After some interesting follow-up I have discovered solid information. I will list results by institution below:
CIBC – The experience here was a very good one. I went to the local branch and asked to speak to someone about my mortgage. A nice gentlemen offered to help. After I explained my own mortgage background and what I was looking for he had the courtesy to say he needed to follow-up with an associate. I appreciated that very much. The next day the associate called me and asked when we could meet. Since this was downstairs from where I work, I met with him right away. The meeting was quick, informative and to the point. They offered me a great cash back at a 3.15 fixed rate for 3 years. After doing the math the net principle at end of 3 years was about 20,000 lower than other options. I thought this was a great option and thanked the associate. He did inform me that he could only do a 30 day lock on the rate so that we should talk again closer to my mortgage maturity date. That means about 70 more days before I pull any triggers. So far this is the best deal I have found. CIBC also promotes no switching costs, but I will need to look into that a bit further.
Scotiabank – Overall, this was the type of experience that keeps consumers from shopping around. It was a total waste of time. I went to Scotia Plaza downtown Toronto and that may have been my first mistake. A friend of mine at work let me know that branches compete for your business, and therefore, its best to go to a smaller branch. Well I tested the theory on this lunchtime trip, and wow how right he was. I went to reception and asked to speak to someone about a mortgage. I was asked to wait and in short order a young gentlemen came out to speak with me. He took me to his cubicle and started asking me questions. He was very invasive and at first updated my bank profile with Scotiabank. Well now he had something that I didn’t necessarily want to provide (my detailed personal information). I had to ask him to get to the point and tell me his best rate. I introd with my usual schpeel about my knowledge of the mortgage industry. He pretty much read off a script and said that he could provide the exact same rates that are listed on the banks website
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I closed the conversation stating that if that was all he had to offer then it was not very competitive. He then began telling me about how I could reduce my monthly payment. This was the last straw for me since I clearly told him in my schpeel that I’m looking for the best way to reduce my principle by as much as possible. Due to his inability to listen, I interrupted him and said I has late to an appointment. For better or worse Soctiabank is out of the race for my business.
Lastly, I called a mortgage broker that I have used on and off over the years. He is the brother of a close friends wife. I feel this makes him close enough to give me the straight info. After speaking on the phone for a few minutes I told him the deal that CIBC was offering me. He tried a bit of double talk, but I then sent him the numbers I had worked out. At this point he responded that CIBC was making me a very good offer.
Next steps will be to approach a TD Canada Trust branch that my friend feels is very competitive. Will see what they have to say about trying to get my business. At the least after I speak with them I will know what I need to lock in 30 days before mortgage maturity.