Most estate agents will employ or work closely with a financial adviser who may be closely regulated by an authorised financial institution, usually an insurance company, or an independent financial adviser, who will be regulated through the Financial Services Authority. The first will be called an Authorised Representative, the second either an Independent Financial Adviser or an IFA.
You will be given a written terms of business letter so that you will know who you are dealing with. Both are required to go into your personal circumstances adequately in order to give you best advice. You do not have to answer their questions but this may mean they recommend a less appropriate product. The difference is that the representative is only authorised to talk about the policies and products available through his own company while an IFA may recommend the best products from all those on the market.
Incidentally you are not bound to accept any advice and may buy any product you wish but in that case the financial adviser may want you to sign an indemnity making it clear this was your decision and not his specific advice.
We consider that this to be one of the most important
aspects of our estate agency service and want to ensure that you have access to
the best advice. We are required to advise our clients about the merits of your
offer for their property but believe that we can actually help our clients by
ensuring all our applicants and prospective buyers have professional help and
guidance over the financial services side. The seller-clients have agreed to allow
us to offer you this valuable assistance.