also find out how long an agent has had their license and if they have a sale's license or a broker's license.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 5, 2009
Very informative and great advice you gave to Ebb.
Flag Thu Sep 26, 2013
I will never advise my clients to do anything i wouldn't do myself. A mortgage broker can shop interest rates with multiple lenders. I have found that many mortgage broker fees are somewhat high. The banks seem to have lower fees. I do have a mortgage broker and a lender from a bank that I refer out as I know their lender fees are reasonable. In the case of using CalPers you must choose a lender who handles these loans. Research and find a lender that doesn't charge high fees. Realtors can also help you with finding a good lender. Never use an online lender. In 25 years I have found online lenders to be horrific. You always should have a lender that you can communicate with especially when there are cokmplicattions with a loan. Good luck and happy shopping.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 5, 2009
I"m finding it easier to get offers accepted if they come from major banks. And in most cases, foreclosed properties are going to require you to be pre-approved through them as well before you can put your offer in. I suggest you talk to 3 different lenders and get the best rate possible. Good Luck!

Kamal Randhawa
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 5, 2009
I recommend that you shop your loan request around to several lenders and mortgage brokers, and that you let all of them know explicitly that you're shopping for the best rate/terms. You'll get better rate/terms in the end if you do. Also, don't tell them that you'd like to go with the CalPERS loan program initially; let them help you to find the best program for you. You might find that another program might be available for you that will save you even more money.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 5, 2009
No I don't suggest lending tree because the people you may speak to may be across the country and not readily available. I do suggest a broker over a bank because a bank is going to show you only what is in that banks portfolio whereas a broker will have the ability to show you that bank's portfolio as well as others to choose from. If you need the name and number of a local broker just email or call me.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 5, 2009
I find that unethical for a agent to tell you to use their loan officer. She probably gets a kick back for it. Find a new agent. Just myon personal opinion .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 26, 2013
You can read my post on my personal blog, I explain the advantages and disadvantages on both aspects,…

Sherry Greenwald
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 2, 2010
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