Do I have to use my Estate Agents in-house Mortgage Advisor?
About your Estate Agents Mortgage Advisor
Whether you are a first time buyer actively viewing properties or a home mover with your house on the market you may have noticed that some of the larger local Estate Agents are keen for you to use their in-branch Mortgage Advisor and also their recommended Conveyancers.
Running a local mortgage business, we receive lots of feedback as to what sales tactics can be used.
Examples of this are:
- A Buyers Incentive if you use both in-house mortgage and conveyancing services – please always think to yourself, where is this money coming from?
- The Estate Agent not putting your offer forward to the vendor if you have not taken in-house Mortgage Advice, or favouring another lower offer over yours because you already have your mortgage sorted – please note these situations are illegal.
- Quoting extortionate in-house conveyancing fees – being quoted extortionate £1,500+ for a straightforward purchase
In this article, we will try to help you decide who to use for your Mortgage and also how to make sure you are receiving value for your money!
How can I get a Mortgage?
Choosing a Mortgage Advisor really ought to come down to their service, fees, whether they have access to a broad enough number of lenders to suit your circumstances and whether they appear trustworthy. Checking out their website and online reviews is a great starting point before calling for a quick initial chat over the phone.
Do it Yourself Online
If you’re happy doing it yourself on the internet you can search price comparison websites for the best rates on offer. This won’t cost you anything and if you are confident on the internet and in what you are doing it can be done quickly.
Here are a few things to be aware of though:
- The rates advertised are ‘Best Buy’ rates – will you actually qualify for this rate and do you meet the lender’s criteria?
- Have you done your research properly? Many of these sites earn commission from lenders and where there is no commercial relationship with a lender, they may just not include their mortgages in the table.
- It can be costly if it goes wrong – be aware of paying out for valuation and application fees if you are not 100% certain that you have been accepted. These will all be non-refundable.
- You will solely be responsible for progressing your application and also sorting out any problems if things start to go wrong.
Go to your Bank
You can make an appointment with your local Bank’s Mortgage Advisor – well those that still have branches left! Here are the things to watch here:
- No shopping around for the best deal – they can only tell you about the mortgages they’re offering and have no obligation to tell you about cheaper rates available from any other mortgage lenders.
- Computer says no! – Sorry guys, you’ve been banking here 20 years and we still don’t know you well enough!
- Appointments can be hard to come by and can result in you losing out on the property you want.
- Inexperienced Advisors – if your situation is slightly unusual or you are wanting help with the whole house buying process they will not provide help and support.
Using a Stand-Alone Mortgage Broker
You may be wary of giving all your personal financial information over to a member of staff or Mortgage Advisor who works within the Estate Agency you wish to buy a house from. Remember the Estate Agent is working on behalf of the seller to obtain the best possible price.
They may intimate to you that their client prefers the idea of you doing everything “in-house” but this is unlikely to actually be the case. All their seller really wants to know is how much you are offering and are you in a position to proceed.
You can prove you are in a position to proceed without going into the Estate Agency branch, simply send over your ID, Mortgage Agreement in Principle and proof of deposit. Using a Mortgage Broker not affiliated to the Estate Agent ensures you have someone working purely on your behalf. This also ensures there’s no risk of conflict of interests.