What to look for in a Mortgage Broker
You may have recently heard Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis say ‘a mortgage broker is worth their weight in gold right now’.
With the increases in mortgage rates and the cost of living, we would agree. If you are looking for a mortgage, whether as a first-time buyer, a home mover, or are thinking about remortgaging, getting trusted advice from an experienced broker is essential.
If you have not used a mortgage broker before, then there are a few things you should consider.
Simply put, a mortgage broker, or adviser, is someone who will review the mortgages available to you based on your personal financial situation and circumstances and apply for one on your behalf.
If you have not used one before, consider how much time it might take to manage the whole process yourself. There are thousands of products on the market, all with their own criteria. It would take you a lot longer to search through the internet, work out the terms, fill in the forms, arrange meetings and have the necessary conversations. You want your mortgage process to go as smoothly as possible, so a Mortgage broker does all of this for you.
They know the market, the process and the jargon and will save you time by telling you which lenders are likely to accept you, will explain the process and deal with some of the paperwork.
However, not all mortgage advisors are the same, so here are some things to look out for when doing your research.
Years of experience.
You want to trust that your broker really knows their stuff. So, find out how long they have been advising, and what their background and experience is. If they are newer to the industry, make sure they work as part of a wider, more experienced team so that they can be supported to provide the best advice.
They have access to a vast range of products.
Some mortgage advisers and brokers only have a few lenders to choose from, and if you speak to an adviser based in a bank or building society, they will only tell you about their own product range. You want to ensure your advisor has access to a wide enough choice of lenders to cover all needs. This means they can shop around to find the cheapest or most suitable product for you, saving you money.
They are fee free.
Some advisors charge a fee for their advice. The problem here is that if you are not happy with the outcome, you would have wasted your money, or you may feel obliged to work with them because you have already paid for it. A fee free broker means that the advice service is free, and there is no obligation to use them. Fee free refers to the advice process only, there may be arrangement, valuation and legal fees to pay.
They have positive reviews.
We would say to do your research and look at reviews on google or Trustpilot. However, there is nothing better than word of mouth. Ask around, who have your friends and family used? If someone you know has received an excellent service, then have a chat with them.
They offer a full advice process.
Make sure the broker covers all areas, from mortgage planning to protection and home insurance. Ask if they have professional contacts such as solicitor’s and surveyors. This will save you time as you won’t have to search for those as well and will help make the process as smooth as possible.
They are flexible.
For some of you, your profession may mean you are only available to meet in the evenings or at weekends, as is the case for teachers. You may prefer face-to-face meetings rather than online, or vice versa. Check if your advisor will meet you in person, at a time and place that suits you? Or will they meet on zoom and take phone calls? Can you message them when you have an important question? Flexibility is important.
They offer end-to-end advice.
Things don’t always go smoothly for home buyers. Will your advisor manage the entire process from start to finish? This means finding you a product, helping you to find a solicitor and surveyor, answering any questions which arise throughout the process, filling in the paperwork and being there through to completion. This is so important, as it will take away a lot of stress for you.
Do they use plain English?
If they bamboozle you with jargon, then you may want to look elsewhere. A good advisor will talk to you in plain English and will take their time to make sure you understand everything.
Do they take the time to get to know you?
You broker should never be in a rush. They will ask questions about your finances, work, lifestyle and future plans. The mortgage product they recommend needs to work for you now and in the future.
At Kingsbridge we have helped thousands of clients with their mortgages. All our advisors are experienced, will take the time to get to know you and will be with you through every step of the process.
We are fee free because we put our money where our mouth is, we want to provide the best service possible and build an excellent working relationship with you for the long term.
If you would like to speak to one of our advisors, then get in touch today.