Finding a mortgage broker
If I was looking for a mortgage and protection adviser how would I go about it and what questions would I ask?
First things first, I’d carry out some research online like reading reviews or by asking friends or family for any recommendations. If your preference is for face to face advice, then you would focus your search on someone who is local to your area but if you’re happy to speak over the phone then there are no geographic restrictions. You can use an internet search engine to type in your requirements but remember to check if you’re looking at the results of your search or the paid ads at the top of the page. Once I had 2 or 3 options in mind, I’d give them a quick call to get a bit more information and ask a couple of questions such as…
Do they offer advice?
Most brokers will in theory offer you an advised service, but the question is DO they really give advice? If you tell your broker that you want a 10 year fixed rate, they don’t question why and arrange it for you then it’s probably fair to say you’ve not received any advice. A good broker will open up a discussion about your choice, such as considering your future plans, what are the pros and cons of this type of deal and offer comparisons with other products. Your broker may agree that your initial preference was the most suitable or a new product might emerge instead. Either way there’s a much better chance your present and future circumstances will have been considered and an informed recommendation has been made. This after all is what you’d expect when receiving an advised service.
Do they genuinely have access to the whole of the market?
The question - are you a whole of market broker? - is often answered with a yes but what exactly does this mean? Do they work with a preferred panel of lenders, do they have access to exclusives only a broker can procure? What about direct mortgages, will they tell me about these even if they can’t arrange them?
Do they charge a fee?
I would expect a decent mortgage broker to charge a reasonable fee for their professional services. A flat fee should help the broker treat all applications with a similar level of service. A percentage fee could mean smaller mortgages are treated as less important because the broker will not be paid as much. If your broker is not charging any fees, then small mortgages could simply be ignored, or they might be required to submit twice as much business just to make up the difference. If your broker has a large case load could this affect how much time they can spend on your application?
So in summary…Do some research, ask questions and be comfortable with the individual and the service they offer.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.