A mortgage broker undergoes considerable education and training, as well as what is essentially an apprenticeship as a mortgage associate. The entire process positions a mortgage broker (and the entire brokerage team) in the unique position to be able to understand housing markets, build relationships with lenders to benefit the buyer, and walk home buyers through the daunting paperwork involved with making the biggest purchase of your life.
HERE’S WHAT’S INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS
The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) is the regulatory body that oversees mortgage brokers. The RECA mandate is to set and enforce professional standards for the industry which includes real estate agents, brokers, appraisers, and property managers, as well as to ensure the rules and regulations in the Real Estate Act are carried out correctly.
Each mortgage brokerage who is deemed legally able to “deal in mortgages” consists of a single broker and then is generally supported with additional licensed mortgage associates.
WE’RE THE MATCHMAKERS
Mortgage associates and brokers are often compared to “matchmakers,” and work to find the client the right lender. The right lender isn’t always the one offering the lowest rate either so a mortgage broker can help you determine your financial objectives and then find the right fit in terms of a lender. Many variables may go into determining “fit” and it takes a mortgage broker to make the assessment.
In fact, a mortgage broker not only works to get you the best interest rate, they also act as a liaison between you and the lender thereby handling everything from the initial application, a search of the financial products available, collection of documentation, and of course providing support and advice to ensure you are comfortable with the process and the final product.
At Canadian Mortgage Professionals, our team includes Bob Reader who holds the title of “broker.” There can only be one broker per brokerage firm so the rest of the team is built with mortgage associates.
Our mortgage associates include Ken Mercer, Jackie Stanglmaier, Merima Prijic, and Colleen Obleman so between these four amazing people plus Bob, you can rest assured you’re getting years of collective wisdom and experience applied to the process of helping match you with the perfect mortgage.
HOW DOES A BROKER BECOME A CERTIFIED?
First, a potential broker must undergo the process for becoming a mortgage associate for which there are some basic eligibility requirements including:
- Must be 18 or older;
- Must hold a Canadian high school diploma or equivalent;
- Must be proficient in English;
From there the prospective broker must take the required courses under the Mortgage Associates Program (MAP) which includes courses that cover the fundamentals of mortgages.
The MAP program, including the exams, must then be completed within one year of registration, and of course, the prospective mortgage associate must undergo a criminal record check. Bob Reader passed all requirements with flying colours!
At this point the mortgage associate becomes licensed however the education doesn’t stop there.
BROKERS ARE ALWAYS LEARNING
There are continuing education components that are required on an ongoing basis, as well as annual renewals of the mortgage associates license which ensures continued endorsement of the broker’s professional code of conduct.
Finally, the last requirement to become a mortgage broker is to function as a licensed mortgage associate for at least two of the preceding five years after which a mortgage associate can register as a broker.
All of this regulation, training, licensing and paperwork might seem like it would be a hassle but the truth is, it is completely worth it when we consider the fact that knowing that for some clients this process will provide them peace of mind.
Bob moved through each of these stages with ease and is the broker of record at Canadian Mortgage Professionals and has 3 additional mortgage associates as part of the team.
Whatever we can do to reassure our clients is definitely always worth it for us!