If you are going to buy a house, of course, you want to get good and reliable mortgage advice. But how can you compare different advisors? We’ve compiled a handy checklist with 10 tips to get you started. Check out our video first where mortgage advisor Andrew Aziz will guide you through some tips.

Tip 1: Professional level of your mortgage consultant

An important reason to choose a mortgage advisor is that he or she is well-trained and educated. After all, an advisor must be able to advise, which is quite different from pushing a product! Good mortgage advice also considers, among other things, the risk of unemployment, disability and death.

Your advisor must understand tax and legal aspects, savings and investments, differences in mortgage conditions, and much more. A knowledgeable advisor will have at least a college-level education and the legally required certifications.

After several years of practical experience, a mortgage advisor can choose to become an Approved Financial Advisor (EFA). An Approved Financial Advisor must keep his or her professional knowledge up to date each year by attending training and reading professional articles.

Further along their career, a mortgage advisor can take the Financial Planner (FFP/ CFP) course. This college-level education provides broad knowledge about estate planning, taxation, inheritance, and gifting, as well as entrepreneurs and their businesses.

While a good education alone does not guarantee a good advisor, there are no good advisors without a good education.

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Tip 2: Offer: bank or independent advisor?

To provide sound advice, a mortgage advisor needs to have access to a wide range of lenders. With banks, the offer usually consists only of their own product. There is little chance that this product is the most suitable for you. However, many mortgage advisors also work only with a limited number of lenders. In addition, some lenders are placing increasingly high demands on mortgage advisors they work with. Therefore, ask your bank or independent advisor for an overview of the total offer.

Tip 3: Rates

Advisors can work based on an hourly rate, at a fixed rate, or a combination of these. Working based on a fixed rate ensures that it is immediately apparent what the advice costs will be. Also, look at what is included in the fee and what is not. Taking out home or life insurance may be included in one advisor’s fee, but you may have to pay extra for it in another.

Tip 4: Transparency

Good mortgage advisors make their rates and services transparent and readily available on their websites. The AFM has required advisors to prepare a comparison chart (Vergelijkingskaart) that lists all rates to make advisors more comparable. This document must be provided to the client before any advice or mediation is given. A good mortgage advisor also has this comparison chart, which is easily findable on his website.

Tip 5: Personal advisor

During the mortgage process, fast communication is essential. There is often time pressure and many documents must be delivered and approved. It can happen that something has to be adjusted or resubmitted. When you go to your bank for a mortgage, you do not have anyone to call personally. After you sign, the advisor disappears into the background and you deal with other people unfamiliar with your situation to handle your file. This often leads to unnecessary and sometimes costly delays. Therefore, always check that your advisor remains your permanent point of contact.

Tip 6: References

The internet makes it easy to separate the wheat from the chaff. The many comparison sites make it easier to see what others think of an advisor. Advieskeuze and reviews on Google (Maps) are examples of these platforms. However, take your time with the reviews on these types of sites. Their strength, unfortunately, is also immediately their weakness. Clients who provide feedback may be happy with their advisor, but that does not mean they have been advised well and according to the rules. In addition, it remains possible to influence the outcomes on these types of sites (for example, by only asking satisfied clients to give feedback). So, read critical reviews and advisors’ responses to the reviews.

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Tip 7: More than just mortgage advice

Have you put together the perfect mortgage with your mortgage advisor? Then, the mortgage should be approved sooner rather than later. Good advisors have invested in a good IT structure and have their own underwriting team. An underwriting team checks documents before sending them to the lender. This can significantly speed up the process, so ask your advisor for clarification.

Tip 8: A fast and smooth application process

After the mortgage interview, the mortgage itself still needs to come about. Of course, the most excellent thing would be if you had to go through as little trouble as possible for this and that the mortgage was arranged without stress and within a few days. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The application process works very differently with different advisors. Some good questions to ask are therefore:

Are documents checked before being sent to the lender? And who carries out the check: the mortgage advisor himself (whose expertise may be a challenge) or a specialized team of underwriters?

Are there agreements with lenders regarding the assessment of completely delivered files? If an advisor delivers many high-quality applications to a lender, the lender may check the documents within 1 or 2 working days as part of the cooperation.

Is there clarity on how long the process will take at the lender? Is there clarity on deadlines? And how does the advisor ensure that the mortgage is settled on time?

Do you qualify for a mortgage in The Netherlands?

If you are an expat living in the Netherlands and you are considering buying a house, you may be wondering what the possibilities are for a mortgage. Use our ‘Do I qualify for a mortgage?’ tool and find out if you are qualified! No personal information will be asked when completing the tool.

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Tip 9: Network

When buying a house, you often need a real estate agent, appraiser, notary public, and maybe even a structural engineer, in addition to a mortgage advisor. These specialists must coordinate everything among themselves so that the whole process runs smoothly. The best mortgage advisor has these specialists in his network and is happy to make that network available—again, preferably with a favorable rate!

Tip 10: Aftercare

Good advice continues after the mortgage is completed. After all, the advice is based on a snapshot. If significant changes occur in your situation, you may want to be able to call or e-mail your advisor again. Whether this is possible and whether a new (hourly) rate is immediately charged varies. It is, therefore, essential to find out how your advisor deals with aftercare and what the costs are.

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