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  • Writer's pictureRhelda Baschuk

60 Seconds to Pre-approval?

Hahahaha! This is me laughing at the ad I'm seeing advertised by RBC in anticipation of the spring real estate rush. Once I've finished laughing, I roll my eyes and feel annoyed because I know this ad will lead to people getting their hopes up and being disappointed, or worse.

Mortgages are not simple, regardless of how much we as consumers want them to be. They just aren't. There are many factors to determining your qualification for a mortgage such as Employment, Income, Credit, Net worth, Debt load, Debt availability, Down Payment, etc., etc., not to mention the subset of each of these factors. A quick fillable form that asks you your monthly debts and your monthly income can in no way come close to covering the nuances found within these factors.

As a licensed #broker with over 10 years experience I can tell you, from experience, that >80% of people overestimate their income and underestimate their debts. All fine if you are talking to a human being who can ask the right questions to help you actually nail down these numbers, but if you are punching numbers into a calculator and then getting an email that says you are good to go buy a house, it's not such a great thing.


My industry is full of brokers sharing stories with each other of #Canadians who have fallen prey to this type of advertising. These stories range the gamut. From buyers being declined at the last minute and being emotionally devastated because they lost out on that "dream" home they'd already imagined raising their family in, thanks to their "preapproval". To buyers being declined at the last minute after weeks of document exchange and being wounded FINANCIALLY because they removed conditions on their purchase at the assurance from their mobile mortgage specialist that they were working towards approval. In this particular case, had the initial application for pre-approval been done by a human (who knew what they were doing...maybe a licensed mortgage broker?) the decline would have happened within minutes. This client just didn't qualify. There was nothing elaborate about why...their credit combined with the property was not lending worthy in our mortgage market. They would never have even gotten to the point of making an offer had they worked with a mortgage professional. Now they are very likely going to be sued by the seller. Now, to be fair, this is an extreme case, and you should NEVER remove conditions on your purchase until you've been advised to go ahead firmly by your mortgage professional

In our world of instant gratification, eg: 1000 likes, disappearing messages, downloadable movies in our living rooms (goodbye #blockbuster), and constant contact via smart phones, is it surprising that this is a marketing ploy that is working? Not really. It sounds perfect. We are busy. And we need to buy houses. But seriously, faster isn't always better. When you are taking a special date out for dinner, do you go for fast food like McDonalds? Ready in 5. Or do you go for the fine dining option within your budget? I'm not saying we should forgo convenience in the mortgage process. You don't have to be the cook, server and dishwasher for your special date...that fine dining restaurant will take of it all so that you don't have to, right?

As a mortgage broker I can help any Canadian get a mortgage. Telephone, scanners, secure portals, email, digital signatures and even Skype have made face to face appointments unnecessary. You can even apply online from the comfort of your gaming chair on a Sunday evening. But I WILL follow up and discuss your info, your goals, your expectations and we'll make a plan to work together to move you forward through the entire life of your mortgage...that special date just became a long term commitment! Your pre-approval may not be 60 seconds but it will be right.

Buying a home is the largest purchase we as Canadians will ever make, and it's an important one. Do you really want to trust this process to a call centre when you could have a 10-15 minute conversations with a licensed and experienced #professional who will be there for you long after the initial 60 seconds is up? Service sets me apart from the call centre type mortgage. I will always work to find you the best option and the right mortgage for your long term goals...Mortgages are not simple but the choice of who to work with is.

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