At whatever stage you are onthe property ladder, be it first time buyer or seasoned buy to let owner, the sheer volume of mortgages available can appear somewhat daunting but rather than get overwhelmed by the choice, why not talk to a mortgage broker.
What is a Mortgage Broker
A mortgage broker is usually an independent advisor who can search the market for the best deal based on your circumstances, rather than be tied to specific products.
With such a wide choice of mortgages available, choosing the right one can be extremely difficult, so engaging a broker who is an expert and knows what is going on in the market can only be a wise decision.
Not only will your broker be able to search for deals based on interest rates and fees but will also be able to take into account your own circumstances, what is achievable and actually available to you and with a detailed knowledge of the individual lenders can steer you in a direction where you are more likely to be accepted.
Once you have found a suitable mortgage, your broker can work with you to ensure that you have all of the correct documentation to ensure that the process runs smoothly and in a timely manner, whilst liaising with the relevant third parties to get the deal through without delays.
A good mortgage broker will also advise you on the ancillary products such as home and life insurance that could be key to your mortgage agreement.
What do I need to be aware of?
You need to know whether your broker is independent (whole of market) or whether they are tied, restricting the choice that is on offer and potentially not having access to some of the best deals around.
There are however deals available particularly through banks and building societies that are not available to the ‘whole of market ‘ broker as they are direct deals and your broker simply will not have access to them.
You will also need to know how you will be charged for the brokers services, this varies from commissions from lenders to set fees for the service. Asset harbour charge set fees, so you know from the outset what the cost will be.
How should I choose a broker
You have three main choices:
Tied – A broker who will only offer deals from a single lender.
Multi tied – A broker who will only offer deals from a small panel of lenders
Whole of market – A broker who can access the entire market, giving you the widest choice on offer.
What do I need to know
You need to know if your broker is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), this not only provides a certain level of service but also give you recourse the the Financial Ombudsman should anything go wrong.
You should also establish a level of communication, how often will your broker be in touch, will it be in person or by phone or as we are seeing more and more of, by video conferencing, which ever way you agree, it’s important that your broker gives you regular and timely updates and information.
How much will it cost
As we said, some brokers will charge a flat fee, some will charge an hourly rate, while others will receive a commission from the lender. Again Asset Harbour charge a set flat fee, this enables you to know all of your costs from the outset.