According to the poll of 155 respondents, almost a quarter (23%) felt service standards were the leading factor, while 7% said it was loan-to-value (LTV) ratios.
No brokers felt that repayment strategies were the overriding feature, but 12% of respondents said other factors which were not included among the poll options were the most important consideration.
Simon Collins, product technical manager at John Charcol, said: “The results make it look a little bit like the broker community is choosing off a comparison site for their customers. What I’d like to think is that the respondents have selected most competitive rate having worked on the assumption that they’ll find out the lenders that will accept the case first, and then choose the most competitive rates.
“I was a little bit surprised by the amount of brokers who selected service because particularly in purchase cases, service is absolutely key. It’s great when a product is 20-30 bps cheaper but if the service is rubbish then you’re not going to select that lender because you don’t want to risk the client losing their property because they can’t get the offer in time.”
Independent mortgage broker Martin Cook from Westminster Wealth Management agreed that competitive rates are the first thing he looks for when selecting the most appropriate lender, but explained that he tends to take into account the overall cost including fees charged by the lender.
“At the end of the day you’re looking for the best deal for the client which will be the overall rate and fees. When we do the research for our compliance team you print off your list and if cost is not the top of the list then you have to explain why.”
He added: “If it’s a bit of a complicated case and you need some hand-holding throughout the process then another crucial factor to take into account is the BDM that’s available to you. So that plays a bearing a bit further down the line.”