How to choose a mortgage broker checklist

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Which? Mortgage Advisers

 
 

Whether you’re looking for your first home or a buy to let investment, a good mortgage broker will help you navigate your way through a huge number of mortgage options and find a deal that’s right for you. A broker can be particularly helpful if you have more complicated circumstances - for example if you are self-employed or have a bad credit history.

This guide, created with Which? Mortgage Advisers, offers advice on how to find the right mortgage broker for you.

Before you contact a broker, check they are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

 

Choose a whole-of-market broker, who can recommend any mortgage and inform you if there are better deals that are only available directly from lenders.

 

Many brokers offer a free initial consultation, so shop around to find the best one for your individual needs.

 

Check what they charge. Some brokers charge a flat fee, while others will charge you a percentage of the amount you are borrowing.

 

Ensure that your adviser is CeMAP or CII qualified and highly trained.

Ask your broker if they have experience working with different types of buyers, such as:

  • First-time buyers
  • Buy to let investors
  • People buying leasehold properties
  • Self-employed buyers
  • People with a bad credit history
  • Company directors
  • Buyers who are over 60 years old or retired.

Check your broker is experienced in dealing with your type of property purchase. For example, have they organised borrowing for government schemes such as:

  • Help to Buy (including using the Help to Buy ISA)
  • Shared ownership
  • Rent to Buy.

And do they have other specialist knowledge finance for:

  • New-build
  • Major renovation projects
  • Listed and period properties
  • Buy to let.
 

An estimated 25-30% of sales fall through after an offer has been accepted, so ask your broker how they will ensure your mortgage progresses quickly.

 

Find out how your broker works with conveyancers, and what processes they have in place. This is a crucial relationship when buying and selling property or remortgaging, especially when working to short deadlines.

If you have a specific deadline you require a property to be purchased by, (such as a new-build or to secure a discount), ask your broker how they can help you get it over the line quickly.

Ask your broker how they review which mortgage is right for you, including how they assess the following circumstances:

  • Your age
  • The deposit you have
  • Your monthly budget
  • Your income and expenditure
  • Your credit history
  • Your case specifics, i.e, if you are a first-time buyer or home mover
  • The specific property you are buying
  • The intended use of the property you are buying, i.e. residential, buy to let, holiday let, holiday home
  • Your short term domestic and career plans
  • Your longer term domestic and career plans
  • Your timescales
  • Your ideal repayment type, ie interest only or capital and interest
  • Your financial situation
  • Your attitude towards risk
  • How long you need to repay the mortgage
  • The interest rate
  • Repayment penalties.

Find out what happens if you need to complain about your broker. Is there an independent, free system for you to use? If the broker is FCA registered, you will be able to use Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).


All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner, author of
Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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