True cost of broker advice never clearer, says industry expert

An increase in average deposits coupled with an alarming loss on failed transactions has seen nearly 80% of First Time Buyers say they intend to use an adviser in future, according to research by Yorkshire Building Society.

The society, which owns contractor friendly intermediary-only brand Accord, found that 78% of the 2,000 potential buyers surveyed said they intend to seek specialist advice around options when they do buy.

“It’s a message that has been relayed many times over the years” says Andy McBride, director at specialist broker Cleerly. “Brokers will always tell you that the true value of seeking specialist advice is worth many times more than the fee associated with it. First time buyers lost a collective £400m over the past 12 months due to aborted transactions, and there is a chance that using an intermediary could save purchases that might otherwise fall through.”

First time buyers lost an average of £2,912 per failed house purchase over the last 12 months, according to a poll of over 1,000 buyers by specialist lender Aldermore. Undoubtedly, many of these failures would be out of the control of anyone on the buyers’ side of the fence, however, one of the hidden benefits of using a broker is the ability to manage a chain effectively.

“Communication is key” continues McBride. “Even in a house transaction that has no chain, there are still many steps in the trail of communication between buyer and seller. With many first-time buyers never before encountering the issues that may arise, it is easy for timescales to begin to stretch and, unknowingly, begin to damage the relationship. Our clients are often exceedingly busy with work, as is the life of a Contractor, so being on top of all of this is just not possible.”

“It really doesn’t take long to make that damage irreparable, especially if there are demands on timescales from the vendor’s side, which often go unnoticed by a buyer, liaising generally only with the estate agent – working for the vendor – and their conveyancer – often recommended by the estate agent.”

With June being recorded as officially the busiest month on record for property transactions, with 213,120 completed sales, it is easy to see where delays can occur, with most estate agents, conveyancers and brokers busier than ever before.

“There is an awful lot at stake when making an offer on a property” adds McBride. “Notwithstanding the overwhelming emotional attachment that many have when viewing and offering, figures now show that the average deposit put forward by a first-time buyer is just under £50,000. That is a huge, huge risk, and almost certainly the single biggest transaction most buyers will have ever made.”

“Add in the various mechanisms of the way that Contractors work and receive their income, and it is easy to see the value that a specialist broker can add.”

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