When people first come to an advisor what is the process and how long does it take?
Clearly this will be advisor specific but essentially you have to ‘know your client’. For me this involves an initial appointment to introduce myself, my independent status, who The Right Equity Release are and outline our service and how we are remunerated (we do not charge any upfront fees so meetings are free and without obligation).
I would then obtain clients personal and financial circumstances by way of open discussion and formal fact-finding followed by a generic overview of what equity release is and then more specifically how this may meet clients’ needs from the details they have provided.
Following this I would be checking the client’s understanding and answer any questions they may have at this stage and outline next steps should this be appropriate. This would be for me to research the market fully and make a client specific recommendation based on the discussions and fact find information obtained. This also includes a benefits check to ensure clients are receiving and benefit entitlement, typically pension or savings credit or what effect doing equity release may have on benefits currently being received.
A second appointment would then be arranged for me to present my recommendations and if acceptable complete an application (sometimes this could be at a third appointment). From the point of application to completion I find this typically would be 5-6 weeks for a standard case. Factors which may effect this timescale include unregistered properties, transfer of ownership i.e. sole to joint names, managing agent’s enquiries (Leasehold properties) and of course client availability (holidays etc.)
What advice that you would give to someone considering taking Equity Release?
ALWAYS seek advice from a regulated, independent equity release specialist like those that are members of the Equity Release Council and subscribe to their Statement of Principles.
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Get a free, no obligation initial discussion to start exploring your options and the support we can give you when choosing the right scheme for you and your family. Working across the South East of England, John Whyte, equity release advisor travels across Brighton, Sussex, London and further afield to discuss face to face with clients, helping you to fully understand your options.