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The Big Story: Who's to blame for buydowns

Buydowns are sending the wrong message to lenders, say some brokers, but are the banks to blame or the mortgage professionals.

Video transcript below:

Jemima Codrington, Mortgage Brokers News
Jemima Codrington:  Buying down your rate may seem like a simple way to sway business away from big banks, but is it an advisable approach?  Hi, I’m Jemima Codrington and welcome to the Big Story on Mortgage Broker News.
 
An increasing number of brokerages are turning to tactic in a bid to retain clients.  But according to some experts this could be sending the wrong message to lenders.
 
Simon Vendryes, Real Mortgage Associates
Simon Vendryes:  I believe it cheapens the service.  Brokers who need to go that route would tend to be acting desperately to close a deal, because they have invested a lot of time and it suggests to me that they are afraid to lose the client, so the last thing they can do now is go for a lower rate.  The lender cuts their commission when they do that.
 
Jemima Codrington:  As brokers become increasingly willing to buy down their rates, the industry is looking to find out who is to blame.
 
Marcus Tzaferis, Morcan Direct
Marcus Tzaferis:  I think brokers are to blame for the increased willingness of brokers to buy down interest rates. I think that the more and more that brokers start offering lower and lower interest rates and cutting down their commission, it sends signals to the lenders that we don’t want to get paid as much and we are willing to take less to do a deal.  And it makes the consumer realise less and less about what actually you know, what value we can add to the mortgage process.  I think that’s a big problem in the business right now and the more we commoditise mortgages, the more we make them solely based on interest rates, the fewer of them we are going to be doing.  Because you know, a bank can compete on rate far better than the mortgage brokerage ever can.
 
Simon Vendryes:  I think that is, the blame is a shared responsibility.  The lenders want the business and if the broker is willing to cut his commission just to get the deal, the lender is willing to accommodate him.  It’s a cut throat world out there, there are a lot of lenders who want your business.  The real benefit is to the consumer because they get a better price, not necessarily a better product, but definitely a better price.