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Equity Release Conveyancing Process

Conveyancing refers to the legal process of moving house (1). Anyone who is moving house will rely on conveyancing solicitors to ensure the transfer of ownership meets all of the legal requirements.

The two main steps of conveyancing are exchange of contracts and completion. To begin with, the homeowners will sign a contract that demonstrates they approve of the house move.

When this is processed, completion can occur, which is when the legal titles are officially passed over.

What is the Equity Release Conveyancing Process?

The equity release conveyancing process is different from the standard conveyancing process, but there are some similarities between the two.

Stage 1: Finding an equity release solicitor

First, you meet with an equity release solicitor who will be able to oversee the conveyancing process. Finding a qualified solicitor is something people with traditional mortgages also need to do, but the difference here is that your solicitor must be trained in equity release.

This means it may take longer to find the right solicitor for you, but it should still be a quick process. Make sure you know what you are looking for before you start your search, e.g., have a budget in mind, read reviews, and meet with a financial adviser if necessary.

Your first meeting with your solicitor will consist of discussing your plans for equity release, and setting up the basics of the conveyancing process. A case file will be opened, and you will be provided with a unique reference number.

Stage 2: Welcome pack

It is important that you are familiar with your solicitor’s approach to conveyancing, so they will give you a welcome pack detailing this.

At this stage, you should ask plenty of questions, as it is better to second guess your decision now than later down the line.

Just as you should get to know the solicitor, they need to familiarise themselves with your situation, too. This is why you will be asked to fill out an equity release questionnaire, that informs the solicitor of your personal situation, and confirms that you are happy to work with them.

You will also need to provide your contact details and banking information, to aid further communication with the solicitor.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

Stage 3: Title deeds

The first big step that the solicitor will take is to check the title deeds of your house or apartment. The intention behind this is to confirm the property is fit for equity release.

Some potential issues that can get in the way of a successful equity release application are: having a property that it in a poor condition, having an outstanding mortgage, and the property value being too low.

If any of these problems are identified, the equity release solicitor will inform you, and advise you on your next steps. Some issues can be resolved (such as outstanding mortgage debt), but others would deem you an inappropriate candidate for equity release (e.g., a low value home).

Candidates whose property passes this stage will be contacted by the equity release solicitor, and the application process can begin.

This is the time to make equity release your own, in terms of choosing the right plan for you, finding a reputable lender, and double checking that you are happy to go ahead with equity release.

Stage 4: Application submission

Both the equity release applicant and their solicitor must fill in the application where appropriate.

The length of this process varies, as some clients already know what their requests are, whereas others may be indecisive, or they may struggle to gather the information needed for the different sections, i.e., mortgage details.

At this stage, you will need to know which equity release plan you want to apply for, such as a home reversion plan or a lifetime mortgage.

The equity release product that you choose hugely affects the regulations you have to follow, so make sure you get advice on which type of equity release would be suitable for you.

When the application is complete, the solicitor will submit it to the lender, and await their decision. Further checks will be made by the lender, including property valuations.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

Stage 5: In-person meeting

If the equity release provider is happy with the application, the next step is for the candidate to meet with their solicitor and sign the mortgage deed.

This meeting is always in person, as it also serves as a way for the solicitor to check the applicant’s identity – they must bring various forms of ID to the meeting.

Stage 6: Requisitions

Finally, the last step before completion is for the equity release provider’s solicitors to look through the case, and confirm that it is appropriate for the applicant to receive an equity release loan.

Communication between the two solicitors can be frequent at this stage, as they may need to resolve issues in the application.

Stage 7: Receipt of the loan

When the solicitors are content with the case, the applicant will be told that they can expect an equity release loan very soon.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

How Long Does the Equity Release Conveyancing Process Take?

Most equity release applicants will get their loan two months after they put in their application.

When planning for the process of equity release, remember that you need to take into account the additional time that it will take to find an equity release adviser, meet with them, and choose an equity release lender.

As always, there are variations in how long the process takes for each client, so you may find that you get your loan much sooner or much later than average.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

How Much Does Equity Release Conveyancing Cost?

The cost of equity release conveyancing is mostly dependent on your solicitor’s charges. Certain locations will be linked to higher rates for conveyancing, but generally, you will be able to find solicitors with budgets on both ends of the price scale.

Most of the time, equity release conveyancing does not cost more than £1000. However, we know that this is still a significant amount, so it is something to carefully consider.

That being said, if you are approved for a loan, you could release enough money to be financially comfortable, which would make up for the costly conveyancing process.

Not all solicitors follow an identical process, so keep in mind that you could be expected to pay for additional fees with certain solicitors.

While standard fees include bank transfer fees, anti-money laundering checks, legal advice, VAT, and land registry documents, additional fees may include:

  • Property sale
  • Bankruptcy or county court judgements (CCJs)
  • Third party lawyers
  • Transferring a property
  • Changes to the title deed

Before agreeing to work with a solicitor, ask them about their process, and request a quote that reflects the amount you would be expected to pay overall. If the cost is too high, you could speak to your equity release lender and ask for the solicitor fees to be deducted from your loan.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

What Can Delay the Equity Release Conveyancing Process?

The additional equity release fees we have listed above can delay the conveyancing process, but if they are applicable to you, they cannot be avoided.

Some other factors that can lead to a lengthier equity release process are:

  • Having a standard mortgage: If your mortgage has not been paid off, it needs to be dealt with before you get an equity release lifetime mortgage or a home reversion.
  • Delayed responses: If the solicitor’s responses are delayed, it will have a knock-on effect on the entire conveyancing process. Similarly, if you are not responding promptly to the solicitor, you can expect to wait longer than average for your equity release loan.
  • Busy application times: At certain times of the year, equity release gets very busy, as more homeowners submit applications. This can lengthen the conveyancing process, as lenders and solicitors are working with more clients than normal.
  • Tenants in common: If your household setup is not typical, such as having a Tenants in common agreement, your solicitor will have to put more work into making you eligible for equity release.
  • Leasehold properties: Some leasehold properties are ruled out immediately for equity release. However, if you have a long time left on your lease, you may be eligible, and your solicitor will have to liaise with the equity release lender to confirm that they are happy to take on a leasehold home.
  • Trusts: Trusts must be broken before equity release is started, which adds time to the conveyancing process.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

How to Find a Good Equity Release Conveyancing Solicitor

Plenty of equity release customers find their conveyancing solicitor by asking their equity release adviser for recommendations. This is often a much quicker process than trying to find a solicitor independently, as you may not know what you’re looking for.

Similarly, you could ask someone who has released equity. If they were happy with their conveyancing solicitor, it would be wiser to choose this solicitor than a solicitor with minimal reviews.

If you want to find your solicitor yourself, make sure you know what to look for. Do not go for a solicitor who is not a member of the Equity Release Council (ERC), as they will not be subject to the same regulations as ERC-approved solicitors.

The ERC website has a great tool for customers looking to find an equity release solicitor in their area. You can find an ERC member by entering your postcode and the distance you are willing to travel for a solicitor.

If you already have a solicitor in mind, you can also enter a name and check whether they are members of the ERC.

Some people are fortunate enough to have a regular solicitor who is an ERC member. In this case, you can ask your adviser whether you can use this solicitor for the conveyancing process.

They must be part of a firm with at least 3-4 partners in order to be able to work on equity release.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

Can I Do Equity Release Without Getting a Solicitor?

No, you cannot release equity without a conveyancing solicitor. This is written in ERC regulations.

Both the applicant and the lender must appoint a solicitor to deal with equity release conveyancing, and completion can only occur when the solicitors have agreed that the process does not break any laws.

Although getting a solicitor adds another step to equity release, it ultimately benefits you. Without a solicitor, you would not be legally protected if the equity release plan provider attempted to carry out unlawful equity release.

What’s more, even if your lender was extremely reputable, it is not their responsibility to teach you about the legal side of equity release. When a solicitor does this for you, it ensures you know how equity release will impact you, which is crucial given that this scheme comes with risks.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

Can I Meet With an Equity Release Solicitor Before I am Ready to Release Equity?

You could meet with a solicitor before you agree to release equity, as some customers prefer to choose their solicitor before making an application.

This allows them to get help with the application, and to spend more time discovering what equity release looks like in legal terms.

However, others choose to meet with an equity release solicitor after they have submitted their application, as it is not obligatory to arrange a meeting before this point.

This would most likely be the less expensive option, but it could also mean that it takes you longer to submit the application.

If you are interested in equity release but you are under the age of 55 years old, there is nothing stopping you meeting with a solicitor, but it would usually not be necessary.

Instead, we would recommend meeting with an equity release adviser for a one-off session and discussing how you could prepare for equity release.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

How Can Equity Release Warehouse Help Me With Conveyancing?

When you call Equity Release Warehouse on 0330 058 1579, an equity release specialist will pick up the phone to tell you all about the equity release conveyancing process, and to find out whether you would be interested in getting started.

We cannot recommend equity release solicitors here, so please arrange a formal meeting with an equity release adviser for this. However, we can help you to avoid equity release scams by encouraging you to find an ERC solicitor, and helping you to understand what safe equity release should look like.

We also provide you with information on equity release conveyancing on this site. You can find out how equity release works, common equity release myths, how long equity release takes, and other important details about this fantastic scheme.

If you would like to see how much tax-free cash you could access with the equity release scheme, use our free equity release calculator.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579


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