Search for the best rate stressful, poll reveals

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An ING survey suggests 59 per cent of Canadians find negotiating for the best rate the most stressful part of obtaining a mortgage – ironically, results that provide support for the mortgage brokers ING has now left behind.
“I’d say per cent of people would probably tell you that interest rates are the most important part of the process before they begin,” says Verico Premiere Mortgage agent Jason Friesen, reacting to the poll. “That drops to about 50 per cent once they have gone through the process. With the banks, you have specialists who are a jack of all trades, but master of none. They know just enough to be dangerous.”
That may be reflected in the Angus Reid online survey, commissioned by ING Direct and canvassing respondents on a host of mortgage experiences. 
Some 65 per cent of respondents age 18 – 34 indicated haggling for a rate was among the most stressful part of the mortgage process while over half (56 per cent) agreed researching and comparing offers made the process more difficult.
Most (59 per cent) found that renegotiating for a rate was stressful, while deciding on the right term and payment schedule (55 per cent) and getting customer service help from the lender (35 per cent) were close behind.
More damning of the process itself, 67 per cent of Canadians surveyed who currently have a mortgage feel the process was either too complicated (31 per cent), confusing (20 per cent) or hard to figure out (16 per cent).
“There is a battle for clients out there, and a real lack of knowledge among people looking for a mortgage,” Friesen told “That is what we need to do as brokers: move them beyond the ‘low rate gratification’ and spend an hour just to get to know them, and find out what their needs are.”
Friesen does tip his hat to ING, describing them as a “great friend to the broker industry” before they officially left the channel in February.
Since ING’s takeover by Scotia last year and its departure from the broker channel in February, there has been a transition of staff and clients to Scotia as the big bank is now focused on the broker channel, while ING has dedicated itself to the direct-to-consumer model.
“Whether you're a first-time home buyer or shopping around for a new mortgage, applying for a mortgage doesn't have to be a confusing or complicated experience," states Peter Aceto, president and CEO of ING Direct. “Choosing a bank that provides a great rate up front and offers flexible terms means saving both time and money over the long run.”
The February 27 online survey was conducted among a sample of 1,519 Canadians who are Angus Reid Forum panel members, with a margin of error +/-2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
  • Ron Butler on 2013-03-18 10:07:30 AM

    Some surveys are a bit pointless: "do you find the winters in Winnepeg cold?" or "do you believe traffic congestion in Toronto is excessive?" or "are there too many rainy days in Vancouver?" Do we need a survey for everything?

    Really, most people would find a very large financial transaction they only undertake every 3 to 5 years a bit stressful. I am surprised that 40% of people seemed to think it was NOT that stressful.

    I know we all like to talk about better financial education but if an event occurs very infrequently what is the chance we will have any "education" at our fingertips? Even if we went through the education once how do we hold on to it for 5 years?. My son showed me how to program the PVR once but it better not ever break down.

    Finally, I don't believe our industry is well served by belittling the people working in bank branches. Some of them are quite poorly informed about mortgage options and features and some of them are just brilliant: much the same as mortgage brokers. The TD bank was recently awarded the number one ranking for branding in this country; just the brand of the TD Bank was valued at over 10 Billion dollars. Brokers would be smarter as a group to acknowledge the branch people are not a bunch of slack jawed yokels, they are often sophisticated opponents and we are better off to treat them that way.

  • Omer Quenneville on 2013-03-18 10:39:32 AM

    That’s interesting and at the same time a pointless survey. If a client sat in front of a good mortgage broker they would soon realize that interest rate is nothing more than a distraction from what really matters. Terms and condition. Such as avoiding ING’s, TD's and Scotia’s collateral mortgage. Or having to look into a Chrystal ball and predict the future before locking into a deadly 5 year term. I hear of clients selling themselves down the river for one or two tenths of one of a percent age point only to pay through the nose later.

  • Neil on 2013-03-18 10:42:28 AM

    Ron, why always the negative sentiment... I am sure I am not the only one that thinks you spend all day posting on these sites like what you say is the gospel and your opinion is always right.

    I don't think Jason was far off in his assumption about branches being a "jack of all trades" if they were as sophisticated as mortgage brokers in their knowledge and service offerings then mortgage brokers would be obsolete. And by continuing to keep in touch annually through mortgage reviews and continuing to educate clients it does create loyalty.

  • Ron Butler on 2013-03-18 2:35:00 PM

    Well Neil, I just try to represent facts and some mortgage brokers hate facts. The big 6 Canadian banks are hugely successful by so many measures and for so many reasons and while mortgage brokers do a great job with first time buyers; once banks get their hands on the clients brokers generally have a hard time getting them back. That is not an opinion, that is statistically a fact.

    I completely agree with you that there are many strong systems brokers can employ that will create loyalty from their clients, you have suggested several of those systems. I stand by my position that we don't help ourselves by underestimating banker's abilities, we need to better understand our adversary to win business from them.

    As far as opinions go, I do have a lot of them and I can assure you from experience I am right far more often than I am wrong.

  • Omer Quenneville on 2013-03-18 5:37:21 PM

    We have choices where we place our clients and I find what is usually in my clients best interest is usually in my best interest. You place a client with a mortgage company that does a collateral charge you deserve to lose your client to that bank. When explained to the client usually they agree.

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