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05/03/2020 The hidden value of a broker's advice

We know that buying a house can be stressful. According to a report by specialist bank Aldermore in 2018, first-time buyers are putting significant strain on their health, careers and relationships in order to make it onto the housing ladder.

A whopping 47% claim to have had to ‘rebuild their lives’ after buying a home.

While owning your own home should come as a relief and a rewarding experience, the levels of stress experienced in the buying process are significant. Research from the HomeOwners Alliance shows where stress is most felt during the house buying process:

 

  • 68% - worried about securing a mortgage
  • 66% - worried about hidden extra costs
  • 46% - worried about finding the right home
  • 39% - worried about paying the right price
  • 35% - worried about the conveyancing process
  • 34% - worried about being surprised
  • 30% - worried about negotiating a better house price

 

financial well-being

 

With the fear of not securing a mortgage being so high, it’s important that brokers leverage the value they can provide by not only being transparent about the costs involved in the process, but that they position themselves as an adviser that is always available to put fears to rest. 

Not everybody, for instance, will know the amount of paperwork lenders will expect of them for a mortgage application, so being ready to hand them guides such as how the mortgage process works or a moving house checklist will help.

A study by Yopa found that 65% of people lose sleep over moving home due to stress. It is a big event, and a mortgage broker can position themselves to be the day to day adviser to help customers with their needs and concerns. 

The issue of stress goes far beyond first time buyers. A new survey by campaign group UK Mortgage Prisoners polled 170 of its members who were forced to pay in excess of market rates on home loans taken out before the financial crash. The results reported that many suffered with severe depression, anxiety, issues with sleeping causing exhaustion and fatigue, mental breakdown, panic attacks and mood swings. Many so-called ‘mortgage prisoners’ are stuck in homes with mortgages far in excess of their original loan, struggling to pay interest on the loan, let alone pay off the debt itself.

With such stories in the news, it’s no wonder that anxiety exists among those looking to take out a mortgage, or even to remortgage.

Research by ESRO found that most consumers undertake a degree of pre-application research, with a particular focus on how much they can borrow and the monthly cost. On the whole, however, shopping around by consumers is limited. 

Stress often comes from not understanding, feeling out of control and being in the dark about a process. Making the biggest purchase of your life, as well as committing to decades-long debt, can be daunting.

But with preparation and awareness of what to expect, a lot of worry can be put to rest. The question brokers need to ask to ensure no customer falls through the cracks is, ‘how can I help?’

For advice on supporting vulnerable customers, please read our guide here. We also recently launched a guide on how brokers can help build their clients’ financial well-being.

financial well-being