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What does a mortgage adviser do that you can’t? And why should you pay for their services when there are loads of other costs when moving home or remortgaging?

If you’re asking yourself these questions, it can be more than tempting to cut out the middleman. However, you may want to think twice!

Mortgage advice from a reputable mortgage adviser at The Mortgage Clinic can be an invaluable service and you should consider the following…

You’re protected

An important thing to understand is that when you receive mortgage advice, your mortgage adviser has a duty of care to you. They have to recommend a suitable mortgage and be able to justify why the particular mortgage they have chosen is right for you. If their advice is not up to scratch, you can complain and be compensated.

In contrast, if you go directly to a high street mortgage lender, don’t take advice, and end up with a mortgage that later becomes unaffordable, you may not have so much legal recourse. (However, under the rules of the Mortgage Market Review, it’s the lender’s responsibility to ensure affordability – so even if you buy direct, you could have some recourse. Nonetheless, a broker can still offer a valuable layer of protection.)

A mortgage adviser is qualified

There’s an awful lot to think about when choosing the right mortgage. It’s not as simple as just opting for the cheapest mortgage rates you can find! Or inputting best mortgage rates into a search engine and opting for the first one that pops up.

Mortgage brokers have to be qualified to give you impartial or independent mortgage advice, whereas you may not get that kind of guarantee if you ring up a lender’s call centre. That said, new regulations mean that all call centre staff need to be advisers or must refer you to someone who is, and if you went in-branch, you’d be able to arrange an appointment with one of their mortgage advisers, however this will not be independent mortgage advice.

A broker is on your side

An independent mortgage broker will look for the best mortgage for you. They aren’t on the lender’s side, they’re on yours, and they’ll give you access to far more products than if you went direct. You’d get unbiased advice and could choose from a range of lenders and subsequent products, rather than being restricted to the single range of the lender you go to.

They know the industry

Mortgage lending criteria has tightened massively over the past few years, with the Mortgage Market Review being the latest, and arguably widest-ranging, development. It’s been designed to ensure borrowers can prove affordability, even in the event of a rate rise, and those extra checks have understandably increased application times.

That’s why it’s so important to stay in the loop – and to have a mortgage broker on your side who understands it all. A broker deals with lenders on a day-to-day basis, so they’ll know what the application process is like for each one and can tell you which lender can process your application with minimal delays.

They also know the background criteria that a lender has and can bring this experience to bear when advising you and processing your application.

Then there’s the fact that, because a mortgage broker may put a lot of business to a particular lender in a year, they can exert influence and chase things in a way you just can’t do by yourself – and that can be invaluable should things get held up.

The value of advice

Mortgages are a lot more difficult than they first appear. Knowing what rate, what term, what lender, what features and what insurance to get are all time-consuming and complex matters.

Comparing mortgages on a comparison site is a good place to start – it’s great to get an idea of what’s out there. Putting your details into a mortgage calculator is also a good idea. But choosing the best mortgage is a process far more complicated than simply opting for the lowest rate or the best incentives.

A mortgage broker takes your whole circumstances into account to recommend a suitable product, and it’s that thorough, professional look at your finances that makes advice well worth paying for.

What next

Contact The Mortgage Clinic to arrange a free initial planning consultation, we are based in Belfast but also offer home visits in surrounding areas like Lisburn, Holywood, Bangor, Glengormley, Newtownabbey, Newtownards, Dundonald.