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Equity Release Schemes: Independent Advisors or Direct Providers?

By Mark Gregory on October 10th, 2011

People think that going directly to equity release companies rather than going through an independent equity release adviser will save time and money. This is not really true.

 

There are intermediaries such as Equity Release Supermarket who can research the whole of the equity release market which in itself includes over ten equity release providers. Each company themselves may then have several different equity release products which opens a plethora of options for the proposed buyer.

 

So how can approaching one individual company therefore provide the customer with the best advice? Obviously not.

 

So should equity release intermediaries be your only option?

Direct companies offering equity release schemes are now few & far between. Most equity release lenders realise the importance of providing quality advice & ensuring the consumer receives best advice. Again companies like Equity Release Supermarket will receive more favourable equity release deals than if the customer went directly to any lender.

 

If we take Aviva for example..

Their direct sales force has been drastically cut for its halcyon days from over 10 years ago when competition was not so fierce as only a few lenders offered equity release plans. Marketing costs & the funding of a direct sales force comes with a huge financial burden. Company cars, pension schemes & basic salaries plus bonuses all need to be paid for & by whom…the customer.

Compare this to a company such as Equity Release Supermarket. Aviva do not incur any marketing costs for them, no salaried sales force with company cars, so the savings can be allocated elsewhere for such intermediaries.

 

This is shown in the product offering & the competitiveness of the interest rate & deals Equity Release Supermarket receive from Aviva, which can then be passed onto the consumer. Currently there is over 0.5% disparity between the Aviva drawdown scheme sold via Equity Release Supermarket & that sold by Aviva direct. Equity Release Supermarket can offer a special interest rate of just 6.32% & they can also currently offer a free valuation on properties upto £250,000.

 

The only extra fee involved with an equity release intermediary firm will be the advice fee they charge. However, this would seem a fair price to pay for knowing you have the best Aviva equity release deal in the market. This could be possibly saving £270 on the valuation fee & depending on the size of the release applied for could amount to many £1000’s in interest by having a much lower interest rate!

 

Criteria to be an equity release advisor

A lot of equity release scheme providers get their message through to the public via the media; however this alone does not explain all the terms and the details in depth. To understand each and every aspect of a certain scheme one has to have a good knowledge and an in-depth expertise of the terms used in the market as a whole. If equity release is not for you, your independent advisor will should tell you so. They will also consider any financial alternatives such as downsizing, using savings etc before arriving at an equity release recommendation.

 

Professional independent equity release advisors must have the appropriate licences in order to carry out any business. They must comply with all the rules and regulations of the Financial Services Act & deal with equity release schemes that are members of SHIP.

Therefore, always do your research & find an independent financial adviser who is local to you & who will take the time to understand your requirements & find the best equity release UK  scheme for you.

 

If you require independent equity release advice with a no obligation appointment, please call the Equity Release Supermarket team on 0800 678 5159 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

 

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