What Does A Mortgage Broker Do?

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What Does A Mortgage Broker Do?

What Does A Mortgage Broker Do?

Sofia Jones joins us to talk all about the role of a mortgage broker. 

What does a mortgage broker do?

A mortgage broker or mortgage adviser sits between those looking to refinance or buy property and the mortgage lenders. First of all, we speak to the client and understand what it is they’re looking to do and why. 

Often some people have an idea of what they’re doing but aren’t sure if it’s the right idea, or how to go forward with it. Once we’ve ascertained your plans, we’ll be able to tell you how much you can afford on a mortgage.

That can vary from one lender to another – and sometimes quite widely. We would then provide details on the monthly cost of that mortgage, and the overall costs. Instead of just focusing on an interest rate, we also look at fees and other costs to make sure it’s the right solution. 

Once agreed, we collect and check all the documents needed for a mortgage before it goes to a lender. It’s a slightly different process if you direct. You haven’t got somebody checking everything to make sure it’s all going to be as smooth as possible. 

Once that’s done, we’re ready to apply to the lender – we handle the whole application process. We do all the paperwork and answer any questions from the lender. Importantly, we continuously have our eye on the ball with the market – especially recently where things have changed so frequently. 

So even once we’ve got that mortgage offer, if there are any market changes that would positively affect a client, we can get them a better rate even after we’ve got a mortgage offer.

What’s the difference between going to a mortgage broker like yourself versus your local high street lender?

There are quite a few differences between going to a mortgage adviser and talking to your own bank. Buying or refinancing a property is one of the biggest financial transactions people make in their lifetime, and having an adviser alongside you can be invaluable. 

We help with solicitors, with estate agents and anybody else involved in that process. I’ve often picked up the phone at an ungodly hour to a client who is stressed because they’ve been told something by somebody else in the chain. I’ve fixed it and put their mind at rest. A high street bank certainly wouldn’t do that. 

We would get you a yes, when potentially a bank would give you a no. The reason is that your high street bank will only advise you about their products. We can advise on products from all the lenders we work with in the market. 

I’ve had clients recommended to me who don’t think they can get a mortgage, for whatever reason – perhaps due to credit issues. If you’ve got a CCJ or a missed payment, some lenders would just decline you. 

If one bank you approach says no, because you didn’t meet their criteria, we can go to another lender. As a broker, we know how the criteria differs across all the lenders, so we can advise clients where to go based on their individual circumstances.

What services does a mortgage broker offer?

We’ve already talked about how we help with paperwork and the application. But then there’s a lot more involved when purchasing or refinancing a property. 

When you’re purchasing, you have estate agents to deal with, and on any mortgage you’ve got solicitors doing the legal work. We liaise with everybody involved in that process to make sure they have the right information and no wires are crossed. 

There are a couple of stages to the application process. You may have heard of an Agreement in Principle – and some estate agents will insist on you having one of these to have an offer accepted on a property.

That can mean a hard credit search with some lenders, so instead, we can do a financial qualification to the estate agent on your behalf. It means you don’t necessarily need an Agreement in Principle.

We also help with remortgaging if you’re coming to the end of your rate. We look at the whole market as opposed to just the lender you’re with at the moment. We compare everything to make sure you’re on the right deal – or whether you can do better somewhere else.

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Do you advise on mortgage protection?

Yes. It’s so important to have that built into your monthly budget when you’re looking at buying or refinancing. You need to make sure that debt is protected for you and your family. 

We work with the insurers to make sure that the cover you’ve got meets your needs.

When should I see a mortgage broker? At what stage in the process?

As early as possible. I speak to clients at all stages of the process. I’ve spoken to people who are saving for deposits, and I guide them as to what they need to do once they have that deposit saved up. 

We talk about how much they’re aiming for – because if you look online or speak to a friend or somebody down the pub, the information can be overwhelming. We help you see how much you need for a deposit and when you’re ready to buy a house, we explore what your budget needs to be.

I also speak to clients much later in the process. Sometimes they’ve been to another advisor and want a second opinion. So you can see me at any stage but ideally, as early as possible.

Does it cost for an initial consultation with you?

There are no fees initially. I’m not going to charge you if I can’t help you. That goes for First Time Buyers, or people who already own a property, and I also speak to many landlords who need advice. 

I will hold an initial consultation, see where they are, make sure I can help and give them an idea of what we could do. If we can help, there are fees later in the process. They do vary depending on the work involved. Everything is made very clear before anybody decides to proceed.

So if you have any questions off the back of this –  and there really is no such thing as a silly question – just get in touch. I can talk about property or finance to clients all day long. No matter where you are in the process, there’s usually something I can help with.