I was talking to a potential customer who decided not to proceed with us. One of the reasons (or possibly THE reason) for that was that they did not want to pay our broker fee – and that is fine, I understand.
They did not understand what we did, in their mind they thought we just went on something like Money Supermarket to find a product and then applied for the Mortgage and it was maybe an hour or twos worth of work… If only!
A day in the life of a Mortgage Broker
What do we do? Well, this post will go through the process we follow for all customers.
We have an initial conversation to discuss your circumstances – this takes maybe 10-15 minutes on the phone. If I think we can help and you want to move forward with us managing your application we send out a form for you to complete and a list of documents we need (payslips, bank statements etc).
The research stage
Once we have everything we need, we go and do the research (NOT on Money supermarket). This can either be a 30 minute job of a 5 day job depending on your circumstances. If you are relatively straight forward, then it is a case of sourcing the products (5-10 minute job), checking affordability and doing any checks on criteria… Easily 30 minutes plus.
If you are a little more complex then it would mean talking or emailing our account managers to check anything that could be a concern – this could be anything from ensuring Defaults are within criteria to ensuring that the job you started 3 months ago would also be acceptable, but it can be anything about your circumstances, your past, the property or a combination of things.
Sometimes we may even need to get an exception made – that is where something may not fit criteria but the rest of your situation is good and we think the lender should bend their rules for you.
The Application stage
Once we have found some options for you and we have talked them over and made a decision, we then get on to the application stage. This starts by doing a Decision in Principle (also known as a DIP/AIP or MIP).
Assuming this passes we then submit your full application. By this stage we have already done the research and pre-assessed your documents and queried anything we think could be a problem. The documents then get sent over to the lender/underwriter with your application and we wait for the underwriter to assess and let us know if they have any additional questions. All in, this part takes a couple of hours for most applications (complex or not).
There then may be some back and forth between us and the underwriter depending on their questions.
Once your Mortgage has been offered, there will then inevitably be some questions from yourself:
- What happens next,
- How long until I get the keys,
- Can I now apply for a credit card to buy my furniture (no! Always no),
The solicitors will take over at this stage, but we are still on hand throughout the process. We will always help wherever we can and try not to use the cop out – “check with your solicitor”. Ultimately, we do charge a fee and because of that we are able to be around and offer a level of service we could not offer if we were not charging a fee.
Our fees do vary depending on a number of factors, we would be able to confirm our fee usually at the initial discussion stage, we try to base our fees on the level of work involved and the commission we will receive.
Fortunately, our job is not just a case of running the numbers and filling out a form. If that were the case there would be no need for a broker.
We do charge a fee and it is always one of the first things we discuss, it is not a secret or hidden in small print. With anywhere from 8-15 hours worth of work on an average application, we would not be able to to survive unless we literally did just submit your application and offer no customer service at all – and that just does not fit right with us.
You are buying one of, it not the most expensive items you have ever bought, it is only normal to be concerned, anxious, worried and have a million and one questions. We want to do everything we can to ensure we are able to go the extra mile and actually be around to not only answer your questions but also the underwriters questions and offer the reassurance you might need at times of or when things look a little shaky.