Mortgage brokers match borrowers to lenders that meet their financial situation. They are financial professionals who work with banks, monoline lenders, investors and more.
A mortgage broker can help you access rates and lenders that aren't readily advertised to the market. They can shop the market for you without hurting your credit score with multiple checks.
They get paid through commissions by the lender. Commissions range from 0.5% to 2% of your full mortgage amount.
Mortgage brokers don't typically charge a fee as they are paid by the lender. However they may charge an additional fee if your financial circumstances are more complex than the typical borrower.
It's best to meet with a mortgage broker before you start shopping for a home. A broker can set a realistic expectation of what you can afford and give you a pre approval. Realtors are more likely to work with you if you have a pre approval as it narrows down the budget which you can afford.