Why do you need a solicitor for a remortgage?
I remember the first time I did my first remortgage and I was really confused. I didn't really know how it worked. How do you get from one lender to another? Why do you need a solicitor? And should we be paying for them?
You need a solicitor because they need to make the transfer from one lender to another. So let's just say you're with NatWest and you're remortgaging to Santander, for example, your solicitor will take care of that transition to make sure that the deeds and the mortgage are with the new lender. They'll get you to sign what's called a mortgage deed and they'll also get you to sign a mortgage questionnaire and it's really important if you've got an early repayment penalty that you note that in your questionnaire, so that you make sure you're solicitor does not complete before your early repayment charge finishes.
I've never had a remortgage customer pay for their legal work. So more often than not, the lenders give you free legals but if not, they give you cash back and you can use that cash back towards a solicitor. We have a panel of solicitors that we use in that scenario to make sure it does come under whatever the cashback amount is and we'll let you know whether it's best to go with the lender or whether to use our panel. Some lenders tend to give £500 cash back and then we find a solicitor for under that amount for you. Otherwise we tend to use the lender's free legals.
You also need a survey done with a remortgage, although there's more and more automated desktop valuations happening, which basically means they survey the property from afar. They could do a 'drive-by' or they provided automated valuations based on estimates online. That's the basics of the legals behind a remortgage. That is a separate entity to us but we can give you guidance if you get stuck with your mortgage questionnaire once the solicitor sends it to you.
Many solicitors nowadays are very good. They often have apps, they make it as easy as they can for you. They take care of the transaction for you and they'll get what's called a redemption statement before you complete on your new mortgage and that shares what the balance is that they need to pay off.
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Founder, The Mortgage Mum