Finding a Solicitor for a Remortgage

Remortgaging your property should be straightforward. This is just as well because a further advance is often needed quickly, for example, if you're having renovation works at home.

You may need to remortgage your property because you are required to transfer the equity (legal ownership) in the property to meet the terms of a financial settlement following a relationship breakdown. This may mean an existing owner needs to be removed from the mortgage - or someone else added to the mortgage.

Or you may simply decide to remortgage because your existing favourable rate will shortly expire and you want to switch to a cheaper mortgage product.

What is the legal process of remortgaging?

The legal steps involved in your remortgage are simple:

  1. When you've instructed a solicitor (or licensed conveyancer) to do the legal work for the remortgage, the lender - whether it's your existing lender or a new lender - will send your solicitor the mortgage offer and conditions.
  2. Your solicitor will send you a 'client care' letter setting out the terms and conditions on which they will act for you. It will include itemising the costs agreed between you, the complaints procedure, and other important information about how they will carry out the work for you.
  3. You must provide proof of identify before your solicitor can begin the conveyancing. You will also need to give relevant information about the property that could affect the mortgage offer. This could include any notices you've received about the property, your use of the property and what building work has been done.
  4. Your solicitor will check the legal 'title' (ownership) to the property to ensure it is acceptable to the lender. They will also obtain a redemption statement from your existing lender to find out how much you owe and whether there are any additional charges to be levied, such as an early redemption penalty.
  5. Your solicitor will explain what you will be required to repay under the existing mortgage. They will also explain to you the new mortgage offer and whether there are conditions you need to satisfy before completion.
  6. When your solicitor is satisfied that the remortgage can be completed, they will carry out a bankruptcy search and other relevant checks; order the mortgage advance for the completion date; and request an updated redemption statement from your existing lender.
  7. If there is any shortfall between the advance and the total amount owed to your existing lender and your legal fees and costs, your solicitor will ask you for the balance. You will be asked to the sign the new mortgage deed ready for completion and, if a transfer of equity is also taking place, you will be asked to sign the transfer deed.
  8. On the completion date, your solicitor will pay off the existing mortgage. If the remortgage is to enable you to pay off a former spouse or partner your solicitor will send the relevant amount to their account. If appropriate, any net balance will be paid into your bank account.
  9. When your solicitor has received confirmation from the existing lender that its loan has been paid off, your solicitor will send the new mortgage deed to HM Land Registry to be registered and, if necessary, the transfer deed so that the legal ownership can be changed on the property register.

If you have any questions about the remortgage process, your solicitor will explain things to you in more detail.