An adviser will be with you all the way
Are you wondering what will happen when you start taking the steps to apply for Equity Release? Our priority is to make sure that you are fully informed, keeping everything as clear as possible, and to find the right Equity Release scheme to cater for your needs now and in the years to come.
Getting Equity Release on your property is a big decision. We’ll avoid jargon, and never use pushy sales tactics. It’s all about you. Here, we go through the stages of the process from start to finish.
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Step 1 - The Initial Conversation
It’s all about listening. When you first talk to us, you won’t be put through to an automated system, nor a distant call centre. You’ll be speaking to real people, most likely in an office somewhere near you, who are experts in Equity Release and understand why you want to discuss it.
They’ll want to hear about your needs and where you need help the most, as well as find out more about your circumstances. In this first conversation, we will:
- Discuss your current situation
- Outline how we can help
- Ask you about your age, health and lifestyle, as well as your house, income and other loans or schemes you might have in place already
- Make some initial suggestions, and maybe estimate how much you might be able to release
- Answer your questions and deal with concerns
Do you want to talk it over a bit more with your partner or family? No problem. We can arrange a time to phone you back.
Just like a mortgage application, you will need a solicitor further down the line to tie up the legal paperwork and handle the cash transactions. You might already have a solicitor, that’s fine, but if you are unsure where to go, we will be happy to recommend firms we regularly work with who have experience with Equity Release, and who you can trust to provide a good service.
If everyone feels comfortable, then we can progress to the next stage.
Step 2 - Going Over All The Details
Happy to take it further? Then we’ll set up an appointment where we can go over everything in more depth and work out what will be the best way forward for you.
This is usually best done in a face-to-face meeting (either at our office or in your home, whichever is convenient), but we can do it just as easily over the phone or Skype if distance is a problem. This stage is usually broken down into two appointments – the first to really get to know you and understand your needs, and the second to show you which options will work best for you.
Getting to know you
Our aim in the first meeting is to see what you need to get out of the Equity Release scheme and go into the details about budget, time scale and any particular terms that might apply. We want to get to know you, to discuss your priorities and continue what we talked about in the first phone call about your income, outgoings, debts, health and lifestyle.
We’ll want to find out your needs for now and in the future, so we can budget for how much you need to spend and when in a planned way. This will also help us to see whether a lump sum or drawdown Equity Release plan will work best for you.
Armed with this information, we’ll go away to do our research and work out which schemes will be suitable for you. There are a lot of Equity Release products on the market, each with different terms, conditions, incentives and interest rates. We need to find the one that ticks all the boxes and releases the money from your property in the most efficient way possible.
Giving you the options
In our second meeting, we’ll recommend an Equity Release scheme, and explain our thinking in detail. Whether you go ahead or not will be up to you, but we will make you aware of the pros and cons of the contract. By the end of this meeting, we will have worked out a plan that you are happy with.
Would you like family members to be at these meetings? That is absolutely fine. It’s better for everyone’s peace of mind if they get to know us and see why we are presenting certain options. And if they do have any questions, we’ll have the opportunity to put their minds at rest.
Remember – we don’t charge for these meetings. If you decide not to go ahead with Equity Release, then you won’t owe us a penny.
Step 3 - Your Application and Home Valuation
When you have chosen which Equity Release plan to go for, we’ll send you a personal suitability report that sets out what we recommend for your current situation and also your full personalised illustration of your plan. This will explain all the benefits and risks of the scheme, and include every possible detail of the costs and schedules.
We’ll then complete the Equity Release application form and send it to the provider. In turn, the lender will assess your application, get credit references and arrange for someone to value your home.
Step 4 - Confirming the Offer
If the lender is satisfied with your application and the property evaluation, they will send their loan offer to you, your solicitor and your adviser. If we’re all happy and everything is in order, your solicitor will tie up the legal documents and you will be on your way to getting your money.
Step 5 - Getting Your Money
When the documents have been finalised, the lender will complete their instructions and the tax-free funds will be released to you through your solicitor.
At this point, the fees for the solicitor and your broker fee will be deducted. Many brokers charge a percentage of the loan amount, but we simply charge a set, flat fee, so you always know where you stand. Again, this is only payable upon completion, so if you don’t go ahead with the Equity Release, you don’t owe us anything.
How long does the Equity Release process take?
This can depend on how long your solicitor takes to do the legal work, but it’s usually around six weeks from when your application is accepted to the money arriving in your account. We’ll all do our best to keep delays to a minimum!
Do you want to know more about Equity Release?
Feel free to drop us a line via the Contact page or call us for a chat about your needs. It’ll cost you nothing to find out.