Do you need a solicitor to remortgage? Understanding why and what role a solicitor plays in a remortgage process is important. We share what to expect and what questions to ask.
When do I need a solicitor when remortgaging
If you’re remortgaging with a new lender then you will need a solicitor or conveyancer to oversee the legal side of things. They will transfer the ownership documents (title deeds) from your current mortgage lender to your new one.
However, when you simply switch to a different mortgage product with the same lender, a process known as a “product transfer,” you might not need a solicitor. This is because there’s no change in the lender who holds your mortgage, so the legal work involved is much less.
Remortgaging with a new lender
Mortgage lenders sometimes request that you use a solicitor from their panel. Sometimes, your mortgage deal incorporates these, leaving you with little to no choice. If you’re the one paying the fee for legal work, then it’s up to you who you use.
Choosing a solicitor is important as a good solicitor will help the process run much more smoothly you can also shop around for quotes.
Can I remortgage without a solicitor and do it myself?
It’s unlikely a lender will let you DIY your conveyancing. The legal process is complex so leave it to the professionals.
What does a solicitor do when remortgaging?
During the remortgage process a solicitor will handle:
- Money laundering checks as required by law – this is to prove you are who you say you are.
- Request a mortgage redemption statement from your current lender.
- Your new lender might require property searches on the property.
- Receive the valuation on the property and receive your mortgage offer from your new lender. They will then review the terms of your new mortgage.
- Land registry search to check the title deeds.
- Checks ensure you have not received a bankruptcy declaration.
- Once all checks are complete send your document for signing.
- Transfer of title deeds from old to new lender and update the land registry.
How much does a solicitor cost?
Solicitor fees for remortgaging will vary. Many lenders cover these costs through cashback offers or free legal work if you use their recommended conveyancer.
If you have a Help to Buy mortgage or you’re part of a shared-ownership scheme, remortgaging can be more expensive in terms of legal fees. This is because these types of mortgages have extra legal steps.
Remortgaging with Help to Buy
Remortgage with Help to Buy involves your solicitor managing more complex rules and paperwork to correctly handle the government’s share in your property, such as the details of ownership division and obtaining necessary approvals.
Remortgaging with shared ownership
In shared ownership, you own a part of your home, and a housing association (or another organisation) owns the rest. Remortgaging requires special agreements with the co-owner of your property. This means that when it comes to remortgaging your solicitor has more work to sort out. For example, the details of how ownership is split and how to get the necessary approvals. Because these situations are more complicated than a standard remortgage, your solicitor will need to do more work, which can mean higher legal fees.
Other costs involved when you need to remortgage
1. Early repayment charge: if you remortgage during your current deal, you might have to pay a charge, which typically is a percentage of your outstanding mortgage.
2. Deeds release fee: This fee is for your current lender to send the title deeds to your solicitor.
3. Valuation fee: most lenders offer free mortgage valuations for properties when you remortgage. However, expect to pay for it if it’s not already paid. Higher-valued properties may incur higher charges, depending on the property’s value.
4. Application fee: depending on the product some lenders charge these, and others don’t.
5. Arrangement fee: this varies, with some lenders a flat fee and others a percentage of the mortgage amount.
6. Mortgage broker fees: these range from fixed fees to a percentage of the loan amount. You might face a commission, but you can avoid this by using a fee-free broker or applying directly to the lender.
Our preferred mortgage advisors are fee-free for most customers so do get in touch if you’re looking to remortgage.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage.
Last Updated: December 20th, 2023