A mortgage broker is someone that can advise you on mortgages and apply for one on your behalf. You can apply for a mortgage directly from a bank or mortgage provider if you would prefer not to use a mortgage broker.
Some mortgage brokers have offices where you can meet them in person. There are also several online mortgage brokers in Ireland. There are x mortgage brokers registered with the Central Bank of Ireland. They are often also financial advisors or insurance brokers.
When you successfully get a mortgage through a broker, the bank or mortgage provider will pay the broker a fee. In Ireland, this is usually around 1% of the value of the mortgage. You do not pay this and it has no effect on the mortgage you get. Each mortgage provider pays the same fee. This is to ensure that brokers aren’t tempted to recommend the broker that will pay them the highest fee.
Mortgage brokers can apply to several mortgage providers on your behalf and recommend which one suits you best. This can be especially important if you don’t fit into some mortgage providers “classic” customer profile, for example if you earn commission or are self employed.
They can save you a lot of time filling out mortgage application forms with each provider. You give your details and documentation to the broker once and they will fill out all the paper work for each bank or mortgage provider.
Apart from the standard income and deposit requirements, different mortgage providers may have additional rules. For example, one mortgage provider might reject all applications if you have just changed job and are still on probation, while others may allow this. Mortgage brokers generally know what these rules are and can help you avoid pointlessly applying to providers.
Some mortgage providers are only available through mortgage brokers and you cannot apply directly to them. For example, Avant only provide mortgages through brokers.
Mortgage broker should be able to answer any questions you have about the home buying process. They should be explain what is happening at each stage in the process as well as what you need to do next.
Some mortgage brokers only offer a limited number of banks and other mortgage providers. For example, one broker may only offer mortgages from 5 of the 19 mortgage providers in Ireland.
Mortgage brokers only get paid if you get a mortgage. At the end of the day, the final decision is yours and you should only apply for or accept a mortgage if you are happy with the terms.
Just like everything else in life, there are good brokers and bad brokers. Do you own research. If you know anyone else that has used a broker, ask how they got on.