Before searching for local mortgage brokers, it is best to understand what a mortgage broker does. You could go into your bank and ask them to arrange a mortgage for you, and they will do this happily if you meet their criteria. But because you are their customer does not guarantee the best rates, as they will only offer you their own products. A mortgage broker in the UK can access multiple lenders and, using their knowledge, can potentially save you money with better rates and terms.
So what are people looking for when they search for a good mortgage broker?
People’s searches can be concentrated on five simple needs:
- Saving money
- Fee transparency
- Face-to-face or remote advice
The main reason to find a mortgage advisor is to save money.
You already understand that every lender has different criteria and “preferred” clients they want to lend to. You can approach them yourselves, but there are negatives to doing this.
- Time – approaching multiple lenders by filling in their application forms is time-consuming and tedious.
- Credit rating – multiple applications and credit searches for lending can harm your credit rating.
- Market knowledge – a lack of market knowledge may mean approaching the wrong lenders for your situation.
Once you find a mortgage advisor, they will be aware of current market conditions, which lenders have the best deals, which are most flexible and most of all, which are the best fit for you. The headline interest rate is not everything when it comes to mortgages. Which type of mortgage, repayment, interest-only, flexible, discount, tracker or one of the many other options could better fit your requirements?
When people search to find mortgage brokers, they put their financial future in someone else’s hands. But this is no longer guesswork.
One of the significant advances due to the internet is the ease with which you can find out about a business through reviews. It is evident that a mortgage broker who is highly rated will most likely provide you with excellent service and be a pleasure to work with, as opposed to a low-ranking business. Reading the reviews is also helpful in understanding the process better. What points did other people have issues with?
Under FCA guidelines, your mortgage broker should always have your best interests at heart, focusing on the best deal for you, not the most profitable one for them.
Your mortgage advisor needs to be experienced and be trading for a reasonable amount of time.
Reviews will show how long ago they first got evaluated by customers. If they have managed to keep customers happy for an extended time, it shows they carry the knowledge and experience to meet their needs.
Mortgage brokers need to make money – a concern for people when searching for a mortgage broker is how they “pay” for the service. Every mortgage broker has a unique pricing structure, and fees can vary greatly.
Most brokers charge around £300-500, whilst others do not charge mortgage applicants fees. Mortgage broker fees can vary based on the complexity of your circumstances. Some applications may require more effort and time than others to complete.
A mortgage broker will explain how their fees are calculated in their first meeting with you, as this is a legal requirement. This payment can be by a procuration fee (commission) from the lender, a broker fee, or a combination of both.
Some mortgage brokers will provide additional services that you wouldn’t expect if you went direct to a lender. Your broker is working for you and will often engage in other tasks to ensure your transaction goes smoothly, such as:
- Communicating with your estate agent
- Liaising with your conveyancer
- Ensuring mortgage underwriters are satisfied
- Keeping you informed at every stage
- Fighting your corner when needed
Face-to-face or remote advice
Some brokers provide mortgage advice online and over the phone, and others advise customers face-to-face. After searching for the best mortgage broker near me, you can check reviews and decide which option works better for you. You can determine whether you’re happy to save time by dealing with someone online or over the phone, or whether you require a face-to-face meeting with your broker. You can receive an excellent level of service using either option.