When Do You Need a Solicitor for Remortgaging?

The main reason most people remortgage is to get a better interest rate and lower their monthly payments. 

You don’t always need a solicitor for this type of straightforward remortgage with your existing lender. Here are the scenarios where solicitor fees do and don’t apply:

You Don’t Need a Solicitor If:

  • You’re remortgaging with your current lender on a new rate or deal (known as a “product transfer”)
  • You’re just taking out more money against your existing mortgage (a “further advance”)

In these cases, there is NO legal work required so your lender won’t charge any solicitor fees.

You Do Need a Solicitor If:

  • You’re remortgaging to a different lender
  • You’re adding or removing someone’s name on the mortgage

Essentially, any remortgage that involves transferring the legal ownership of the property requires the expertise of a conveyancing solicitor.

What Do Solicitors Do When Remortgaging?

Even though it’s not a full property purchase, there is still legal work involved when remortgaging to a new lender. 

The solicitor’s role includes:

  • Verifying your identity for anti-money laundering purposes
  • Retrieving details of your current mortgage and outstanding balance
  • Checking leasehold requirements if applicable
  • Reviewing the new mortgage terms and conditions
  • Conducting bankruptcy and property ownership searches
  • Handling the transfer of mortgage funds between lenders
  • Updating ownership records at the Land Registry

As you can see, having an experienced solicitor is crucial for ensuring the remortgage process goes smoothly and your interests are protected.

How Much Are Typical Solicitor Fees for Remortgaging?

Solicitor fees for remortgaging to a new lender typically cost between £300-£500 plus disbursements. 

The disbursements are third-party costs like:

  • Land Registry fees (£20-£65)
  • Bankruptcy Search (£2)
  • Property ownership searches (£3-£15)

So in total, you can expect to pay around £350-£600 in legal fees when using a solicitor for your remortgage.

Many mortgage lenders offer free or discounted legal packages as an incentive. But, lender-approved firms may not have your best interests as their top priority. 

So it’s worth investigating if you can appoint your own, independent solicitor instead. 

Top Tips for Finding An Affordable Remortgage Solicitor

Remortgage solicitor fees are typically lower than full conveyancing costs, even after disbursements (additional expenses). 

However, it’s still wise to shop around to get the best value for a quality service. Here’s how:

  • Compare quotes from multiple firms online – this is fast and free
  • Check if they offer any discounts or bundles for remortgage clients
  • Ask if they have any additional fees beyond the quoted price
  • See if they are a member of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme
  • Read independent reviews of their service levels

Spending a bit more for an experienced remortgage solicitor can pay dividends if they spot issues with the mortgage contract or speed up the process.

Will My Lender Let Me Choose My Own Solicitor?

Many lenders try to keep costs down by having a panel of approved solicitors or free legal firms that they want you to use. 

But you are not obligated to go with their choice – especially if you are paying legal fees yourself.

When getting remortgage quotes, ask each lender if you can appoint your own solicitor. They may charge a separate legal fee, but it’s worth it for independence and peace of mind.

How To Save On Solicitor’s Fees When Remortgaging?

Solicitor fees can add up during remortgaging, but you can keep them under control. Here’s how:

  • Get quotes from several solicitors. Compare their services and fees to find the best deal. Many offer free consultations to explain their pricing.
  • Look for fixed-fee packages. These give you certainty about the total cost upfront.
  • Consider your lender’s solicitor. They might offer free or discounted legal services, but check their offerings first.
  • Negotiate. Tell them your budget and see if they can lower their fees, especially if you have other quotes.
  • Watch out for hidden costs. Ask for a detailed breakdown of all charges to avoid surprises.
  • Use a mortgage broker. They can recommend solicitors with competitive fees and might even have packages with discounted legal services.
  • Do some of the legwork yourself. Gather and organise your documents beforehand. This saves the solicitor time and potentially reduces your fees.

Remember, saving money is great, but quality legal advice is crucial. Protect yourself by choosing a good solicitor.

The Bottom Line

Solicitor fees are a standard part of remortgaging to a new lender. They play a crucial role in protecting your interests throughout the process.

While an extra £350-£600 may sting initially, it’s a small price to pay compared to the potential savings over your mortgage term.

By understanding exactly when legal fees apply and shopping around for affordable yet quality conveyancing quotes, you can make remortgaging seamless and start saving money sooner.

Additionally, consulting a mortgage broker can further streamline the process. A broker can compare deals from various lenders, help you find the best rates, and guide you through the application process, saving you time and hassle. 

Simply reach out to us, and we’ll connect you with a qualified mortgage broker to assist you in the remortgaging process.