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Do You Need a Solicitor to Remortgage?

A conveyancing solicitor completes paperwork for his clients

When changing your lender, a conveyancing solicitor will be required to manage the legal aspects of the remortgaging process.

However, if your new deal is simply a retention product, often referred to as a ‘product transfer’, then there will be no need to instruct a Solicitor so long as the registered owners of the property are not changing at the same time, such as a partner being taken off or added-on.

If you are borrowing more money from your current lender, this is what we call a Further Advance, and in this instance, there is no need to appoint a Solicitor either as you will continue with the same lender.

“There are many reasons to consider a remortgage,” states mortgage broker Gavin Watson from Mortgage360. “Some of these will be more complex depending upon the type of mortgage you’re seeking to secure. At Mortgage360, we can help you choose independent, specialist conveyancing solicitors who will have your best interests at heart and work to ensure you have complete confidence in the process.”

What is a remortgage?

A remortgage simply means taking a new deal with a different lender.

You always have the right to decide to remortgage. It’s important to make sure any initial savings you may make on the cost of the mortgage itself make a financial net gain in your favour when considering other costs involved in making the transfer. These might include legal fees or early repayment charges if you’re remortgaging early.

Your new mortgage deal will inevitably have different terms to your current deal, such as the interest rate, associated product fees and the monthly repayments. As part of the remortgage process, you may be increasing or decreasing your borrowing amount and adjusting the overall term as part of the review, once our final advice has been given.

Why would you remortgage?

There are a number of potential benefits inherent in remortgaging;

  • You would secure a better deal and save money in terms of interest rates and monthly mortgage payments from a new lender,
  • You may feel more comfortable with a different type of product, such as a fixed rate deal rather than a variable rate deal (or vice-versa),
  • You may benefit financially from consolidating unsecured shorter-term debts at higher interest rates into a mortgage product with a new lender, such as credit cards and loans,
  • You may wish to pay off your mortgage sooner by increasing your monthly repayments and shortening the term of the mortgage,
  • You may wish to increase the borrowing secured on your home for other purposes such as making home improvements, paying for a wedding, gifting money to a family member, or considering releasing equity for them towards a house deposit,

Which solicitor should I choose?

You can either choose your own solicitor or opt to go with the lender’s nominated firm. Although some lenders will offer a free service as part of the remortgage deal, we will check it really is free!

When choosing your conveyancing solicitor, shop around, obtain quotes and look at review sites such as Trustpilot to get an insight into the experiences of others.

Do I have to use the mortgage lender’s solicitor to remortgage?

Absolutely not, and many people recognise instructing your own conveyancing solicitor means you are more likely to experience a better service if you already have an existing relationship and have used them before.

So-called ‘free legals’ includes all of the anticipated basic costs but there can sometimes be additional requirements to your transaction which are not necessarily covered, such as to do with the leasehold arrangements or involving a transfer of equity.

Using a solicitor provided by your new mortgage lender means you won’t have to spend time shopping around and choosing your own and the service is likely to cover all of the costs involved.

What are the costs of remortgaging?

A remortgage will usually entail a range of one-off fees.

  • Conveyancing fees (anywhere from £250 to £500)
  • Arrangement fee or booking fee (if applicable)
  • Land Registry fee
  • Valuation fees
  • Early repayment charge, if applicable
  • Deeds release fee
  • Other considerations (such as an official title copy)
  • Any mortgage broker fees

Can the legal fees be added to the mortgage?

No, unless you are increasing your borrowing and have consented to the firm instructed to collect their fees from the additional funds being drawn down at completion. Conveyancing charges do not form part of the mortgage lender fees and are usually payable upon completion of the process.

What exactly does the solicitor do when remortgaging?

Your solicitor will be responsible for the following legal work;

  1. Confirming your identity, using documentation like passports and driving licences.
  2. Checking your address, using documentation like a utility bill or bank statements.
  3. Verifying your source of funds when reducing the mortgage liability, if applicable.
  4. Checking the title deeds to prove you are the legal owner of the property, and that there are no other existing charges on the property (such as a second mortgage or charge) and perform a bankruptcy search.
  5. Obtaining a redemption statement from your existing mortgage lender, which includes details of your loan amount and any exit fees applicable, from your existing lender,
  6. Conducting Local Authority and property searches on the property and leasehold checks (where applicable).
  7. Review your mortgage offer before the new mortgage deed is signed by you, the borrower.
  8. Sending a Certificate of Title to the new mortgage lender to confirm the legal title.
  9. Managing and overseeing the release and transfer of mortgage funds.
  10. Registering the remortgage with the Land Registry and supplying property deeds.

How long does the process usually take?

The process is usually simple and straightforward and usually takes anything from one to two months, although it can be quicker or slower. It’s important to keep this timescale in mind and commence your mortgage review with us, here at Mortgage360, well before your current mortgage deal expires.

If you are changing the legal ownership of the property, such as adding or removing a partner, the process may take more time.

Conveyancing on a leasehold property

If your property is leasehold, then the conveyancing process is more complex and will inevitably take longer. Your remortgage solicitor will check the length of your leasehold deal and match this to the requirements of your mortgage lender. They will also need to provide details of service charges and/or ground rents.

Shared Ownership and Shared Equity transactions will also require additional legal documents for the third parties involved in these types of cases.

Speak to Mortgage360

At Mortgage360, we will take care of everything for you, including all the paperwork, leaving you to relax knowing you’re safe in the hands of an expert. Alongside the mortgage advice, we are happy to recommend a trusted conveyancing solicitor and to work closely with them on your behalf.

Choosing the right solicitor will help smooth the way for your remortgage package with your new lender. They will provide you with qualified legal advice and will ensure you have total peace of mind throughout the entire process.

Mortgage 360, is here for all your property needs.

The information contained within this article was correct at the time of publication but is subject to change.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Matt Illingworth

Matt has been advising since 2010 and prides himself on helping people secure their dream home, simplifying the process for his clients and supporting them every step of the way. Matt has a strong, long-term client based philosophy where his clients are his number one priority. When he is not helping his clients, Matt enjoys spending family time with his son Lucca, following football, listening to guitar music and planning lots of sunny holidays!