Remortgaging in 2023 will be a crucial task for the 1.4 million households set to see their fixed terms expire this year. Homeowners are becoming increasingly concerned with the legal aspects of remortgaging, with 26,400 searches questioning the necessity of conveyancing solicitors in the past 12 months.
That’s according to the experts at Uswitch.com remortgage deals, who determined the most confusing remortgaging topics for Brits from Mojo mortgage brokers and online searches.
They then answered the most frequently asked legal questions on each topic to alleviate homeowners’ worries around switching to a new deal, during the cost-of-living crisis.
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The top five searched remortgage legal topics
RankTopicYearly searches (UK)1Conveyancing solicitors26,4002Remortgaging process length22,9203Remortgaging requirements18,7254Equity and remortgaging14,7605Remortgaging taxes 7,800
Conveyancing solicitors, the remortgaging process length and remortgaging requirements are the most questioned remortgage legal topics, with over 68,000 searches across all three subjects. The experts at Uswitch.com remortgage deals analysed questions across these topics and answered the most frequently asked for each one respectively.
The most frequently asked remortgage legal questions for each topic
Conveyancing solicitors are the most asked remortgaging topic nationwide, with 26,400 searches in the last year. UK homeowners made 9,960 searches in the past 12 months related to whether a solicitor is required to remortgage, the most asked question in this topic. Questions regarding the cost of a conveyancing solicitor received 30% less, at 6,960 searches annually.
Uswitch.com remortgage deals expert, Kellie steed, comments on the laws in place regarding solicitors:
“With the price of solicitors increasing by 8% in the last year, and higher expenses in all corners of life, it’s understandable that Brits are looking to cut costs where they can. Not every remortgage will require a solicitor: if you’re moving onto a new deal or rate with your current lender, this is just considered a “product transfer”, and will not require any legal help.
However, if you’re changing lenders to secure a better deal in the current market, you will have to use a solicitor. This is also the case if you are bringing a new person onto your current mortgage plan, or removing someone, as this will change the legal ownership of the deal.
It is quite likely that your new lender will supply a solicitor themselves for no extra cost, and if so, they will probably not give you the choice of other solicitors. If your lender does not supply one, you can research solicitors yourself to find the most cost-effective deal that’s right for you.”
The remortgaging process length is the second most searched topic, with 22,920 searches based on the subject in the last 12 months, all asking how much time remortgaging can take. That’s a fifth more than all the questions asked about remortgaging requirements (18,725), the third most searched topic overall.
Uswitch.com remortgage deals expert, Kellie steed, comments on how long it may take homeowners to remortgage:
“Typically, the remortgaging process takes around six weeks to complete. This is because, if you are changing lenders and taking up a new mortgage deal, the process will be the same as when you took out your initial deal. If your broker, bank, and solicitor are all aware of – and agree on – a more pressing completion date, there is a chance to make the process last as little as a week.
If you urgently need to change mortgage deals to avoid paying a standard variable rate, then consider applying for a product transfer with your current lender. This will be much quicker as you will not need to go through any legal processes, and can sometimes be done within 24 hours. However, you are less likely to get the strongest deal if you don’t consider deals with other providers.”
Remortgage requirements comes in third place as the most searched topic, with 18,725 related questions asked every year. Whether a deposit is required to change deals is the most commonly asked question on the topic of remortgaging requirements, with 5,760 searches in the last 12 months: 58% of the searches for whether a solicitor is necessary (9,960).
Uswitch.com remortgage deals expert, Kellie steed, comments:
“While the costs that applied when you took out your original deal, like arrangement fees, may still be applicable during the remortgage process, you won’t have to worry about paying another deposit, as lenders use the equity you’ve built up in your home in place of this. However, if you do have the money to spare, an additional cash deposit may be worth considering to give you a chance of securing a better deal.
Arrangement fees won’t always apply when you remortgage – some lenders offer fee-free remortgages as an incentive. Where they do apply, you won’t necessarily have to pay them in one lump sum. Some lenders allow you to add your arrangement fees, usually £1,000 – £2,000, to your mortgage. This does mean that you will also pay interest on it, however.”
Find out more about remortgaging affordably at Uswitch.com’s remortgage deals page.
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