It’s an exciting time – you’ve saved up your deposit, you’re in a good financial situation, and it’s time for you to go out and find a house. The only major hurdle you’ve got to get through is finding a good mortgage. Well actually, there’s one little step that that might help you instead, and that’s finding a good mortgage advisor.
You see, picking a mortgage isn’t really as easy as going online and using a comparison site. You can do that if you really want, but that’s not necessarily going to see you get the best deal for your own circumstances. And when we’re talking house prices that could mean an overall difference of thousands.
Before we get into things, the other benefit of using an advisor is that you’ve got more protection if it turns out later on that the product isn’t right for you. If you pick your own (called execution-only), then you’ve got no real barrier. Openwork have some good resources that show you why going with an advisor is a good idea.
So – how to pick the advisor.
First and foremost, you’ll want to ensure that whoever you’re going to be talking to is independent.
Advisors who have a vested interest in selling you a particular product aren’t always the best ones to go with, because they might be more inclined to persuade you down a route that isn’t necessarily the best for your circumstances. It’s the law for them to tell you though, so this isn’t difficult to find out.
Next – the price.
All mortgage advisors will either charge a particular fee, or they’ll charge commission. This is a good way of helping you narrow down which ones to choose. Either way, ensure that you’ve got a full view of all costs so that there are no surprises. Lower prices are of course desirable, but can be an indicator of poorer service, which leads us on to the next point.
Before you sign a thing, take a look at reviews and testimonials online. There are plenty of sites out there that will help you with this, and doing so will ensure you don’t fall into the trap of choosing a cheap but ineffective advisor. Most are monitored by financial authorities to prevent major issues, but it doesn’t save you from a poor service.
Finally, the UK’s Money Advice Service, funded by the government, has some very good guides about what you should ask any potential mortgage service providers. You can read a PDF here.