You go to see a property and it’s just the property you have been looking for. You know you can afford it as you have been to see a mortgage broker and have an agreement in principle. You make an offer to the estate agent only to be told that your offer will not be accepted unless you arrange the mortgage through their own in-house mortgage adviser.
Do I have to use my estate agent’s mortgage adviser?
The estate agent may tell you that it’s either compulsory or that you are more likely to have your offer accepted if you use their in-house estate agent’s mortgage adviser. In both cases, you definitely do not have to use their estate agent and it is actually illegal for an estate agent to force you to use their own mortgage adviser.
Do you need a mortgage broker when moving home?
If you are looking to buy your first home or move home then it is highly likely you will need a mortgage. It is always highly recommended to use the services of a mortgage broker or a mortgage advisor to get you sound mortgage advice and the best mortgage deal.
Most estate agents have their own in-house mortgage advisor and although they will tell you that you need to use them to buy the property they are managing, this is simply not true. Like any professional service you will use, it is always recommended to shop around and compare mortgage brokers. Ask your family and friends who they have used in the past and whether they would recommend them. It always makes sense to also look at their reviews to make sure that their past customers are happy with the service they provide to their customers.
Advantages of using your own mortgage broker
The main advantage of using your own mortgage broker is that you will have someone who has your very best interest at heart. Someone who is independent and gives you the very best advice tailored to your own financial circumstances. If you use the estate agent’s in-house mortgage adviser you do not know who they are putting first, you or their client that they are selling the house for?
When you put in an offer on a house, one of the first requirements is for a mortgage decision in principle (also known as a mortgage agreement in principle). When this is produced it will show you and the mortgage broker your maximum buying power. Do you really want the estate agent to know this? Especially if you are offering below the asking price as the estate agent will be able to see how much more you could offer. Do you really want the estate agent to see your hand of cards?
So, what do I do if the estate agent is adamant I use their mortgage adviser?
This is a difficult call. Our advice is to inform your mortgage broker if the estate agent asks you to see their in-house mortgage adviser. The mortgage broker can email your mortgage agreement in principle to the estate agent and confirm that you are good for your money and that you are ready to proceed. The mortgage broker will be experienced in these matters and put some weight behind your offer and make it very clear that you do not legally need to see the estate agent’s in-house mortgage adviser.
The estate agent won’t let me view the property
If the estate agent won’t let you view a property until you have seen their mortgage advisor first. This is both unprofessional and could be illegal. If you have an agreement in principle that shows you are good for your money and can afford to buy the property then the estate agent cannot give you a reason that you have to see their in house mortgage advisor before they let you view a property.
Here at YesCanDo Money are independent mortgage brokers we are very experienced at calling estate agents and insisting on a house viewing being allowed and without fail the estate agents back down!
What are the rules about having to talk to the agent’s mortgage adviser?
Although it is completely legal for the estate agent to recommend that you use the estate agent’s mortgage broker, it is illegal for them to insist that you use them.
The Estate Agents Act 1979 states that every offer must be put forward to the seller regardless of whether the buyer has obtained their mortgage from the broker recommended by the estate agent.
If you have got an up-to-date mortgage agreement in principle this shows and proves to the estate agent that you are in a position to put an offer forward on the property you have seen.
Therefore, if you are feeling brave you could quote the 1979 Act to the estate agent, or get us to call them on your behalf. As mortgage brokers, we do this on a daily basis for our clients.
What else can I do to increase the chances of getting the property?
Estate agents are always keen to get a buyer for a property and tie up a sale and need to produce a memorandum of sale to get the sale underway. A memorandum of sale will have the buyer’s names and addresses together with the solicitors used.
Therefore, when the mortgage agreement in principle is sent to the estate agent, if this is sent together with the details of the solicitor or conveyancer you are using there is nothing to stop the sale from getting underway very quickly.
What happens next?
Your mortgage broker will get your full mortgage application submitted to the bank or building society you are using for your mortgage. You will need to decide what survey you require on the property. You will have 3 options to choose from:
- Valuation survey – This is the standard survey that will be instructed by your lender. Its main purpose is for the lender to check that you are buying the property at the correct value and that there are no obvious factors as to why you should not buy it. This survey is often free.
- Homebuyer survey – This is a more in-depth survey. The homebuyers survey will help you find out if there are any structural problems such as subsidence. The report will also tell you if there are any damp problems. The surveyor will also give their opinion on the value of the property and if they feel you are paying too much. Costs start from £400.
- Full structural or building survey – This survey is the most comprehensive survey available. This type of survey is normally carried out on older properties or properties of unusual construction. It can also be worth considering if you intend to make some large improvements or extensions to the property.
This is another factor that will keep the estate agent happy. It is a sign that everything is proceeding at a good pace and so we recommend that you do not hang around in getting the survey carried out.
Exchange of contracts – buying a property
Once you have exchanged contracts the property is legally yours! Therefore we recommend that you and your mortgage broker push toward the exchange of contracts as quickly as possible.
The exchange of contracts is usually approximately 8 weeks after your offer is accepted. You will know that you are close to an exchange of contracts as your solicitor will arrange for you to visit their offices to discuss their findings and talk about dates for completion.
Your solicitor will have received your local authority search. This will have been applied for soon after the mortgage application was submitted and usually takes 4-6 weeks. The purpose of the local authority search is to give you detailed information on anything that would stop you from buying the property and also in-depth information about the surrounding area. An example would be if there are any intended housing developments or road widening in the area.
Completion – buying a property
This is moving day. The day you have been working towards and patiently waiting for. The day you finally get to pick up the keys to your new home. The normal time for completion is late morning or early afternoon. Your solicitor will call you to inform you that you have completed and that you can go and pick up the keys from the estate agent.
When you chose your mortgage you will have more than likely picked a fixed interest rate. The most common fixed-rate chosen is either 2 or 5 years fixed rate. A mortgage is often taken out over a term of 25 – 35 years.
When you are within 6 months of the end of the fixed rate, it will be wise to have a mortgage review. Speak to your mortgage broker and get a plan of action together. Now is a good time to consider if you wish to raise any additional funds for any home improvements or decide if you are likely to want to move home. Depending on what your plans are, your mortgage broker is likely to advise you to remortgage.
How do I find a NO FEE mortgage broker?
The easiest way is to Google ‘NO FEE Mortgage Broker’ or ‘FEE FREE Mortgage Broker‘. You will get a list of mortgage brokers near you. Have a look at their websites. Look at their Google reviews. Do they have a 5-star Google rating? Have a look at the broker’s Trust Pilot page and see what their customers are saying about them.
Can YesCanDo help you with a mortgage or move home?
YesCanDo Money is a family-run independent mortgage broker. Our team is passionate about giving our clients sound mortgage advice that puts them first. We are whole of market which means we will search the whole mortgage market to get you the best mortgage deal and the lowest interest. Also, we are a NO FEE mortgage broker which means there will be no mortgage broker fees. To be clear we will NEVER charge you one penny for our services.
YesCanDo Money has a great team of very experienced mortgage advisers and mortgage managers on hand to help you with every step. So give us a call at 033 0088 4407 or email us at [email protected] and see how we can help you.