The mortgage broker I used to use was calling me last year with his best mortgage rates for refinancing. In the past, I'd used him for years and every time rates would go down I'd refinance. He would get his commission and pay for my points and closing costs out of his commission. It worked great for both of us and he always had lower rates than I could find myself, even with his commission cut. One time we even refinanced with my existing mortgage holder who paid him many thousands of dollars to broker a new loan for us at a lower rate. I called the mortgage company myself to try to negotiate a lower rate directly and they wouldn't budge. But going through him they gave us a lower rate and paid him a commission, even though we were already their customers. It was crazy costly on their part not to deal with me directly but years ago I guess that just wasn't how they did business.
But these days the broker's rates, points and closing costs were too high compared to what I could find on the Internet myself. This year when rates went down I called my existing mortgage holder, told them what I found on the Internet and they were happy to cut me a great deal on refinancing to keep me as a customer - even better than what I found online.
I just don't see how mortgage brokers can make a living these days when lenders can just advertise on the Internet for customers and customers can look up rates from thousands of mortgage lenders right from their PCs. The Internet is in effect the middle man these days, and one that works for free, at least from the customer's point of view.