Blog > Here’s The Proper Way To Shop For a Mortgage

We often see people making the mortgage experience way more stressful than it has to be. There’s a right way and a wrong way to shop for a mortgage, and I’ll let you in on the most important tip right now: rate isn’t the only factor to consider.

Our team 100% agrees that rate is king… but only if you’re looking at things in the right order.

You see, rate is actually third on our list of importance when shopping for the right mortgage. If you’re too focused on rate at the wrong time, you can end up heading down a long road only to realize it’s a dead-end.

Even worse, it can ruin your chances of getting approved. If you’re working with —how can we say it— lesser capable people who consider rate first, they might present your information incorrectly which lowers your chances of approval.

As mortgage brokers, our job is to make sure you get the absolute best product and deal that’s applicable to your situation. Here’s how we do it at Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Excellence.

How We Shop For Your Mortgage

To get in the right state of mind we’ll do three sun salutations and a six-and-a-half-minute meditation in a silent room filled with butterflies. Now we’re ready.

1.    What Kind of Product Do You Need?

            The term “mortgage product” sounds a little vague, so here’s my definition:

Mortgage product: _____. For example, ______, ______, or ______.

We first need to know which product you need by looking at your employment, down payment, credit and property. We’ll ask questions like:


Do you work a lot of overtime?

Are you self employed? Did you just start?

Do you work on commission?

Do you do piece work?

Is your employment seasonal?

Is your down payment borrowed, gifted or from your own personal savings?

Is your credit history strong, average or did you have a previous bankruptcy or orderly payment?

Is your property a new build, acreage, condo, single family home, modular, or something else?

As you can see there are many variables. Once we know what those variables are we’ll know what kind of product you need to get approved.

2.    Lender

Now that we know what product you need, we can create a list of all the lenders that offer it. Your property type also helps determine which lender will approve you. See, those weren’t just random questions before; they all have a purpose.

3.    Rate

Once we figure out which lenders carry the product you need and can also approve your deal, we can pick the lender with the best rate. If all things are equal, we obviously then want the best deal.

If you start with rate, you might be asking for a rate that a lender has that won’t even give you an approval.

Maybe they don’t do acreages, or they’re not  good with self-employed buyers. They could be picky on having a perfect credit score, or they might only work with people with no borrowed down payment.

We find that many lenders have products they’re good at and some that they’re not interested in. So starting with rate can make things quite a bit more stressful; you could be wasting your time.

One More Note!

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The last thing to consider is that we’ll sometimes give you the option to go with a lender that moves faster or is easier to work with, instead of the one with the very best rate — but we’ll leave that decision up to you.

Occasionally, we’ll find a lender with an incredible rate but we know they’re going to ask for your Grade 3 math exam and your first crush’s birth certificate. In that case, we’ll ask if you would rather work with someone better for an extra 0.05% or 0.1% on your rating. If this comes up, we’ll of course give you the option and proceed from there.

This order of shopping has benefits. First, it helps you feel confident that you’re getting the right mortgage. This makes the process less stressful and much more smooth. You certainly won’t find yourself wondering if we bothered to look around at all.

At the end of the day, the results are different for every situation. Sometimes you’ll have ten options and sometimes you’ll have one.

We love helping with this and can’t wait to work with you. Reach out to us when you’re ready and we’ll get you started.

Apply Now

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