They also rate specialist advice as a crucial factor when considering the best options for them, according to research from ERSA.
In a survey of over 600 clients, 40% said that they spent over six months researching the options available before approaching an IFA. This figure is an increase of 27% from August’s figures (13%, August 2009). In line with this, 83% of clients said that they had consulted relevant literature and/or guides before making their decisions – with 20% having read literature supplied by their chosen intermediary.
When selecting an IFA, customers rated specialist equity release advice as the most important factor. This was followed by the prerequisite that their IFA is easily contactable and that the financial adviser has a detailed understanding of their client’s financial circumstances.
Claire Barker, chairman of ERSA, said: “The findings indicate that consumers are spending more time searching for information and the equity release product most suited to them. By consulting the relevant literature, shopping around and then selecting an adviser who specialises in equity release, they are ensuring that they have made a thorough and informed decision.
“Equity release is not a decision that should be rushed into and customers are advised to seek both independent financial and legal advice before proceeding with a policy.”