I write on behalf of the Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association, which is an association representing mortgage brokers and their lender and service partners throughout Canada.
We are concerned that this article (“Help your clients with mortgage shopping“) misinforms the public about obtaining mortgage advice, and exposes real estate industry members to an unnecessary risk of facing disciplinary measures with regulatory authorities or civil liability for providing poor mortgage advice.
It is pure folly, perhaps even negligence to urge real estate agents “to provide mortgage advice”. All provinces in Canada, with the exception of P.E.I. regulate mortgage brokering with licensing regimes. Just as no one other than a licensed lawyer should dispense legal advice, and no one other than a licensed real estate agent should provide advice relating to buying and selling real estate, only licensed mortgage brokers should provide consumers with advice on obtaining a mortgage.
Real estate regulators such as the Real Estate Council of B.C. even provide strong caution to Realtors not to provide mortgage advice.
Perhaps the author of the article and editorial staff are unaware of the role of mortgage brokers in assisting the public with mortgage financing. Here are some statistics that readers may find of interest:
- Mortgage brokers funded over $70 billion across Canada last year – this includes residential, commercial and private mortgages;
- Over 55 per cent of first-time home buyers used a mortgage broker in 2015; and
- Among first-time buyers switching financial institutions, 72 per cent arranged their mortgage through a mortgage broker.
We urge readers to learn more about what mortgage brokers can do for home buyers and owners by talking to a member of the Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association.
Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association
Author Martin Rumack replies: I believe Ms. Gale has missed the point of my article. The article, which is geared to REM’s readership as opposed to the general public, merely addresses an ongoing situation. Factually, as we all know real estate agents in some cases may direct purchasers to the agents’ bankers and/or to mortgage brokers and/or in many cases are affiliated with the offices agents work from.
I totally agree that if real estate agents are to provide mortgage advice, they should refer their clients to professional lenders and/or mortgage brokers. However, as mortgage brokers and lenders do pay “referral fees” to agents for mortgage referrals, it is naive of Ms. Gale to think agents do not “provide mortgage advice”.