x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

10-point cheat sheet for mortgage negotiations in the UAE

Follow this plan, and you will improve your chances of lowering your mortgage payments.

1. Understand your current mortgage

Make sure to understand all fees tied to your mortgage. It is particularly important to understand the early settlement or transfer fees that some banks use to lock you in, as they would reduce the savings in moving your mortgage.

2. Leverage your network

Speak to family, friends and colleagues. Who has the best mortgage terms and how did they get that deal?

3. Ask for quotes from several banks

You will want to compare live offers from several banks to create a shortlist of two or three that offer terms that match your preferences.

4. Meet the banks on your shortlist

Try to get the meetings planned so that they fall within a few days of one another. That way, you can hold the discussions with several banks and quickly compare their offers.

5. Speak with an authorised bank employee

Talk to someone who has the expertise to understand why you would be a particularly good customer and who has the authority to offer you a correspondingly good rate. Make it clear that even though you are there to close an agreement, you have appointments set up with other banks.

6. Point out to the bank why you are a low-risk mortgage customer

Use your family's combined earnings, net worth, monthly savings etc. to show you will meet your payments.

7. Show a willingness to move all your banking to your new provider

If you are willing to move your other banking needs to the bank with the best mortgage terms, that makes you a more attractive customer.

8. Don't rush

Negotiating takes time. Allow the banks to respond and provide you with a quote.

9. Do the numbers

Calculate how much you would save with your new mortgage. Include all fees related to switching.

10. Make renegotiation a habit

Keep renegotiating over time and you will enhance your negotiation techniques. Review your mortgage at regular intervals. Usually an annual review is sufficient.

* Pecunia