Mark, I recommend a broker because brokers have access to so many different programs. We deal with 30 different banks, so we can match you up with the program that best suits your needs.
Every once in a while, a direct lender like BofA or Wells Fargo will be better suited for a client, so I will refer them there, but that happens very seldom. I
f you are buying from a builder, sometimes the builder will buy down your rate if you go with their lender. If you are looking at new home, obtain a preapproval from a broker, and then you can compare the rate you receive from the builder's lender.
Hope this was helpful.
Mark 1 Mortgage