A 2D cartoon graphic: 2 buyers, 2 sellers, an estate agent and a solicitor work around a stop watch and an instruction letter, to get the timing right. Should You Instruct Solicitor Before Mortgage Offer? A guide from SAM Conveyancing
You must instruct a solicitor before you can obtain your mortgage offer
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Should You Instruct Solicitor Before Mortgage Offer?

25/11/2022
(Last Updated: 25/11/2022)
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4 min read
You will need to get your mortgage in principle before you instruct a solicitor. This is not your mortgage offer and is usually based on a 'soft' credit check.

You'll need your mortgage in principle before you instruct as this is the first step of getting a mortgage and you'll need to know how much you can borrow in order to decide if you can afford to buy, let alone begin house shopping.

If you do not yet have a mortgage in principle, book a free* consultation with one of our excellent impartial brokers.

Free Consultation* | 100% Impartial Advice | Access to Whole Market

Once you've found 'the one', you will need to choose whether to instruct your solicitor before or after your offer is accepted.

You will have to instruct a solicitor before you get your mortgage offer as you will need to provide your conveyancing solicitor's details in your application, however, you may want to instruct a little earlier. When you make an offer on a house, your bid will have extra weight if you have already instructed a solicitor, as we discuss in When to Instruct a Solicitor When Buying a House.

This can be a little risky as you might lose the money you pay your solicitor up front, if your offer is not accepted. We can mitigate that risk for you because our conveyancing quote is not only fixed fee, it's also covered by our no sale no fee guarantee**.

Alternatively, you can play it safe and instruct your conveyancer as soon as your offer is accepted. Once you have instructed your solicitor, you can move forward with your mortgage application. You will always have to instruct a solicitor (or conveyancer) before you get your mortgage offer.

What happens next?
It is time to pay for your mortgage valuation and book your survey and conveyancing searches. If you are a SAM client, your conveyancing executive will discuss and advise on which options are best for your purchase and arrange them on your behalf.

Your conveyancing solicitor gets to work, starting by reviewing the legal title. Read more in our guide: What does a solicitor do for the buyer

Based on the valuation and searches, your lender will decide whether to make your mortgage offer. Depending on what type of mortgage product you are using, you may also be required to obtain independent legal advice on the terms in order to legally accept your mortgage.

When both parties and your solicitors are happy with the terms agreed, you can exchange contracts. However, the transaction is not finalised until completion.

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Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing
Written by:
Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.
Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Reviewed by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.

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