Mortgages arranged through Mortgage Brokers in Ireland used to account for around 40% of all Irish mortgages. The figures in are not as high now because many lenders have cut broker commissions and are lending less.
Mortgage Brokers are usually paid commission by the mortgage lenders – ranging from 0.25% to 1%. Some brokers may charge the customer for their service and then give them any comission paid by the lender.
In Ireland – unlike the USA and UK – mortgage brokers do not have to reveal how much commission they get for arranging your mortgage.
If a mortgage broker chooses a more expensive mortgage for you – it could end up costing you several thousands in extra interest over the life of the loan. Brokers are required by law to give ‘best advice’ to the customer, helping him or her to obtain the best terms available for someone of their income, credit repayment history, etc. Irish mortgage brokers are supposed to provide customers with a ‘reasons why’ letter, saying why they recommended the lender they did. Not all mortgage lenders deal with brokers – so using a broker will not give you access to all the lenders.
When choosing a mortgage broker – check how many lenders the broker represents – with. Also check if they are certified by the Irish Financial Services Authority and that they have professional indemnity insurance. This is not a legal requirement – but it will provide protection if anything goes wrong. Mortgage brokers in Ireland don’t even need to have a specific qualification – but there is a mortgage diploma course which can be taken.
See the lowest Irish mortgage rates for yourself here. You could just choose two or three lenders with the lowest rates and apply directly to them.
Mortgage Brokers might sometimes be able to get deals that the general public might not know about – but if you have the time and don’t mind filling in a few forms – then sorting out your own mortgage could work out cheaper.