Research by insurer MetLife has found that cost is the biggest deterrent to people taking financial advice.
The firm found that the majority of people who had bought a home or were in the process of doing so had not used a financial advice as part of the process.
Only 43% of the 2,000 Britons surveyed by Censuswide in February admitted they had consulted a financial adviser or broker as part of the property purchase process, despite it potentially being the biggest outlay of their lives.
By comparison, 40% went directly through their bank and 20% continued through their current provider.
Cost was found to be the biggest barrier to seeking advice from a broker or adviser (23%), followed by accepting help from friends and family instead (12%).
“Worries around cost show a widespread misconception about the advice market,” MetLife said.
“In some cases brokers don’t charge buyers a fee and will instead take commission from the provider. The advice or help the buyer has been given by the broker can be invaluable,” it added.
One in ten consumers admitted they did not know they could speak to a financial adviser or mortgage broker when purchasing a property.
And sadly, a similar number (11%) said they did not use an adviser when buying a property because they did not trust them.
‘Industry must do better’
Rich Horner, head of individual protection at MetLife, was surprised many people avoid speaking to an expert when buying a home is likely to be the biggest financial purchase a person ever makes.
“The past 12 months have put many people’s finances under strain and made financial situations much more vulnerable,” he said.
“For some, their employment status may have changed particularly with more people being self-employed or part-time, meaning they may need a more specialised mortgage product that only advisers have access to and that walking into branch is unavailable.”
Horner (pictured) added that seeking financial advice is an important tool that should not just be reserved for big ticket purchases.
“It’s an opportunity to check in on your financial situation and make sure you have the reserves in place for your future plans,” he continued.
“Whether it’s because they don’t know that help is out there, feel more comfortable speaking to those around them or can’t afford to, what this research has shown is that the wider industry must do more to bust the current myths about advice.”