An online poll conducted by Mortgage Solutions of 155 readers found that over half think valuations upon application help to move cases along ‘a great deal’. A third of respondents agreed that this helped to get the wheels in motion, while just 13% saw no benefit.
Simon Collins, product technical manager at John Charcol (pictured), said the immediacy offered by lenders helped ease the pressure brokers and customers sometimes faced from estate agents.
“The financial commitment of a valuation at the earliest possible time is the most positive statement a buyer can make.
“It also takes the pressure off the buyer a little too, as many estate agents aren’t always too pleased if the buyer has chosen an alternative source to get their mortgage, rather than use their in-house adviser.”
Previous findings published by the National Association of Estate Agents revealed that bad communication skills are the biggest estate agent bugbear for buyers and sellers, with consumers complaining that agents either fail to call back or chase too much.
Lea Karasavvas, managing director, Prolific Mortgage Finance, agreed that instant valuations helped keep estate agents at arm’s length.
“Day-one valuations as a sensible course of action given the pressures of the 1 April Stamp Duty deadline, the number of applications lenders have received and a great way of reducing the backlogs lenders have at present while trying to keep service level agreements as manageable as possible,” he said.
“This buys some breathing space for the client from the agent, and allows the broker and the underwriter time to get the case agreed all subject to the valuation being done, reviewed and then assessed.”
Scrapping paper applications and better developments in lender technology should help to speed up processing times even further, Colin Payne, associate director at Chapelgate Private Finance, added.
“Both TMW and Nationwide have made strides in this area recently. More lenders allowing documents to be uploaded and better case tracking systems which are regularly updated to avoid calls having to be made to lenders would benefit broker and lender alike and will streamline the process even further.”