A mortgage broker is a real estate professional who helps you find and qualify for a home loan. These professionals can help you save time and money by comparing your options, negotiating with lenders and managing the mortgage application process.
They often have relationships with a wide range of lenders, which gives them access to more loan products and rates than you can get on your own. They can also negotiate with lenders to get them to lower or waive fees you might not be able to ask for on your own.
Mortgage brokers work on commission, which is a percentage of the total loan amount. In some cases, the lender pays this commission directly to the broker. In other cases, its paid by you at closing or added to the loan balance or interest rate.
Some brokers are compensated by both the lender and the borrower, which means they have an incentive to push you towards a larger loan amount than what you actually want. That may increase the commission they earn from you, though it can also make them less likely to negotiate with you on your behalf.
In many states, you can opt to pay a mortgage broker directly or through your financial institution instead. Using a broker can save you money on interest rates and closing costs, but you will need to compare mortgage quotes from multiple lenders before deciding which one works best for you.
A brokers commission is typically 1% to 1.5% of the loan amount, but it can be higher or lower depending on your credit score and other factors. Unscrupulous brokers may steer you toward a higher loan amount to boost their own earnings, which can be costly in the long run.
Brokers can also help you negotiate with lenders on your behalf to get them to reduce or waive fees that might otherwise cost you thousands of dollars. This includes fees for credit checks, appraisals and origination, among others.
They can also help you navigate complex mortgage situations, such as buyers who are unable to meet standard credit or income requirements. A good broker will know which lenders are more tolerant of these conditions and can help you find the right loan for your unique situation.
Mortgage brokers usually have a good understanding of the current mortgage rates, as well as what closing costs and credit requirements each lender has. This makes it easier for them to help you choose the mortgage that fits your needs and budget, while saving you from a headache.
Choosing the right mortgage broker is a big decision, but it can be well worth it in the long run. You should consider the quality of their service and their communication style, as well as the size of their pool of lenders.
A broker will also be able to recommend lenders that specialize in difficult situations, such as those involving a borrower with poor or inconsistent credit history. They can also help you understand your options, and they may be able to recommend lenders that offer loans with low down payments or other benefits.