If you have come into contact with an estate agent recently and certainly if you have registered to buy or even gone that bit further and put in an offer on something, you will have no doubt been asked about your financial position and whether you would like to speak to their financial advisor.
We are often greeted with suspicion in the office when we offer the services of our recommended brokers (out of interest we refer business to Heron Financial in Rickmansworth www.heronfinancial.co.uk) as I think that potential buyers are just thinking we will earn a commission out of referral business and that’s all we care about. What is true is that most agents (including S&G) do earn a commission out of referral business, but from the IFAs commission not from the customer. So if you choose to go through an advisor they will get paid that commission either way. The benefits of using the advisor are really for them to convince you of, but essentially it’s like paying anyone for doing work directly for you rather than doing it yourself. You should get a wider reach of the market than going directly to the High Street and hopefully they should do the bulk of the hard work for you in terms of filling in forms etc. The reason we work with Heron is they are local, like us, one of the 2 principle partners lives in Chorleywood and our broker, Mark Stannard, has lived in the area for 23 years so you are dealing with someone who appreciates the nuances of the area.
However, the primary reason that we offer this service is to establish the financial position of the buyer, we need to understand whether you can afford to buy the property and sadly over the years, most estate agents have had their fingers burnt by recommending buyers who have told us that they have already spoken to their financial advisor and they are fine for the money or have cash in the bank. Sadly, not everyone is as honest as you are! So, the simple way to avoid a chat with the in-house broker is to have done your preparation in advance. If you are a cash buyer, then we are going to want to see some evidence of that cash, that could be a letter from your Accountant, a photocopy of a bank statement and if you are using a mortgage then some evidence that someone else has pre-qualified your position to borrow the amount of money that you need to pay for the house. The other thing to say is not to automatically be suspicious of recommended financial advisor, they may well be able to find you a better deal than you have seen and although they receive some commission, it may well save you money in the long run.