Don’t be intimidated if you get asked to attend an equity release appointment – it’s not an interview.
Equity release is a complex financial product, and the purpose of an appointment is to make sure that you have all the information you need before proceeding, so you can decide whether it’s the right option for you.
Of course, there’s no obligation to apply for equity release even after an appointment. Think of it as a way of getting yourself up to speed and letting your broker or potential lender know what your needs are.
In this article, we’ll fill you in on what to expect from an equity release appointment so that you can go in fully prepared.
What is an equity release appointment for?
An equity release appointment is a way for your broker – or your potential lender if you’re not using a broker – to understand your circumstances and why you’re interested in equity release, and for you to learn more about what unlocking some of your property wealth entails. Ideally, by the end of your appointment you will have all the information you need to decide whether equity release is right for you.
Normally, an appointment will consist of you, your partner or anyone you own the property with, and your broker. If you do not wish to go through a broker and are communicating directly with the lender instead, you will meet with an advisor who represents the lender. Bear in mind that many lenders do not offer this direct route, however, meaning you may have to go through a broker regardless.
You may prefer to go through a broker or an independent financial advisor anyway, because they will be able to give you a balanced overview of the whole market, rather than try to promote products from one particular lender.
You may be asked for some basic personal details and information about your financial circumstances if you have not given this information already, as well as more details about your property and why you’re thinking about releasing equity from it. This is so that your broker or advisor can tailor their advice to your specific situation.
They will usually give a presentation explaining more about equity release and some alternative options you might not have considered. They will go through all of the plans available to you based on your age, the value of your home and how much equity you want to release.
There should be plenty of opportunity for you to ask questions of your own and raise any concerns you might have. Remember that there are no silly questions, particularly given what a complex product equity release can be.
What will happen after my equity release appointment?
You may have the opportunity to book a second appointment at the end of your initial consultation. At this second appointment, you will typically be provided with a detailed recommendation for an equity release product tailored to you and your needs. If you decide you would like to proceed with this plan, your broker or the advisor for the lender will take you through the next steps.
What do I need to bring to an equity release appointment?
You will usually be told in advance what you need to bring to an appointment beforehand. This might include proof of your identity, recent bank statements, or the deed to your home.
Does an equity release appointment need to be in person?
Not necessarily – most brokers or lenders will give you the option to conduct your appointment over the phone or an online video call. It is usually best to opt for a face-to-face meeting if you can, however, and sometimes a broker or advisor may be able to come to your address if you have trouble getting out and about.
How do I know if equity release is right for me?
To learn more about equity release and whether it might suit your financial needs, try taking a look at our articles Is equity release right for me? and 8 questions to ask yourself if you’re considering equity release.
If you’re looking for somewhere to start, you can get expert advice from a Rest Less Mortgages equity release specialist. They are active members of the ERC and can advise on equity release mortgages from the whole of the market. They’ll listen to your needs and talk you through your options, so you can decide if equity release is the right option for you.