Since I am currently looking into potentially buying my first house, when asked by an estate agent (with whom I had just viewed a house) whether I would be interested in talking to their mortgage advisor about mortgages, I thought it would probably be a good idea, just to get an idea of what's involved, how much I can afford to borrow, etc.
He asked me to email him some information, such as: address history, job history, sick pay, and to complete a budget planner that he emailed me.
After getting back to him with this information, he then replied with the maximum figure he had found that anyone was willing to lend me, the term (30 year mortgage, 5 years fixed), rate, and the monthly repayment amount (which included the set up fees for the mortgage). This mortgage was with Natwest.
I had a quick look at an online mortgage calculator tool (from a reputable comparisson site), and based on the same variable values he had quoted (mortgage value, 30 year term, fixed for 5 years), the best rate I found was actually better than what he had quoted: about 0.05% lower interest rate, setup fees just under 50% less, and monthly repayment amount a hundred pound or so (can't remember the exact amount) cheaper. This mortgage was with HSBC.
Obviously the difference in rate isn't huge, but given that I will be borrowing a significant amount, it will make a significant impact on the amount I repay over the 30 years
But given this is my first experience of dealing with a mortgage broker, I was kind of surprised that I had found a cheaper rate online myself, given I have no previous experience of looking for mortgages, and had not looked hard...
When I queried him about this, the guy said that it was an exclusive rate he had with one of the high street banks... I assumed that meant that this rate was only available if I go through him, and that a rate I got myself, he would expect to be worse than this one... but maybe he meant he only deals exclusively with this bank- in which case, it would be stupid to get a mortgage through him without looking elsewhere first... Although he did mention that I could borrow slightly more with one of the other high street banks- though he didn't give any more information than the amount I could borrow with them.
It made me question why anyone would use a mortgage advisor, if they can find a better rate online themselves...?
Am I missing something here? Or do I just happen to have spoken to a bad mortgage advisor?