Do You Need a Solicitor To Remortgage?
You’ll need a conveyancing solicitor to help with the remortgaging process if you’re moving to a new mortgage deal from a different lender. If you’re remortgaging with your current lender, it won’t require legal help.
Certain checks and searches as well as obtaining legal documents are needed when remortgaging, so it’s important to hire the services of a conveyancing solicitor. If you’re remortgaging on a leasehold property, then this involves further help from a solicitor too.
Compare My Move work with property experts to bring you everything you need to know about moving house. In this article, we’ll explore how a conveyancing solicitor can help you during the remortgage process.
What Does a Solicitor Do When Remortgaging?
The remortgage conveyancing process is slightly different to the process for buying or selling property. Below we’ll explore the stages of the remortgaging process.
1. Verify your identity
Just like the traditional conveyancing process for buying, the first thing your solicitor will have to do is verify your identity. You’ll need to have documents to prove your name and address. A passport or driving licence along with a bank statement or utility bill should be sufficient enough evidence for this.
2. Verify source of funds
If you’re paying off some of your existing mortgage during the process, your solicitor will need to see the source of funds. This means you’ll have to show evidence of how you can pay the money off and where the money is coming from. Typically a bank statement to show savings or sale of another property covers this.
3. Check title deeds
When remortgaging, your solicitor will also need to obtain the title deeds for your home from the Land Registry to prove you’re the legal owner of the property you wish to remortgage.
When checking the title deeds, your solicitor will also need to check there aren’t any other charges over the property. Typically, there will be a charge from your current mortgage lender which will be removed once you’ve repaid your mortgage.
4. Redemption statement
Next, your solicitor will need to liaise with your current mortgage lender to get details of your current mortgage to obtain a redemption statement. This just means they’ll know the amount outstanding and if you’re subject to paying any early repayment charges or exit fees before you can remortgage.
5. Property searches
Your new mortgage lender will require a Local Authority Search to be carried out before they can lend you a mortgage. Your solicitor will order this via a third party service and be in charge of returning the results to both you and the lender.
6. Further searches and checks
Before completing, your solicitor will carry out an 'Official search with priority: whole title (OS1)' to ensure there aren’t any last-minute changes to the property’s title until after the remortgage is complete. Further checks will include a bankruptcy check or anti-money laundering check to ensure you’re not bankrupt and your money is legal and legitimate.
7. Review remortgage offer
Once your mortgage lender has carried out a valuation on your property and is satisfied with it, they will send your conveyancer a new remortgage offer. Rest assured, your conveyancer will thoroughly read through and explain the offer to you prior to signing anything. Once you and your solicitor are happy with everything, you can sign the new mortgage deed.
8. Certificate of Title
Next, your conveyancer will arrange a completion date for the remortgage. They’ll now be able to send a Certificate of Title to the new mortgage lender to confirm they are happy with the legal title. Your conveyancer can now ask the new lender to release the remortgage funds.
9. Transfer funds
Your mortgage lender will transfer the funds to your conveyancing to be used to pay off your existing remaining mortgage along with any incurred fees. The rest of the funds will be paid to you via your conveyancer. This happens on your planned completion day.
10. Update transfer deed
After completion day, your solicitor will register the remortgage with the Land Registry and you’ll soon receive a copy of your Title Information Document along with your lender.
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Do I Need a Solicitor to Remortgage with the Same Lender?
If you're remortgaging with your current lender, then you won't need to hire a solicitor to help with the process. This is known as a product transfer. If you're adding or removing someone from the mortgage, then you might need the help of a remortgage solicitor.
How Much Do Solicitors Charge For Remortgaging?
The average solicitor fees for remortgaging are around £300 plus the costs for other legal searches and documents.
Some lenders will cover the solicitor’s remortgage fees during the process, but you should find this out before hiring a solicitor. If you’re adding or removing someone to the mortgage, then this will require more legal work from your solicitor and will therefore add to the solicitor fees.
Below we will explore the specific conveyancing costs you can expect with remortgaging.
Remortgage Solicitor Fees
£300+ depending on solicitor and mortgage balance
Land Registry Fee
Local Authority Search
£50-£250 depending on local authority
OS1 Priority Search
Official Copy of the Title
What Other Costs are Involved?
You would have paid fees when taking out your original mortgage, so remortgaging should come with fewer fees, especially if you’re sticking with the same lender.
Some mortgage lenders might not charge arrangement or valuation fees as part of their remortgage offer, but it’s worth finding out before you commit to anything. Don’t forget to factor in your new monthly mortgage payments to the total cost of remortgaging.
Below we break down the services and costs you can expect to pay when remortgaging.
Early repayment charge
Depends on how much mortgage you have left to pay.
Deed release fee
£50-£300 but can depend on the lender.
£1,000 on average, but varies by lender.
Many lenders offer this for free, but it’s worth checking beforehand.
Mortgage broker fee
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Can You Add the Conveyancer Fee to the Remortgage?
There are some remortgaging costs you can choose to add to your remortgage, such as the arrangement fee and the deeds release fee.
However, you can’t add your conveyancing fees to your remortgage. This is because you’re paying the solicitor’s legal fee for their time and service so will be required upfront or at the end of the conveyancing process.
Conveyancing for Leasehold Remortgages
If you’re remortgaging a leasehold property, then this involves further steps in the conveyancing process that your solicitor can help with.
Many mortgage lenders have certain criteria when it comes to lending mortgages to leasehold property owners that have 80 years or less left on the lease.
The first thing your solicitor will need to check is the leasehold title deeds to ensure the length of your lease matches the criteria rules of the new mortgage lender.
Your solicitor will also need to obtain the following:
- Details of service charges
- Details of ground rent
- Copy of property’s building insurance
- Copy of your lease
How Long Does Conveyancing Take When Remortgaging?
The conveyancing process when remortgaging takes around one to two months to complete. It’s important to start the process at least two months prior to your current mortgage deal expiring to avoid any delays.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many conveyancing cases have been delayed in 2021. The Stamp Duty holiday coming to an end has also increased the urgency to the number of clients conveyancers are helping, so you should allow some extra time for delays.
Should I Use My Lender’s Conveyancing Solicitor?
Often your mortgage lender will suggest using their solicitor to take care of the legal side of the remortgage. As they pay a lower amount for their solicitor’s services, there are concerns that the process is slower as a result.
It’s always recommended to hire a conveyancer or a solicitor that is regulated by the SRA, CLC, LSS or LSNI to help with your remortgage. Compare My Move can connect you with up to 6 trusted licensed conveyancers or conveyancing solicitors to help make the process of remortgaging stress-free.