Most lenders now offer 120-day rate holds so it makes sense to start shopping for your mortgage renewal ahead of time. If you “lock in” 3-4 months beforehand, and rates go up, your protected. Researching the best renewal can also take time. Many new mortgage options will have popped up since your last mortgage.
While you can attempt to do your own homework and haggle with your lender for a lower rate, you’re almost always better served to use a professional mortgage planner. A mortgage planner has access to “wholesale” interest rates and can usually secure the best possible deal. Contrary to popular belief, there are no “switching” fees. Thus, using a planner costs you virtually nothing but can save you thousands.
For more renewal tips check out this article by Bankrate.ca.