Advice is answer for mortgage product ‘search junkies’

Email Mortgages argued that many consumers were in danger of assuming the internet search option, which might be the right approach for a product such as car insurance, was also best for other financial product needs.

Many internet users may be tempted to use the comparison sites before applying direct without seeking professional mortgage advice which will provide protection and tailored advice based on an individual’s needs and circumstances.

A further issue for consumers using the comparison sites is the inability to provide a continuous online mortgage advice service.

Instead, users are offered only telephone or face-to-face advice options which may not be their favoured method of conducting business.

Email Mortgages said it provided the unique option of allowing consumers to access professional mortgage advice from the comfort of their PC, laptop or Blackberry.

Chief Executive Michael White said: "No-one can underestimate the power of the internet in terms of the information it provides to consumers regarding their financial product needs.

"However, consumers are in danger of becoming internet ‘search junkies’, trawling the comparison sites when it would be far more time and cost-effective to use the services of an adviser. This behaviour is particularly worrying when it is carried out for products such as mortgages which are certainly not best served by comparison sites.

"While scouring the search engines is particularly useful for financial products such as car insurance, mortgages are a decidedly different animal.

"With mortgages, internet engines are simply not intelligent enough to pick up on the nuances of an individual’s circumstances which is why they are not suited to picking out a suitable product for a customer. We must also not forget that this will be the biggest financial decision of most people’s lives which is precisely why mortgages require advice; therefore dealing with a professionally-qualified mortgage adviser they will gain peace of mind by tapping into their experience and knowledge.

"The internet is clearly of great benefit and it has revolutionised the way we purchase specific financial products, however, it is not a panacea for all.

"Consumers should certainly do their background homework however, in the case of mortgages, they are opening up the wider market and receiving advice based on their individual circumstances if they use the services of an adviser.

"Consumers who wish to have the best of both worlds, and want to stay online, can use Email Mortgages’ service which provides mortgage advice via email rather than a telephone or face-to-face interview. In this way, consumers are not just reliant on constant comparison site searches, instead they will receive quality advice and the best recommendations available via the technology we all know and use every day."

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