FREEPHONE 0330 058 1579
7 Days a Week 08:00 - 20:00
featured image

Equity Release Conveyancing – What’s the Process? 

If you decide to get equity release, you will either opt for a lifetime mortgage or a home reversion plan. A lifetime mortgage is a type of mortgage that does not have to be paid back, whereas a home reversion plan involves selling part of your home and therefore ceasing to be the homeowner.

In return for selling your home or taking out a long-term loan, you will get either a lump sum of tax-free cash (which is always the case with home reversions), or you will get monthly payments that come with a fixed or variable interest rate.

No matter where you live in the UK, and even in some other countries, you can access both lifetime mortgages and home reversions. However, there will be different equity release lenders in your area compared to others, so the specific arrangements that are available will be different.

You can read up on equity release on this website to find out how the scheme works. The general gist is that you borrow money secured against your home, which means it does not need to be repaid, but you do need to be able to offer a valuable property to a lender.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

Do You Need an Equity Release Solicitor?

You are obliged to have at least one in-person meeting with a solicitor when you are making an equity release application.

Though this does not necessarily need to be a solicitor who is trained in equity release, we strongly recommend this, as they will understand the conveyancing process much better than the average solicitor.

Some equity release customers choose to have just one meeting with an equity release solicitor, and handle the rest themselves. However, we believe that meeting regularly with a solicitor is the best choice, as it takes a lot of pressure off you, given that the solicitor will take charge of all the legal processes.

It also helps you to avoid unsafe equity release, as the solicitor will ensure the process is entirely legal, and that you are not involved in a scam.

This is another reason you should find an equity release solicitor as opposed to a standard solicitor; they will know the difference between safe and unsafe equity release.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

What is Conveyancing?

Conveyancing is a sector of the law that deals with house moves (1). Conveyancing solicitors take charge of things like property searches, contracts, and financial statements.

What is Equity Release Conveyancing?

Equity release conveyancing is the same as standard conveyancing, but it is applied to an equity release lifetime mortgage, rather than a conventional mortgage.

It is essential that you find a reliable equity release conveyancer to ensure your application is as smooth as possible, and you have the best chance of being offered an equity release loan.

Conveyancing is arguably even more important for a lifetime mortgage than a standard mortgage, as you are generally an equity release customer for the rest of your life, so you need to make sure your funds are kept safe this whole time, and your loan offer is fair.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

What is the Process For Equity Release Conveyancing?

First thing’s first, you need to find an equity release solicitor in your area. You can choose to find an independent solicitor or one that is part of a wider organisation.

It is up to you to create a budget for this, as some people are willing to splash out on a highly recommended solicitor, whereas others need to stick to a budget-friendly option.

Sometimes, your chosen equity release lender will have an in-house solicitor that you are allowed to use. Again, it is up to you to weigh up your options and decide whether this would be better for you. You can ask an equity release adviser about this if you are unsure.

During your first meeting with your solicitor, they will explain the legal side of equity release to you, and offer advice, as well as answering any questions you have about equity release.

You will also receive a welcome pack that details how equity release conveyancing works, and you will sign an agreement to work with this solicitor (if you are happy with their services).

Then, the solicitor will get to work on your application, which first involves checking the title deeds of your house or apartment. This tells the solicitor who owns the property, whether there is any outstanding debt remaining, and whether there may be any issues with you taking out equity.

The equity release solicitor is also likely to arrange your property valuation, which will of course reveal your property’s value.

Following on from this, the equity release lender will send an offer to your solicitor if they are happy to lend money to you.

If your solicitor is trained in equity release, they will be able to analyse this offer and figure out whether it is a good offer for you. They will inform you of the offer, ask whether you are happy to go ahead with equity release, and provide specific legal advice relating to the loan offer.

At this point, you are free to reject the offer, and the solicitor will inform the equity release lender that you are not going ahead with equity release. However, if you are happy with the offer, you will meet with your solicitor once again (bringing proof of identity) to sign the equity release agreement.

As soon as the lender is informed that you have signed the agreement, they will start to process your loan. It usually takes up to a week for you to receive your equity release funds.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

What Happens If You Don’t Use an Equity Release Solicitor?

As we have discussed, it is not possible for you to take out equity without using an equity release solicitor at least once. This keeps the scheme as fair as possible, as your equity release lender will also be using a solicitor.

However, if you decide to have just the required meeting with the solicitor and nothing more, you are risking losing out on some benefits of equity release, as you will not be trained in conveyancing as a solicitor would be.

What’s more, you will be required to communicate with the equity release lender much more, which can be stressful and time-consuming.

That being said, you will not be punished for not meeting with a solicitor regularly. There will be no financial penalties, and you will be not discriminated against compared to other equity release applicants.

Will the Solicitor Communicate With the Lender For Me?

Yes, your solicitor can act as a go-between for you and your equity release lender. This is ideal for people who are still working or are busy for other reasons, as it means you don’t have to keep up with quite as many emails.

There are certain things your solicitor will have to get your consent for, or ask you about, so you will still need to be active with your emails and text messages. However, they can communicate between you and the lender about things like equity release offers.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

How Much Does it Cost to Get an Equity Release Solicitor?

It tends to cost around £1000 for an equity release solicitor, but it can be more or less depending on the solicitor you select. If you only have one in-person meeting with a solicitor, the cost will inevitably be lower.

If you are avoiding equity release because of the solicitor fees, we want to assure you that you can keep the costs low by finding an affordable solicitor. You may even be able to use your equity loan to pay for the legal fees retrospectively.

Though this is a lot of money to some people, remember that you will receive your equity loan in as little as 68 weeks, so it will not be long before your income is boosted significantly.

How to Find an Equity Release Solicitor

We recommend finding an equity release solicitor on the Equity Release Council website. This is because you will know that the solicitor is not only trained in equity release, but also regulated, so you will be in safe hands.

You will find a search tool on the ERC site, which is the quickest way to find a local equity release solicitor. All you need to do is enter your postcode, the distance you would be happy to travel from your home (from 5-200 miles), and the service you would like.

It is up to you to choose your preferred solicitor based on the services they provide, their location, and their costs. We encourage you to check reviews as this is often the best way to determine the reliability of a solicitor.

If you know anyone in your personal life who has released equity, have a chat with them and ask them which solicitor they went with, as they may be able to recommend an organisation or an individual that they went with.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

What are the Requirements For an Equity Release Solicitor?

The Equity Release Council outlines its expectations for ERC-regulated equity release solicitors (2).

One of these expectations is that the solicitor must not be related to the customer, and they must not be benefitting from the customer’s decision to release equity in any way.

This ensures the advice given by the solicitor is unbiased, allowing the customer to get an accurate picture of equity release, which includes understanding all of the potential risks of releasing equity from your property.

Another expectation set by the ERC is that the solicitor should encourage the customer to discuss their plans with their beneficiaries, as their decision to take out equity will affect the people who are going to inherit their money.

This is just one example of how solicitors are expected to cover the future consequences of releasing equity so that the customer is aware of how it will affect themselves and their family, not just now, but years down the line.

If your solicitor is not regulated in any way, they do not have to stick to any rules or regulations regarding giving legal advice.

This is why we discourage you from choosing a non-regulated lender; you do not know what you are dealing with, and there may not be a complaints process if anything goes wrong.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

Get Equity Release Advice Today

When you make the decision to release equity, it is not only legal advice you need to consider. You also need to think about which equity release advice company you want to go with.

Here at Equity Release Warehouse, we offer professional equity release advice, and we would be delighted to help you weigh up your options when it comes to funding your retirement.

Our first consultation with you is completely free of charge, and we will dive into the details of equity release, including how it will impact your pension, benefits, tax, and homeowner status. We will also be ready to answer any specific questions you have about the scheme.

We are very familiar with the eligibility criteria for equity release, so we will tell you immediately if you would not qualify for an equity release loan, which will save you plenty of time. However, most of our customers are eligible, so it is rare that we have to let a customer down.

We would also be happy to offer more advice relating to finding an equity release solicitor. Once you have a reliable equity release adviser and solicitor, you are good to go with equity release. All you need to do is file an application (which we can help with).

During our appointment, we will help you to decide which equity release plan you would like to have.

The choice is between a lifetime mortgage and a home reversion, and though most people opt for a lifetime mortgage, we will discuss both arrangements in detail to give you an opportunity to make an informed decision.

Our lines are open every day of the week from 8am-8pm, so feel free to call at any point within this timeframe.

Don’t worry – we won’t make you fill out an application on your first appointment; we will just help you to better understand the scheme, and answer any questions or concerns you may have.


[1] What is Conveyancing?

[2] Our Standards – Part B – Guidance and Good Practice

Related posts