Hi Eliza, a mortgage broker is simply an independent mortgage loan officer who has access to a number of different lenders. We always recommend that you include at least one mortgage broker in the mix as they can give you a good sense of the overall market, due to the fact that they deal with multiple lenders. However, just because they have access to many different lenders doesn’t mean going to a mortgage broker means you are shopping around! They have different deals with different lenders so it’s essential that you include other banks or brokers in the mix to make sure you are shopping effectively and competitively.
A broker is not less reliable than a bank. A broker is simply a different type of mortgage professional.
I hope that answers your question, but if not let me know so I can clarify further.