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How to Find an Equity Release Broker

Considering releasing equity from your home and looking for the best deals? Find an equity release advisor today and get the ball rolling!

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: July 13, 2022

Equity release is an effective way of taking out cash from your home if you’re over 55 years of age. However, it’s a big financial undertaking and shouldn’t be taken lightly. That’s why seeking advice from a broker is highly recommended.

In this guide, we’ve put together everything you need to know about equity release financial advisors, including how to find the right one, how much they cost and how they can help you.

Read on for more information or jump to the section that’s relevant to you via the links below…

Do you need a broker to apply for equity release?

Seeking professional advice before you apply for equity release is essential, and a broker who specialises in this type of finance can provide it.

While you’re not obligated to act on your broker’s advice, it’s strongly recommended. An independent mortgage advisor, specifically one who specialises in equity release,

will be able to offer fair, impartial, tailored guidance about your application.

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We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with mortgage brokers who are experts in all different mortgage subjects.

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How to pick an equity release advisor

As previously mentioned, equity release is a significant commitment, one that could impact your future financial security, so make sure you receive advice from a reputable advisor.

You want an advisor who is:

Impartial

An independent, whole-of-market broker will consider whether or not you should be taking out an equity release mortgage in the first place. Then, they’ll research the whole market and consider a range of products and lenders to find the best one for your circumstances.

You could take advice from a broker who works for a lender but remember, they are obliged to only recommend their own products.

Qualified

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is in charge of regulating the equity release market and requires all equity release advisors to hold an additional qualification. So, when you’re searching for an advisor make sure they have one of the following: CeRER (Certificate in Regulated Equity Release), CER (Certificate in Equity Release) or ERMAPC (Equity Release Mortgage Advice & Practice Certificate).

Regulated

Any mortgage broker you use should be regulated by the FCA, but your equity release advisor should also be a member of the Equity Release Council (ERC). All ERC members have agreed to abide by the Council’s rules and have signed up to its Statement of Principles.

All of the advisors in our network must meet the above requirements before we refer equity release customers to them, but you’re welcome to request evidence of their credentials if it helps bring you peace of mind.

How much will an advisor cost?

Equity release advisor fees are charged in two ways. Your advisor will either ask for a fixed fee, which will be set out at the beginning of the process and will typically range from £599 to £2,000. Alternatively, they’ll charge you a fee (usually 1-2%) based on the amount of equity you release. For example, if you borrow £50,000, you’d pay between £500 and £1,000.

Remember, advisor charges are not the only fees you’ll have to pay. You’ll also be charged a product arrangement fee, which is usually between £500 and £900 depending on your lender, and a fee for an independent valuation, which your lender will request a surveyor to carry out. This typically costs between £500 and £1,500 depending on the type of survey.

You’ll also have to pay for solicitor fees, which are roughly £1,000.

Should you use a local broker?

You can, but it’s not necessary. Equity release brokers can do their job from any location, they don’t have to be local. The majority are happy to do meetings online using Zoom, Microsoft Teams or similar platforms. In fact, you may not have an independent broker who specialises in equity release in your area so you could be better off seeking advice from someone who lives further away.

We have a network of highly qualified equity release advisors waiting to help you. Get in touch and we can arrange for someone to contact you directly.

Of course, if you’d prefer to use a local broker, we can take this on board when matching you. There are equity release advisors in our network based all over the UK.

The benefits of using a broker

While you can look for an equity release scheme without a broker, as a result you would then be unable to access the following guidance and benefits:

Determine whether equity release is right for you

An experienced broker will review your current situation and your future plans to ascertain whether equity release is the best way for you to access cash. They’ll also be able to tell you how much equity you should be able to release based on your age, health and the value of your property.

If equity release isn’t right for you, a broker can guide you through the alternatives which may include remortgaging or taking out a secured or unsecured loan.

Access to a wider range of products

Whole-of-market brokers aren’t tied to one particular lender. They’re able to search all available products to find the most appropriate deal for your circumstances. They’ll also be able to clearly explain how much a plan will cost you so there should be no nasty surprises.

It’s worth noting that due to the complexity of equity release products and strict industry regulation, many lenders will only deal with customers who come via a broker.

Find the right policy for you

A broker will ask about your future plans and help you find a product that’s tailored to your needs. For example, some lenders will let you make early repayments if this is something you want to do. Different lenders have different rules around paying back equity release early, with some imposing limits and others charging additional fees. A broker can source the most appropriate product from the market.

Guide you through the application

Applying for equity release is different to applying for a traditional mortgage or remortgage so even if you’ve bought several properties in the past, it’s worth seeking help from a broker who can either complete the application on your behalf or check your completed application to make sure there are no errors.

A broker can also be on hand throughout the process to deal with any queries from solicitors, surveyors or lenders.

Get matched with an equity release specialist today

Equity release is a complex area so it’s essential to find a fully-qualified broker who specialises in this niche.

Our broker matching service can connect you with a whole-of-market equity release expert who’ll be able to review your circumstances and find the best solution based on your needs.

All our equity release brokers are members of the ERC and are accredited by the official LIBF (London Institute of Banking and Finance) programme.

Give us a call on 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry and get matched with an expert today for a free initial conversation.

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About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for OMA of course!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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