A recent survey has revealed that well over a third of mortgage holders (39%) have never used a mortgage broker, according to Boon Brokers.
Its survey of almost 2,000 mortgage holders discovered that the number who had never used a broker rose to half (49%) of over-55s.
This means many homeowners could have reached full ownership of their property without ever having had professional advice to help them secure the best mortgage.
Younger homeowners are more likely to consult an expert, with three out of four (74%) of 25 to 34s saying they have used a broker for a home loan.
Gerard Boon, founder and partner at Boon Brokers, comments: “There is still a lot of confusion around mortgage brokers and what they can do. A good broker with whole of market access can find the very best mortgage product out there for a client, saving them a small fortune.”
The study found there was a general lack of understanding around what mortgage brokers can or should offer. One in seven of those who have used a mortgage broker didn’t know if they had whole of market access.
Another area of confusion for homeowners was mortgage broker fees. Boon Brokers questioned 44 mortgage brokers to reveal 59% do charge clients a fee – with the average amount around £559, but some charged more than £1,000.
That is despite 100% of the brokers questioned admitting they also get a procuration fee from the lender.
To clear up any misconceptions in the industry, Boon Brokers has created a detailed Guide to Mortgage Broker Costs to help customers understand more about the process and what to expect.
Boon continues: “I think it’s vital the industry is more transparent about what it is offering and what costs there might be for a homeowner – there should be nothing to hide.”
“The fact some brokers charge a fee even when a mortgage doesn’t complete is totally unethical. People need to feel confident they know enough to question fees and charges they might encounter.”
He says now more than ever, it is crucial that homeowners understand all suitable mortgage options before agreeing to a mortgage product.
“The difference in interest rate and other costs, from lender to lender, can be substantial, even with mainstream lenders,” he adds. “I would certainly suggest that homeowners acquire expert mortgage advice before agreeing to any mortgage product in this market.”