Free legals on remortgages are a mirage

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Kevin Tunnicliffe

SortRefer, the award winning online conveyancing portal, is reporting that often many of the free legal packages offered by lenders are not always the best option for the client.

SortRefer, which promotes a specially vetted national panel of conveyancers to brokers through its online portal, is hearing from brokers who have recommended remortgages to clients which include a free legals package. Brokers are feeding back that the service can be slow, communication that is non-existent or just poor and that the client is not actually fully represented as the conveyancer works for the lender not their client.

According to CEO, Kevin Tunnicliffe, pictured, free legals are tempting but brokers should explore other avenues. In some cases, recommending a cashback deal (which can cover all or most of the legal costs) could be a better solution and better safeguard their interests.

He said, “Free legals are a great idea and work well as a marketing highlight but like a mirage they promise much, but are not necessarily in the best interests of the client. Brokers need to be able to inform their clients that on ‘free legals’ deals, the lender chooses a conveyancing business based more on cost than quality. This can often lead to delays and lack of communication, which can slow down the transaction.

Brokers who suggest a remortgage with a cashback component can then recommend a conveyancer with a proven record like SortRefer, where we have a range of Fixed Price Remortgage products that fit in well with cashback products. It ensures that clients have proper representation and a better service.”

Haley Louise O’Reilly, Mortgage & Protection Adviser with Coreco commented:

“After my poor experience of ‘free legals’ transactions on multiple occasions, I now only recommend cashback deals for my clients. Communication and service are so much better and because we have a conveyancer working for us, I am able to respond quickly when any problems arise in the mortgage process. SortRefer’s fixed price remortgage deals provide just what my clients need and are in most cases fully paid for from the cashback offered by the lender.”