If you are considering applying for a mortgage through a mortgage broker you will be anxious to ensure that you go to the right person. You will want your mortgage broker to find you the best deal to match your circumstances at the best possible price and, for that reason, before choosing your mortgage broker you may wish to ask certain questions. We set out below some of the top questions to ask your mortgage broker when looking for a mortgage.
- What are your qualifications?
It is important to find out whether your mortgage broker possesses a qualification that is recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority. Such a qualification might be a School of Finance Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice or a Chartered Insurance Certificate in Mortgage Advice. If the broker does not possess such a qualification you should look elsewhere.
- What is your regulatory status?
Independent mortgage brokers are required to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This provides their clients with both quality assurance and the security of access to prescribed complaints and compensation remedies in the event that something goes wrong. Any broker who is not regulated should be avoided.
- Are you tied to any institution or panel?
Some mortgage brokers work from a particular institution or panel of lenders. This will limit the number and variety of the products that they are able to access for you. A mortgage advisor who works from the whole of the market, especially one who provides direct deals from banks and building societies, will be able to provide a more substantial range of products to enable you to access the best deals on the market.
- How are your fees calculated?
Mortgage brokers charge in a variety of ways. Some charge an hourly rate for the work that they do whereas others charge a flat fixed fee. Others work on a commission basis, receiving their fees from the mortgage lender. The regulations of the Financial Conduct Authority provide that mortgage brokers must advise impartially, regardless of the source of their fees, so you should not need to worry about this too much. Obviously, if the fees are to be paid directly by you, the amount will be relevant to your choice of broker.
- Do you have insurance?
To provide you with some protection in the event that you subsequently find that your mortgage broker has provided the wrong advice and cost you money, you should ensure that there are adequate professional indemnity insurance arrangements in place before proceeding.
- Do you offer any additional products?
Many mortgage brokers offer more than just mortgages. You may need to access insurance products ancillary to the mortgage and it may be easier to do this through your mortgage broker. However, you need to ensure that, as in the case of the mortgage itself, your broker will search the whole of the market for any ancillary products.
- Why is the mortgage you recommend the best for me and what are the alternatives?
When you settle on a mortgage broker and are recommended a mortgage, be ready to question your broker about why it is the best one for you and ask for details of any competing products and why these are considered to be inferior to the one recommended.
Your mortgage broker is there to find you the best mortgage deal available. Asking the questions set out above when appointing and working with your mortgage broker will go a long way towards ensuring that this goal is achieved.