How can mortgage solicitors help me?

Whilst it’s all part and parcel of home ownership, remortgaging can sometimes be a tricky process so you’ll need to take legal advice on it. Our remortgaging solicitors are on all the main lender panels and the majority of the smaller lenders which means we can act for you and the lender at no extra cost. 

How do I remortgage my house?

There are a few stages to remortgaging your property and a specialist mortgage solicitor will help you mange the process. Here are some of the things you need to understand:

A remortgage is when you apply to borrow money from a lender to repay any existing charge secured against your property and/or to release further equity from the property.

(Please note that we receive instructions from certain lenders to act for them only in remortgage transactions and that the information that follows doesn't relate to such transactions.)

Our conveyancing fees vary depending on a number of factors. The type of property (house/flat), the tenure (freehold/leasehold/commonhold), the age of the property (old/new build), the location (relevant to the cost of searches) and its price/value are all examples of aspects of a property transaction that affect the overall costs.

As a consequence, it’s very difficult for us to provide a firm estimate of costs without obtaining some basic information from you. However, we’ll always provide you with a written bespoke estimate at the outset of any transaction that you’re contemplating.

We’ll be as transparent and open about the potential costs as possible and if, during the course of a transaction, it becomes apparent that additional work is necessary that wasn't envisaged when our initial estimate was given, we’ll draw this to your attention before any additional charges are actually incurred.

Our average legal fee to act in the remortgage of a property is £250 plus vat (£300 inclusive of vat). Please note that our fees are offered as fixed fees – our fees for property remortgages are not based on hourly rates – we know that you need to know how much you'll have to spend. They'll be based on the time that we expect to incur and will have regard to our expertise. It includes acting for the owner and also their lender. It doesn't include dealing with a contemporaneous Transfer of the property.

Most lenders allow us use Search Indemnity Insurance rather than insisting on traditional search information being obtained. However, if your lender is one of the few that will not accept Search Indemnity Insurance we'll have to charge an additional fee for obtaining and advising on information obtained by searching records held by or in relation to such as the Land Registry, Local Authorities, Drainage and Water, Environmental and Mining. Our average fee in relation to a  full pack of searches is on average £232.50 plus vat (£279 inclusive of vat), but it can be more in certain areas where there are more searches to undertake (such as mining) and/or the Local Authority search charge is high.

These fees don't include payments that we make to third parties on your behalf which are commonly referred to as Disbursements.

There could be. They're known as Disbursements and we've outlined them below. The amount of these payments varies from property to property and they're affected by its location. They can also be significantly more than the ranges given here. 

They can also occasionally change whilst a transaction is in progress. For example, if the Government introduces changes to SDLT when it makes a budget statement. These changes are often immediately effective with little or no opportunity to avoid. 

The notice fees are set by the management company/freeholder and we have no control over these charges. We'll notify you of the amounts before they'e incurred and will advise you if we become aware of any change.

  • Freeholders/Managers Information fees: These are fees charged by a freeholder or manager of your property to provide information required on behalf of your lender. Sometimes the information is provided free of charge. For example, in the case of a house, all that may be required would be a receipt for the ground rent. However, a freeholder and/or manager of a leasehold flat might charge between £100 and £300 plus vat for providing all the information required. If such a fee arises in the case of your property we'll advise you once this is known and will ask you to pay the fee to us so that we can obtain the information
  • Notice of mortgage fee: If you take out a mortgage then your lender will require that notice of the mortgage is given to any interested parties under the Deeds. Accordingly, this is a fee charged by a third party to register the new mortgage and will usually apply if the property is leasehold. It may also arise if the property is freehold and there's a specific requirement in the Deeds to give notification to a management company or similar. The fee varies depending what the Deeds say and/or what the third party demands. Often the fee is between £50 and £250 plus vat
  • Certificate of compliance fee: A Certificate of compliance from a third party is sometimes required under the terms of the Deeds, particularly in the case of flats. This might, for example, have been registered so that the third party can ensure that when a property changes hands, its requirements are dealt with and that any rent and/or service charge for communal areas has been paid up to date. Again, the fee is usually between £50 and £250 plus vat

We always provide a written estimate at the outset of a transaction based on the information provided to us at that time, so that you know where you stand and to ensure that there's no misunderstanding between us at a later time. 

In the case of residential conveyancing, we're usually able to offer a fixed fee for our time. We'll quote a fixed fee for the work normally undertaken in a standard case and will provide you with a list of additional fixed fees that we would charge if you require additional work to be undertaken. Examples of this would be arranging a Title Indemnity Policy, dealing with a Help To Buy ISA, preparing a Trust Deed or dealing with a Deed of Covenant. Furthermore, we may also be prepared to work on a “No Sale No Fee” basis – please ask about this if it is of interest to you. 

We'll always honour the fixed fee quoted unless the information relied upon by us at the time of the estimate was incorrect or it subsequently becomes apparent that there's an aspect of the transaction that will significantly affect the amount of time that has to be spent by us – in either case we'll notify you of any such development before we proceed further. Examples of circumstances that might change the cost would be if the property is a flat, not a house as you initially informed us, if a lease extension is required or if the ownership is defective and remedial action is needed. For a free quote and breakdown of related Disbursements known at this time, please use our quote enquiry form.

In addition to receiving instructions direct from buyers and sellers, we also work alongside brokers, referrers and property agents who refer clients to us. If we've agreed to pay to them a referral fee for recommending us to act for you then we'll disclose the amount to you and we'll pay the amount involved to the referrer out of our fee.

Unfortunately nobody can say for sure how long the process will take – every transaction has its own different circumstances. The length of the chain of properties and the speed at which other parties involved in the transaction work will all be relevant. Furthermore, if a new mortgage is required by one or more parties involved, that can also cause delay as, generally speaking, mortgages appear to be taking longer than people expect.

For a straightforward re-mortgage transaction, completion should take place within two to four weeks of the mortgage offer being issued.

You should instruct us once you submit the mortgage application so that we can be prepared and ready to take action immediately after you receive an acceptable mortgage offer. Once you've accepted a mortgage offer, and instructed your conveyancer to proceed, there are several steps which must be completed. The key stages included in our prices are:

  • You instruct your conveyancer and the usual Identity and Anti Money Laundering checks are undertaken
  • Title deeds, mortgage redemption figures (if you have a mortgage) and other required information are gathered from you. These tend to be more complex for leasehold or managed properties
  • Any searches required by the new lender are carried out by your conveyancer, which may give rise to further enquiries that you may need to assist in answering. If the lender agrees, we'll use Search Indemnity Insurance which costs less than obtaining the searches and also avoids delay
  • In anticipation of completion we'll arrange for you to sign the new Mortgage Deed and will obtain and check your mortgage redemption statement to ensure there is enough money to redeem your mortgage
  • A target completion date is agreed with you and we request the new mortgage advance from your new lender
  • On the day of completion, the new lender sends the mortgage monies to our bank account. When the monies are received the transaction is complete and your conveyancer will attend to redemption of your mortgage. Following completion your conveyancer will attend to the distribution of the balance mortgage proceeds available for payment to you by transferring funds to your bank account and will notify you that all has satisfactorily completed. Time permitting this will be dealt with on the day
This is the physical inspection of the property to ensure that there aren’t any obvious problems with it and confirm the amount of what the property might be worth, but it isn’t a full survey.

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