Mystery Shopper  

Mystery Shopper: Bath

Mystery Shopper: Bath

This week the mystery shopper visits Bath. 

The shopper needs about £90,000 to fund her father’s critical healthcare needs. The shopper has £220,000 outstanding on her fixed-term mortgage with NatWest. The property is roughly worth £300,000. The shopper is considering whether she should sell or remortgage her property. 

Adviser: Top Dog Mortgages (independent)

Address: 3 Princes St, Queen Square, Bath BA1 1HL

Speed: The phone was immediately picked up by a financial adviser. 5/5

Telephone manner: The adviser was very friendly and willing to engage. 5/5

Qualifications: Certificate in Financial Planning Level 1, 2 and 3. 5/5

Payment method: No charge as the broker said he would be recommending the shopper to an in-house specialist, but could not say how much the specialist would charge. 3/5

Guidance: The mortgage adviser said that normally borrowers can borrow up to 90 per cent of the value of the property. He urged the shopper to speak to NatWest, the current provider of the shopper’s mortgage. He said if the shopper could afford to wait, then it would be best to seek a remortgage. But he said the shopper may also be eligible for a second-charge secured loan. He said the typical loan-to-value for a second charge mortgage is 85-90 per cent. He warned that the shopper may face exit fees as high as 3-4 per cent of the original mortgage value if the shopper exits her current fixed-term mortgage early. 5/5

Knowledgeable: The adviser appeared to have a strong understanding of different fees and penalties involved in remortgaging and taking out various loans. 5/5


Email: 5/5

Verdict: The shopper found this adviser the best to speak to, as he provided thorough detail on all the options and the various risks involved in remortgaging early (shopper’s choice). 

Total score: 33/35

Adviser: Fox Davidson (independent) 

Address: 1 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HA

Speed of response: The shopper was initially connected to the switchboard, then after eight rings to the financial adviser. 4/5

Telephone manner: The shopper was polite and patient. 5/5

Qualifications: CeMap. 5/5

Payment method: The adviser quoted a fee of £495, in addition to a fee of roughly £1,000 charged by the mortgage lender. 5/5

Guidance: This adviser said that the shopper would be unable to get the full amount through a remortgage. She said because the shopper currently lives in the property, the shopper may be able to remortgage a larger amount, due to it being a residential mortgage. 4/5

Knowledgeable: The shopper offered very good understanding of how remortgages work. 4/5


Email: 5/5

Verdict: The shopper found this mortgage broker extremely useful, but obtained more detailed background information from the adviser at Top Dog Mortgages. 

Total score: 32/35

Adviser: Edison Ford IFA (independent)

Address:  246 High St, Batheaston, Bath BA1 7RA

Speed of response: The mortgage broker picked up the phone after two rings. 5/5