Last week I wrote a little about how to find a good estate agent and, as I was wrapping up the post, I couldn’t help but think about how much more I had to say. That’s why this week is an unofficial ‘part two’ to that post, but with a focus on picking a mortgage broker.
Do You Even Need A Broker?
First things first, if your situation isn’t very complicated (where complicated = low deposit, self-employment, benefit income etc.) you may not even need a broker.
If you’re already a happy customer of a certain bank/building society, you could talk to them first and hope that their good value and/or customer service extends to their mortgages too.
If not, there are enough mortgage calculators online to plug in a few numbers and get a spread of which deals are available to you. True, deals from some lenders might not appear in this breakdown but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good deal to pursue.
Is Whole Of Market Always Better?
Some people get worked up about only going with a broker who has access to mortgages representative of every single player in the market. Personally, I’m not sure it’s as important as it’s made out to be.
A while ago I was speaking to a mortgage broker who told me that, despite not having whole of market access, he can still take his pick from some 19,000+ mortgages.
You have to wonder at what point the number of mortgages a broker is choosing from becomes overkill. And, as we already know, all the whole thing really needs is one great deal.
Should You Choose A Financial Adviser Or A Specialist Mortgage Broker?
These terms have become pretty much interchangeable, but the main difference is that financial advisers can offer investment advice while a mortgage broker sticks with providing mortgage information and possibly insurance advice too.
It’s a possibility that mortgage brokers will be more up-to-date with the latest deals because it’s their primary focus, while mortgages may be a secondary or tertiary service for a financial adviser. But with that said, it’s not a certainty – there are hopeless mortgage brokers around and extremely knowledgeable financial advisers, and vice versa.
It’s a common misconception that a mortgage broker won’t charge you a fee and a financial adviser will, but the opposite can actually be true in both cases. Make sure you check this before you get started with anyone!
Look For That Personal Touch
Just like Bisto, we’ve saved the best for last. Unfortunate though it may be, there a lot of snakes out there who will try to bundle in products you don’t need with the mortgage they recommend and make it seem like they’re essential.
If you can find a broker with a personal touch who’s been recommended by a savvy friend or colleague, you’ll probably be in good hands. Every situation is different, so there’s no guarantee your experience will be exactly the same as theirs, but it will probably be better than just picking a broker out of a hat.