Taking out a mortgage is probably one of the biggest financial commitments you’ll make, so it’s important to ensure you’re working with a broker who fully understands your needs. With so many local mortgage brokers to choose from, it can be difficult to know how to choose a mortgage broker to work with.
A good place to start is our mortgage adviser directory, which helps you find the best mortgage brokers in your local area. Real customer reviews and ratings will help you to narrow your choice down. Here’s what you should be asking to gauge whether they are right for you.
Which lenders do they work with?
Some brokers are tied to a limited panel of lenders, whereas others look at the whole market. There are pros and cons of both, brokers working with a select number of providers may get you preferential or exclusive rates, as well as providing an in-depth knowledge of a particular lender. However, with a whole of market broker you know you’ll be able to choose from a wider selection of products.
What is their fee structure?
Mortgage brokers offer an invaluable service, so they certainly don’t work for free. However, the way they make their money can differ. Some will charge you a fee for working with them, as well as a procuration fee (commission) from the mortgage lender.
If a broker charges a fee, it’s worth finding out more about their fee structure. Some charge a flat fee upfront or at completion, whilst others charge a percentage of the mortgage taken out.
Are they qualified?
This is possibly the most important question to consider. Anyone giving financial advice must be qualified and mortgage brokers are no exception. The most common qualification for residential mortgage advisers is the CeMAP. They must also be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA regulates the industry and will help to protect you if something goes wrong.
What kind of service do they offer?
Mortgage brokers often work independently and thus set their own hours and ways of working. Think about how you’d prefer to work with your broker. Do you need someone who is contactable 24/7? Prefer to meet face-to-face or would you rather meet online? Finding a broker that fits in with the ways you prefer to do business will make the process a lot easier.
What else can they help with?
Mortgage brokers can also help you with other financial related matters such as home insurance, life insurance or income protection. Using the same trusted adviser means you’ll be working with someone who already has a good idea of your needs, resulting in an even better service.
Now you know how to choose a mortgage broker, let’s get started!