Estate agents exert pressure on mortgage market

Ramesh Sharma

January 28, 2006

A number of brokers have expressed their concerns that estate agents are making concerted efforts to hit the mortgage market hard, a threat brokers feel will intensify in the run-up to the introduction of Home Information Packs (HIPs) next year.

James Carter, IFA at Virtue Financial, said: “Agents are pressuring my clients to use their IFA as well as insisting on the clients’ mortgages all being arranged upfront.”

With HIPs set to give estate agents further opportunity to get their foot into the mortgage market, brokers have become concerned agents will be able to take their clients before they get to see them. A number of brokers have also indicated estate agents are attempting to pressurise customers to provide them with a property and mortgage deal in-house rather than seeking the advice of a mortgage broker.

Alan Dring, sales director at e-Conveyancer, urged brokers to act now to retain their clients, with estate agents set to muscle in on the mortgage market. He said: “What brokers are experiencing is competitive pressures. People need to realise the opportunity HIPs will provide but this will become a threat if brokers don’t act now. It is something they have to be prepared for but it’s a battle they can win.”

Dring warned that, with over 50 per cent of people remortgaging property within three years, the time was right to start sowing the seeds to fend off estate agent interest in the sector. He added: “Estate agents are to be commended for making moves into the mortgage sector and if this is already taking place then the likelihood is that brokers will have to wake up and smell the coffee.”

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