Buying a house is one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever take. But using the services of a mortgage adviser and broker can help to make the process easier.
This post is for information purposes only and does not constitute financial advice.
There’s a lot to think about when you’re planning to buy a house. The location, how many bedrooms, the size of the garden…the list just goes on!
But one of the most important aspects to consider is how you are going to actually pay for the house. Unless you have won the lottery, inherited a fortune from a rich relative or are downsizing from a larger property, you will probably need to apply for a mortgage.
You may have heard the terms mortgage adviser and broker mentioned, but perhaps you’re not totally sure if you need one or how they can help you. This post will help you decide on whether to hire a mortgage broker and adviser, and how to find one if you do decide to use one.
What is a mortgage adviser and broker?
A mortgage broker is a company or person who can help you to arrange a mortgage on a property. They are qualified specialists who search for the most suitable deal for your circumstances.
Using a mortgage adviser or broker can be useful whether you are employed, self-employed or retired, and whether you are a first-time buyer, looking to move to a new home or looking to remortgage your current home.
There’s no difference between a mortgage adviser and broker – the terms both mean the same thing.
What does a mortgage adviser do?
A mortgage adviser and broker will firstly help you assess your finances. They will then go away and search the market for the best deals available for you, based on your particular set of circumstances. Once they have found you the right deal, they will then be able to guide you through every step of applying for your mortgage.
There are many benefits of using a mortgage adviser and broker. For example, using a mortgage broker can be very helpful and absolutely invaluable if you don’t have a good understanding of the mortgage market. You may also have specific requirements which can make obtaining a mortgage more complicated, such as being self-employed or having bad credit. A mortgage adviser and broker will find you the most suitable deals with the most suitable lenders for these circumstances.
The mortgage market can change rapidly as lenders add and remove deals or the interest rates change. A mortgage broker can explain things to you clearly so you can understand the market better and the way it works. Your mortgage adviser and broker will also help you complete all of the paperwork involved with applying for a mortgage, which can be complicated at times.
It’s also important to be aware of the different ways in which mortgage advisers work. Some may work with a small range of lenders and only work with these lenders specifically. Independent mortgage advisers and whole of market mortgage advisers, on the other hand, will generally have good access to a wide range of lenders. They can also introduce you to lenders that a consumer may not be able to access on the open market.
How does a mortgage broker get paid?
Mortgage adviser and broker costs can vary significantly and you will need to take this into account when you’re considering taking out a new mortgage.
Some charge directly for their services. The fees can vary depending on the product you choose or the value of the mortgage on your property.
You may also see adverts for ‘fee-free mortgage brokers’. Their services will be free to you but the broker will receive commission from the lender.
You should be told in advance how much your mortgage adviser and broker’s fees will be. If their commission is being paid, you should be told this as well.
How to choose a mortgage adviser and broker
A quick internet search will bring up the details for hundreds of mortgage advisers and brokers. It’s important to choose carefully so that you can rely on the quality of the advice they give you.
It’s always good to get a personal recommendation from a friend or work colleague, especially if they have used the broker’s services recently. Your estate agent may also recommend their preferred mortgage adviser and broker but you shouldn’t feel obligated to use them.
If you can’t find a mortgage adviser and broker through personal recommendation, here are three things to look out for:
- Are they able to access every UK lender (whole of market) or are they tied to specific lenders?
- Do they charge a fee or are they paid on commission? And if they charge a fee, when do they require payment?
- Are they properly qualified and listed on the Financial Services Register?
It’s very important to choose a reputable mortgage broker and one who is properly qualified. The most popular mortgage adviser qualification is called CeMAP (Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice).
Don’t feel obliged to engage the first mortgage adviser and broker you talk to. It’s better to speak to a few first and make sure you’re comfortable with your decision.
Once you’ve chosen your mortgage adviser and broker, their advice and experience can make the process of applying for a mortgage and buying a property a lot smoother!