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Published 12 March 2024
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Do You Need a Solicitor to Remortgage?

The legal expertise of a solicitor will be needed if you remortgage with a new lender but may not be necessary if you take out a new deal with your current lender.

Whether you need a solicitor to remortgage or not generally depends on who you are taking your new mortgage with. If you’re remortgaging with a different lender, then yes, a solicitor will need to be involved. But if you’re simply switching to a new deal with your existing lender, you’ll often find the services of a solicitor are not required. 

Why do you need a solicitor to remortgage?

Solicitors ensure the legal aspects of buying a home and taking out a mortgage are completed properly. 

Generally, this will include oversight of all the legal documents. More specifically with remortgaging, a solicitor will make sure property deeds are applied to the new mortgage and funds are transferred to pay off your existing mortgage. 

If you’re switching to a new lender, they will want certain checks to be carried out on your home, such as property searches and a valuation, which will usually go through a solicitor.  

» MORE: How does remortgaging work?

Do I need a solicitor or conveyancer?

Solicitors and conveyancers perform similar roles in that they can both help with the legal side of buying and selling property. 

The main difference is that solicitors will usually have a broader range of legal knowledge, while conveyancers will mainly specialise in the legalities surrounding property, and are less likely to be formally trained in other aspects of law. 

The fees charged by solicitors tend to be higher than conveyancing fees, because of the wider range of services they can provide.   

Do you always need a solicitor when remortgaging?

If you decide to remortgage with the same lender you’re already with, and simply switch to a new deal without changing anything else, a solicitor won’t usually need to be involved. But if there are other changes, such as adding or removing someone to or from the mortgage, this is likely to involve legal work and mean a solicitor will be required. 

If you’re remortgaging to a different lender, even on similar terms, you should expect a solicitor to be involved. A remortgage of any kind can have far-reaching consequences for your finances, particularly if you’re remortgaging to release equity or want to remortgage to consolidate debt. It’s important that everything is tied up legally, and solicitors can help guide you through the process.  

» MORE: Do you need mortgage advice?

How much does a solicitor cost to remortgage?

If you have to pay for the services of a solicitor when remortgaging it tends to cost somewhere in the region of £300. It could be more or less, though it’s also usually possible to find lenders that will pay solicitors fees for you, as an incentive for remortgaging to them. 

This can be helpful if you don’t have money to cover such fees in the short term, but don’t lose sight of the cost of the mortgage overall. Factor in mortgage rates and all the other fees you may have to pay too. 

» MORE: Remortgage costs and fees

Should you use the solicitor that a lender offers you?

When you’re offered the services of a solicitor for free as part of a remortgage deal, there may be a particular solicitor the lender always works with and that you must use. 

A potential advantage is that the lender and the solicitor should be familiar with each other’s processes. But equally, you may have doubts that they’ll be as quick and efficient as you would like, or don’t offer all of the services that you require. If you need to change the names on your mortgage, this may not be included as part of the free legal fees you’ve been offered. Or if you’re releasing equity to buy a second home, you may want a solicitor who can sort everything out for you at the same time. 

If there’s a reason you’d prefer to use a different solicitor, and you’re willing to pay, look elsewhere. 

» MORE: Best mortgage lenders

Image source: Getty Images

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