Bankers and brokers each have their strengths as noted in previous posts. Banks should have excellent product knowledge of their own programs, and may have lower fees than brokers, but brokers absolutely do have the ability to be competitive on APR ( a calculation of the true loan cost over its term by solving for both fees and rate ). In the 2008 - 2009 environment of tightening guidelines and frequently changing regulations, transaction times have grown significantly longer for both bankers and brokers.
An effective alternative is the mortgage banker. Like a broker, many mortgage bankers have access to various funding sources, providing: 1. ) Access to a wider variety of programs, and 2. ) the ability to shop for pricing.
Like banks, a mortgage banker can underwrite, draw loan docs and fund in-house. ( A broker is subject to the respective departments of his capital sources for most or all of these functions, and the delays this may entail. ) These abilities add speed and efficiency to the transaction, a critical factor in the current fast-paced real estate market. Mortgage banker fees characteristically have more similarity to bank fees than broker fees.
For unusual, out-of-the-box transactions, the nod must go to brokers.
For "normal" real estate investment financing, a mortgage banker merits your consideration.