The FT Adviser Mystery Shopper award Globe’s mortgage expert James Male top marks
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The search for a shared equity mortgage
Each week the mystery shopper seeks advice from independent and tied advisers in the UK. The aim is to find out whether advisers are delivering the goods when it comes to the all-important initial telephone contact between client and adviser. It is only intended to evaluate this first interview, and it is understood that further meetings would be necessary before final decisions could be made. The purpose is not to expose poor selling practices, but to show constructively any weaknesses in the advice process.
This week, the mystery shopper visits South West London. He is a 26-year-old first-time buyer looking for a shared equity mortgage after he was given £30,000 by his parents to buy a flat for around £300,000. He earns £27,000 basic with commission capped at £5,000, and has no outstanding debts. If he cannot obtain a shared equity mortgage he may have to join forces with his older brother, who earns £35,000 a year, to buy a property.
Globe Independent Financial Advisors, Globe House, 1 Chertsey Road, St Margarets, Twickenham, TW1 1LR
Speed of response: Time of call: 10.13am. The call was answered after two rings. 5/5
Telephone manner: Very friendly yet professional. 5/5
Relevant qualifications: Mortgage adviser MAQ (CII). 4/5
Payment method: One-off charge of £150 upon completion of the application. 5/5
The adviser said it would be hard to obtain a shared equity mortgage, those being in high demand. Adding that the shopper’s modest salary might preclude him getting a £300,000 property, the adviser suggested that he team up with his brother to maximise his chances of securing a mortgage with their wages combined, and eliminate the need for a shared equity mortgage. The adviser said the shopper would need to sign up to a housing association list. 5/5
The adviser displayed comprehensive knowledge of the topic area and the mortgage market, and explored the importance of having a good credit rating when it comes to securing a mortgage. 5/5
Very good. The adviser spent a great deal of time explaining how shared equity mortgages work and the options the shopper could consider.