People often prefer to buy their house and mortgage through the one stop shop of the Estate Agent. But this can cost you more than necessary.
Some Estate Agents might imply they’re independent mortgage advisers when actually they’ll only deal with one particular mortgage lender. They’ll get the best fees from this deal for themselves, but it’s unlikely to be best for you.
You can ask the Estate Agent if they’re truly independent and who they deal with. If it’s only one or two companies, enough said.
You can see what they come up with to use it as a baseline for comparison.
If they claim they’re truly independent and would die to get you the best deal, bear in mind they might be lying (Oooh!). Whatever they have to offer, compare it to other possibilities.
The Three Golden Rules with Estate Agents and Mortgage are:
– DON’T BE PUSHED INTO MAKING A DECISION.
– IF THERE’S ANY PRESSURE JUST WALK AWAY.
– ALWAYS SHOP AROUND
There is anecdotal evidence that Estate Agents really should be avoided when it comes to taking advice on your mortgage. This is because – if the property is in demand – they will threaten you with losing the sale if you don’t take the mortgage they’ve offered you.
If this happens a quick phone call to the seller – who the agent is supposed to be representing – should sort this out.
It may be best to say you’ve already got some offers lined up but would be interested to see if they can beat them – ie keep your distance.
Note that anyone selling mortgages, including Estate Agents, needs to be fully qualified.
For further details, or if you’re suspicious about anyone, contact the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority Tel 0800 111 6768.
For more on Estate Agents including the piece Beware Estate Agents Bearing Mortgages
NOTE: We also cover estate agents in the section Home Buying using Estate Agents