Transferring equity is a term that some people will not be familiar with, so it often leads to questions about the process. To help you understand more about it, let’s take a look at the six most frequently asked questions.
What is a transfer of equity (ToE)?
ToE is a legal process that adds or removes a person from the title deeds of a property. It is not the same as the sale of a property, as one or more of the original owners will remain the same but at least one person will be added or removed. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as if a couple marries or separates, if ownership or part-ownership is gifted to a family member, or if a person requests to remove their name from a mortgage agreement.
Is a solicitor required for this process?
It is recommended that you seek legal advice when considering a ToE to ensure both parties understand the legality of the transfer and are adequately compensated. If one party wishes to be removed from the deeds in the event of a separation, for example, they need to be sure they are receiving the right amount for their share of the property.
Can both parties use the same solicitor?
In some cases, you can use the same solicitor; however, it is generally recommended that each party has their own solicitor to avoid a conflict of interests, especially when one party is relinquishing their joint ownership of a property or money is involved.
How much will it cost?
ToE is a relatively inexpensive process. The bill can be shared between the parties or paid by one of the parties. There will be the usual solicitor fees; in addition, there will be fees for processes such as identity checks, transfer fees, and HM Land Registry fees.
How can you find a solicitor who specialises in this process?
It is a good idea to ask for recommendations; alternatively, you can ask a local firm of solicitors whether they handle ToE or search online. Reputable companies such as https://www.samconveyancing.co.uk/news/conveyancing/transfer-of-equity-process-3894 can handle the process for you via their panel of solicitors.
How long will the process take?
A transfer can often be finalised in as little as a few weeks, particularly if there is no money changing hands or there is no existing mortgage agreement.
As this is not such a familiar term, it sometimes raises questions. This is why it is always a good idea to ask the right questions and ensure you understand the process before you engage someone to complete the process for you.