There are many decisions to be faced when you are looking to purchase a property. Which mortgage is best for you? Which repayment terms are best? Which lender is going to give you the best deal?
Added to all that is the option of whether you should use the services offered by a mortgage adviser to your estate agent or whether you should seek out your own mortgage broker. Of course, I will always recommend the use of a mortgage broker because that is what I do. However, there are some very good reasons why this option is preferable.
No conflict of interest
It is clear to see where the potential conflict of interest will come from if you use the services of a mortgage adviser who also works for the estate agent. They are also known as in-house advisers. They rely on the estate agent to supply them with potential leads and therefore business. It is logical, then, to consider that they may do all they can to provide a good service to the agent. Of course, they will be acting for you as well – and that is where the conflict lies.
If you choose an independent mortgage broker, you can be sure they are working for you and only for you. They do not answer to the estate agent as they are independent of them. That means you can be completely sure they are always acting on your behalf.
Consider this – if we handled your requirements for you, it wouldn’t matter whether you decided to buy property A or property B, much less which estate agent that property was listed with. We only focus on your needs and providing you with a service you can count on.
The potential to access a greater number of mortgage lenders
An adviser working with an estate agent will likely have access to a reasonable number of lenders. However, an independent broker will usually have access to far more. Since they are independent, they are not tied to any bank or building society. This means the broker can provide a wider selection of deals from various providers. This would increase the chances that you can find the deal that is right for you.
Search for a broker before you search for a property
Some people do things the other way around, but we always recommend you speak to a reliable and trusted broker first. There is a good reason why we recommend this too. By finding a good deal and getting a ‘decision in principle’, it puts you in a far more powerful position when viewing properties.
Firstly, if you are offered the services of an in-house adviser at an estate agent, you can politely decline because you already have a broker you are seeking advice from. Secondly, having a decision in principle before you start house shopping means you have already been approved for a mortgage. That could tip the balance in your favour in a competitive housing market, especially if you spot a property you would like to make an offer on.
Looking for property is never easy. However, selecting an independent mortgage broker ahead of starting to look around for properties does have several advantages, as you can see.