Brokers vs Branches

Buying, remortgaging or looking to raise additional funds on your mortgage? Prospective and existing homeowners have the choice of brokers vs branches; whether to use a mortgage intermediary, a broker, or go direct to a mortgage lender when arranging a mortgage. The Iress Mortgage Efficiency Survey 2022 stated 88.2% of all mortgages were arranged by mortgage intermediaries in 2021. Estate agents and house builders typically recommend using a broker so why is this the preferred option for both consumers and industry professionals.

A critical analysis of brokers vs branches would imply pros and cons of each choice. While some people may prefer to deal with their local high street branch, the statistics show an overwhelming majority of consumers choose to use a mortgage broker. Therefore, this blog will focus on the key differences and explore why using a mortgage broker is the common choice.

When you speak to a mortgage advisor in your local high street branch, they’re only able to advise on a small selection of products and the lending criteria of that bank. When you speak to a mortgage broker, they will typically have access to thousands of mortgage products from around 100 lenders, each with different lending criteria and affordability calculations. However simple or complex your circumstances, using a broker widens your options. It’s the job of a broker to know the criteria and advise you on the most appropriate product for your circumstances, often saving you money in the process.

A local high street bank will generally say yes or no to a mortgage application following credit checks and underwriting. In contrast, a broker will assess your circumstances before submitting a mortgage application. If you’re not able to proceed right now, a good broker will discuss future possibilities. If mortgage affordability is an issue, a broker can advise on the financial position required for the mortgage needed. If you’ve had credit issues, a broker can advise on alternative lenders available or when specific lenders would be able to consider an application. Declined mortgage applications are stressful and should be avoided where possible.

The time saving benefit of using a mortgage broker is one of the major benefits. Multiple appointments in branch, requiring time out of work, are unnecessary when it comes to sorting your mortgage. Brokers are generally more flexible and readily available than an appointment in a branch with a mortgage advisor. A mortgage broker manages the application process through to you receiving your mortgage offer, providing regular updates along the way by call, email or message. This avoids you spending time on hold chasing an update directly from the bank.

You would have to be very lucky to get an appointment with a bank on the day they have the cheapest products in the market. Some lenders also provide exclusive products only available via brokers. Even if you do your research and you would be eligible for the product you’ve found, it’s worth checking there isn’t something better available to you via an intermediary. It is also a common misconception that if you bank with a lender, it will be easier to sort your mortgage with them. Lenders nearly always request the same documents to support a mortgage application, whether you bank with them or not. 

Using a mortgage broker is simply about saving time, money and stress. A mortgage is often the biggest household expense so it’s important to ensure it’s the most appropriate and cost-effective option for you. All mortgage brokers are paid commission from the mortgage lender on completion of your mortgage. Some brokers charge an additional fee on top of this, and some don’t. To discuss a purchase, remortgage or if you’re looking to raise additional funds on your mortgage, we’re here to help with free, professional advice.