Accord in potential free valuations plans

Ramesh Sharma

February 25, 2006

Currently, the intermediary lender of Yorkshire Building Society, offers valuation reimbursement on its non-conforming range, launched last summer.

However, Accord are currently testing free valuations through an exclusive product with Legal & General (L&G) and if this is a success, it will be rolling out the options across its entire non-conforming range.

Linda Will, managing director of Accord, said: “We launched price-cutter products through L&G and Pink to judge how price-sensitive the non-conforming market is and the feedback we got said these products are great but you need free valuations. Therefore, through L&G, we’ve launched an exclusive product with free valuations as a test and, if it works out, we’ll introduce it across the range.”

The L&G offer provides for a free valuation up to £470 and is available from near-prime to unlimited adverse.

With the non-conforming market currently very competitive, Will thinks offering free valuations is essential to give Accord the edge.

“We’ve spent a lot of energy trying to get into the non-conforming market and we feel that free valuations are the only way to gain a strong position in the non-conforming remortgage market,” she said. “If we aren’t doing it and ignoring the advice of brokers advocating free valuations, then we are cutting out 50 per cent of this market.”

Paul Monk, partner at Balmoral Associates, believes it is a good idea. “If you look at the adverse credit market, clients often find it hard to raise capital so a free valuation would always be helpful. Rates aren’t always the main problem, it’s more the placing of the mortgage, so help with valuations is a good idea.”

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