There are a lot of mortgage brokers out there. If you've made the decision to work with a broker, choosing the right one can feel like another daunting step in the overall daunting process of getting a mortgage.
This is a short guide designed to help you find the right broker for you. Someone who will give you the peace of mind that you will get the best mortgage possible.
Step 1: look for a mortgage broker with a good reputation. In the age of Google you can look online to see what previous customers are saying about them: look at reviews from Google and other providers like Feefo, as well as any testimonials on their website. The latter can be cherry-picked, but review platforms paint a more comprehensive picture.
A good mortgage broker will have many glowing testimonials from people they have successfully helped to find the right mortgage. If you see lots of complaints and debate in the reviews, this could be a red flag.
Step 2: look at the number of products they offer. A mortgage broker can be independent, meaning they will recommend deals from the whole of the market (with a couple of caveats). Brokers who are not independent represent specific brokers.
(The caveats we mentioned: some lenders don't deal with brokers, so an independent broker cannot apply to them on your behalf. The broker may still recommend a deal from such a lender, but you will have to apply by yourself).
A good mortgage broker can be either, just make sure you understand the difference and implications. One may be a better fit than the other for your needs.
Step 3: look at how much you will be charged for using their service. Aim to understand whether you will pay a flat fee or a percentage commission on the final deal, and whether the broker will receive a commission from the lender on top of what you pay.
A good mortgage broker is not necessarily a cheap mortgage broker; rather they are good value for money. Paying a bit more for the right broker can lead to savings of hundreds or thousands of pounds on eventual mortgage repayments, so don't baulk straight away at a number higher than you were expecting.
Step 4: look at their qualifications. While all mortgage brokers must be qualified and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), there are different qualifications available. The Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP) is accredited by the London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF), and is considered the UK's best mortgage broker qualification.
Step 5: go with your gut! There's a lot to be said for gut feeling, and early conversations with prospective mortgage brokers will count for a lot. If you feel reassured and comforted, you've found a good broker for you. If you feel belittled and concerned, perhaps look elsewhere.
Hopefully these steps help you find a good mortgage broker, and put you in good stead to find your dream mortgage.