As estate agents we’re often asked the question ‘Do I need a mortgage broker?’ by buyers, and by sellers who are considering options for their onward purchase.
It’s a very valid question and one that is of increasing importance.
What does a mortgage broker do?
A mortgage broker is a professional person or company who can arrange mortgage lending between a borrower (buyer) and lender.
Is it worth going to a mortgage broker?
A mortgage broker can potentially save you considerable time, effort and often money.
In an ever-changing marketplace where the rates available to buyers seeking lending are subject to change, engaging a mortgage broker can be wise. They will have access to multiple lenders meaning they can source the very best option for your circumstances and the property you are planning to buy.
It is especially worth talking them if you are in a unique position. If you don’t have an excellent credit score or have a specific borrowing situation that is a little more complex, a broker’s guidance can be invaluable when securing a mortgage.
Do I have to have a mortgage broker?
No, you do not have to have a mortgage broker, but it is wise to, as a minimum, explore the options that could be available to you.
Just as you’ll likely look at several properties before finding one that is perfect for you, there might be multiple mortgage options available to you but unless you explore them, you’ll not know if you’ve found the best option. And when it comes to mortgages this could mean you end up spending considerable amounts more than you needed to.
If you’re in talks with an estate agent regarding a particular property they’ll have likely suggested that you speak with a mortgage broker of their recommendation. Whilst this might feel like sales patter, buyers are wise to ensure they’ve explored all options available to them prior to committing to lending.
Each mortgage broker will have access to differing rates and have stronger relationships with certain lenders than others, meaning they might have access to a better rate with a lender than another broker. For the sake of what is likely to only be a short phone call, it is a worthwhile exercise to ensure you have the best possible mortgage available to you.
Can you get a mortgage directly from a bank?
Yes, you can get a mortgage directly from a bank. If you’re planning to explore lending directly with a bank you will have to go through the process of setting out your position and perhaps even provide certain documentation each time you explore whether one bank has a mortgage option that works for you.
Much like property portals make it easier for buyers to see many of the options available for sale in one place, a mortgage broker will be able to look at multiple lenders and propose suitable options.
It’s widely recommended, that unless you are a financial expert who knows the mortgage market and can say with certainty that a bank is offering the best available option, that you speak with a mortgage broker who can help you in their specific area of expertise.
Is it easier to get a mortgage from your own bank?
Getting a mortgage from your current bank will require the same amount of documentation and as much time as it would take to get a mortgage from another lender so from that perspective it is not ‘easier’ per se.
Having an existing relationship with your bank won’t make the application process go any faster. You will still be required to provide bank statements, tax documents and payslips as you would when applying elsewhere.
Are you more likely to get a mortgage with a broker?
As professional experts in their field, a mortgage broker can quickly assess requirements and guide a borrower through the process, assisting them in securing a mortgage.
This process of guiding borrowers can be the difference between successfully gaining a mortgage or not. It is sometimes the case that a borrower will not be able to gain lending with a bank for a reason that seems obscure. Understanding the parameters and the necessary requirements can be the difference between getting a mortgage or not, and that is where a broker can be a big help.
Is it cheaper to go through a mortgage broker or bank?
As to whether it is cheaper to go through a mortgage broker or bank – it’s almost impossible to answer. But you can be certain a broker will work to secure the best possible product available from a number of different lenders, whereas an individual bank can only offer the best deal they have.
They will usually have access to thousands of lenders to find the right product to suit an individual’s situation and often meaning they can source deals, or they might have relationships with specific lenders that ultimately means a borrower can get exclusive deals via that broker.
What is the benefit of going through a mortgage broker?
There are several benefits to going through a mortgage broker. As mentioned above, a mortgage broker is often able to secure exclusive deals for a buyer that are not openly advertised directly through the bank.
They offer impartial advice tailored to an individual’s needs, exploring only suitable options and the best deals, something that would take a buyer a huge amount of time if they went from bank to bank themselves in pursuit of the best deal.
A broker will also help a buyer when preparing their documentation and ensure everything is in place for the lender’s underwriting – a process that if not done correctly can result in considerable delays.
During the conveyancing process, a mortgage broker will chase the lender and is often able to help steps take place in a timely manner.
When should you talk to a mortgage broker?
The most opportune time to speak with a mortgage broker is in advance of your search for a property to buy, this will give a buyer an idea of what their budget is for a property purchase.
If you own a property that you need to sell before you can buy, it’s best to speak with a mortgage broker after you have gained an accurate market value for that property so you can provide them with all the facts and figures surrounding your circumstances.
There’s no wrong time to talk to a mortgage broker before you begin the conveyancing on a purchase. If you’re at the point of offering and had previously planned to use a particular lender but want to double check it’s the best option, you should absolutely do so.
West London Estate Agents
As West London Estate Agents, we do not offer financial advice and always recommend that those seeking a mortgage speak with the relevant, regulated professionals who can assist.
If you would like to discuss any matters regarding property in West London, please do get in touch.