As a multifamily owner, can I apply directly for agency loan refinance? Or do I have to hire a broker?

As a multifamily owner, can I apply directly for agency loan refinance? Or do I have to hire a broker to do that? I don't fully understand why there has to be broker for it. The underwriting process is pretty simple and straightforward. Fannie and Fredie are part of government now, aren't they supposed to serve taxpayers?

Also, is it like only certain brokerages are on the approval list of agency that are eligible to apply for those type of loans? Or any broker can do that? If only certain brokerage can, isn't it unfair and smells like rent-seeking?

Maybe I am missing something here but I don't understand

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You do have to go through an approved seller/servicer, and they do have to charge you a minimum origination fee (it’s spelled out in their guide book). If you work with a non-approved private broker, they can bring the loan to an approved seller/servicer but that party still has to earn their origination fee on top of your loan broker’s fee.

The agencies are not in the business of interfacing directly with clients. & despite how straightforward most underwriting can be, their guide books are 1,000 pages + of specific requirements for every conceivable scenario that they expect their lender network to distill to borrowers on their behalf.

The agencies are also not lenders per-say, they’re conduit syndicators that sell loans on the secondary market. The seller/servicer network is there to both provide fuel for their securitizations & serve as the primary loan servicer to handle the entire post-origination life cycle, including repairs, reserves, payments, transfers, defaults, etc.


It’s complete garbage for property owners but a cost of doing business you can’t avoid. Agency brokerage is insanely lucrative, you will not find more mediocre people making 7+ figures in any other industry.


Agencies designate some companies to arrange loans on their behalf as seller/servicers. These companies can be banks, brokerages, LifeCos, and some are just agency lenders.

Some examples are:

Brokerages - CBRE, BERKADIA, JLL, Northmarq

Banks - Chase, Wells Fargo, PNC

Agency Lenders w/ other products but not banks - Arbor, Lument

LifeCo - PGIM

Most brokerages do not have agency licenses and would have to go through one of the lenders above to deliver you an agency loan.

The confusion I think you’re running in to is that some brokerages are agency lenders as well.


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