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Do All Mortgage Brokers Charge Fees?

Updated: Jun 25

The simple answer to this question is no. However, navigating the tricky waters of mortgage broker fees can sometimes feel like steering a ship through a storm. For first-time buyers, home movers, and remortgage customers, getting a grip on the mysterious world of broker charges is crucial – it could be the difference between plain sailing vs stumbling across unexpected ‘financial’ rocks. In this detailed guide, we shed light on how and why mortgage broker fees vary, break down what's typical, and offer practical advice to help you secure the best deal with confidence and without breaking the bank!



The Importance of Transparency with Mortgage Broker Fees

Before getting into fee structures, when it comes to mortgage broker fees, transparency is key for building trust and confidence between the broker and the client. A reputable broker should be upfront about their fees and clearly explain what they include and how they are calculated. As a client, it's essential you ask questions and seek clarification to ensure you fully understand the fees and feel confident in your decision.


Remember, a good broker will always be transparent and honest about their fees, so don't be afraid to speak up. After all, it's you who is paying their bill!


The Myth of the 'Feeless' Mortgage Broker

It’s widely believed that avoiding broker fees is possible by finding a special company - a unicorn in the financial industry that provides advice without any fees to pay. However, the reality is a bit trickier. While some brokers operate without fees, don’t jump to conclusions about a good deal based solely on the absence of a mortgage broker fee.


Where Do They Make Up for It?

Fee-free brokers may generate profits in different ways. For instance, they could receive higher commissions from lenders, potentially leading you towards pricier products. Or perhaps they are not offering a customer facing service.


Another scenario is that their 'no-fee' service might have specific eligibility requirements, encouraging you to switch to a paid service if you don't qualify. Always enquire about how fee-free brokers make money; transparency is key here.


The Middle Ground of Mortgage Fee Flexibility

Loosely translated as 'We may charge a fee, or we may not,' these brokers often leave customers unsure. The decision to impose a fee can vary, with the main reasons often obscured by ambiguous 'circumstances'. Seek clear information on their website (you can see ours here) - if you can't find the answer and it's unclear about their fee, consider switching to a different broker.

  

What Influences The Middle Ground Fee?

The size of your mortgage may impact the fee, as well as your needs and the broker's workload. This system, influenced by different factors, can sometimes be unpredictable. Brokers should quickly confirm their fee after understanding your situation and needs, which can save you both time and money. Also, beware of brokers who use the infamous phrase 'it depends' when asked about their fees - it's a red flag.


Mortgage Brokers Fixed Fee: Cut Out Any Surprises

Fixed-fee brokers often provide clear pricing upfront for their services, offering transparency and certainty. Though fee details are accessible on many websites, (you can check ours here) understanding them can sometimes be tricky. It's crucial to have open communication with your broker regarding fees.


Keep in mind, fixed fees can vary among brokers, and a higher cost doesn't always mean a better mortgage deal or service quality. The fixed fee might be a set amount or a percentage of your mortgage, with the latter potentially being very costly depending on the size of your mortgage.


What's Included in a Fixed Fee?

Fixed fees typically cover the broker's services, from lender research to finding and securing products that suit your needs and circumstances best. However, some mortgage brokers might charge additional fees for complex cases or if you require extra services. It's crucial to discuss and agree on any potential extra charges upfront to avoid any unwanted surprises later on.



Mortgage Broker Fees, The Not-So Charitable Brokerage

On the flip side, some brokers firmly believe in the saying "you get what you pay for." They will charge a fee regardless, even if they are due a sizeable amount from the lender. Evaluate a broker's value and transparency carefully before deciding. If you are borrowing upwards of £200,000 and find yourself being charged in excess of £750 then you would be wise to shop around!


How To Spot A Not-So Charitable Brokerage?

A red flag to watch out for is when brokers are slow to provide details or are not clear on their fees upfront. This lack of transparency and pressure-selling tactics should be avoided as it can lead to costly surprises later on. It's always best to work with a broker who is upfront about their fees from the start, allowing you to make an informed decision without any hidden agendas or added pressures.


What is a Typical Mortgage Broker Fee?

Broker fees typically vary from £0 to £1,000 but can often be a fixed percentage, for example 0.50%. Consider how this fee impacts larger mortgages. For instance, on a £500,000 loan, while the broker may receive £1,750 from the lender, you could still end up paying £2,500 in broker fees! Hence why it is important to shop around.


Be Wary of Paying Upfront Broker Fees

Paying fees upfront before getting a mortgage offer can raise concerns. It's wise to be cautious in such cases. Ideally, aim to have the mortgage offer before any payments are made. It's not just about safeguarding your money; it's also about ensuring the broker is dedicated to finding the best deal for you. A reliable broker should be confident in their ability to help you, allowing payment after approval.


It’s Not Always About the Mortgage Broker Fee

At the core of these fee structures is the idea that the service quality and client satisfaction should match the cost you're paying. However, this isn't always the case. It's not uncommon to see fee-free or low-fee brokers outperforming their more expensive counterparts. The important thing is to research and compare brokers using their track record, reputation, and customer feedback.


Evaluating Service Quality

It's important to evaluate a mortgage broker's actual value. Are they providing a tailored service that meets your needs? How much expertise do they have in mortgage advice? If there's a fee, make sure to get clear details on the amount and when payment is due. Reviews and recommendations are crucial in influencing your choice.


When Evaluating Mortgage Broker Fees, Shopping Around Is Key

The wild variability of broker fees reiterates the importance of shopping around. Just as you perhaps wouldn’t settle for the first house you view, don’t sign on with the first mortgage broker you encounter. Also, research the different types of fees and associated services so you can make an informed decision.


Remember, this is a significant financial commitment, and it's essential to have confidence in your mortgage broker's abilities and trust their advice. Don’t be afraid to take your time and shop around - it could save you thousands in the long run.


Trust Your Instincts

Feeling comfortable and confident with your broker is crucial. If something doesn't seem right, trust your gut and look for other options. A trustworthy broker will not just guide you through the mortgage process but also provide valuable advice now and in the future. Don't sacrifice quality service for a lower fee - finding a balance between cost and quality is vital.


Be cautious if you are being offered a cashback to arrange your mortgage with a particular broker and don't be pushed into using a broker connected to the estate agent selling the home. These pressure tactics are unhealthy for all concerned but, regretfully, still exist.


Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it often is. A promised cashback might come with strings attached, like using their recommended solicitor, which could end up costing you more in the long run despite the initial cashback offer.


Choosing a Mortgage Broker, The Scouting Process

Look at the longevity and trustworthiness of the broker's business. A polished website might look grand, but longevity speaks volumes. Check out their reviews, sift through customer testimonials, and don't hesitate to ask for references. This research phase doesn't just save your wallet, it can also spare you some headaches. So, take your time, do your research, and trust the process. Your future self will thank you for it.


Mortgage Broker Fees, What Should You Take Away?

  • Be wary of brokers who are not open to disclosing their fees upfront and resort to pressure-selling tactics.

  • Research and compare brokers based on their track record, reputation, and customer reviews.

  • Avoid paying upfront fees, certainly before receiving a mortgage offer.

  • Don't be afraid to take your time and shop around for the right broker.

  • Trust your instincts when choosing a broker.

  • Take the time to research and evaluate brokers before making a decision

 

The mortgage brokerage landscape can be complex and overwhelming, but with the right information and approach, you can make informed decisions that align with your financial goals. Don't hesitate to discuss fees and don't settle for less than transparent brokers. Keep in mind that the fee isn't everything; it's about finding a broker who provides valuable, personalised service that empowers and supports you throughout your home purchase journey. Trust in your instincts, do your research, and take your time - it will pay off in the long run.


Have more questions? Check out our Learning Centre where you will find more articles answering many of your questions. You will also find a page dedicated to our fees here.


Want to chat now, we would love to hear from you!


Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.


You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage.


Typically we do not charge a fee for arranging a mortgage, however, the actual fee will depend on your circumstances.


Published by Beechwood Mortgages Ref: 219335 with review and approval from Stonebridge Mortgage Solutions Limited who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority Ref: 454811.

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