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03.21

more2life shares top tips for equity release advisers on completing house purchase cases

- Consumer demand for equity release purchase cases is rising as borrowers look to capitalise on the stamp duty holiday 
- more2life has seen demand for house purchase cases rise from 5% in ‘normal’ conditions to 15% in recent months 

Having seen the number of over-55s using equity release for property purchase increase from 5% to 15% in recent months, more2life today shares its top tips for advisers looking to process house purchase cases as the stamp duty holiday deadline approaches. 

Equity release is typically used to release value from a client’s existing home but, it can be used as part of property purchase process with the released equity typically boosting the clients buying power. With the entire property market struggling due to the significant demand on services and approaching deadline, more2life is outlining nine key steps equity release advisers can take to complete house purchase cases as quickly as possible:

1. Prepare clients thoroughly in terms of the process, the documentation required and associated timescales – conveyancers and specialist solicitors are facing longer turnaround times, and these are subject to change depending on the complexity of the case. Ensuring documentation is provided in a timely manner is vital.

2. Flag any crucial details with the lender at the start of the application process – this could include details like the need for Lasting Powers of Attorney, for example.

3. Suggest that clients instruct one solicitor who specialises in equity release cases to handle both the purchase and the lifetime mortgage – this will help speed up the process and keep costs down. Cases that use a specialist equity release solicitor can complete up to five times quicker. 

4. Ensure clients do not to agree completion dates or removal vans within the chain before getting the solicitor’s approval to do so

5. Act on special conditions on receipt of the original offer to avoid delays – some property features such as a septic tank or ground rent will cause a lender to include requirements that need to be satisfied before the case completes.  These should be addressed as soon as possible.

6. Instruct assent cases* and lease extensions as purchase matters on the application form – assent cases and lease extensions are sometimes instructed as remortgages, which can cause delays and confusion

7. Make sure the insurance certificate is included in the initial pack to the client’s solicitor – this is a common issue but can be easily avoided early in the process

8. Ensure the client’s solicitor sends all that the conveyancer needs first time to reduce the number of queries which could be raised later – it usually takes two or three reviews of the initial pack before all enquiries are satisfied and cases are able to complete 

9. Ask to receive updates from the conveyancer where possible – this can be done via their online portals and will enable advisers to keep clients updated throughout the process 

Stuart Wilson, Corporate Marketing Director at equity release lender more2life, comments: 
“As we head towards the end of the Stamp Duty Holiday, the entire property market is fighting to get cases across the line and the equity release market is no different.  While the rumoured extension to June is good news, we can’t afford to take our foot off the gas as even that date could pose a challenge for some more complex cases. 

“Backlogs building up with essential systems such as Land Registry and increased pressure on conveyancers mean that we need to ensure that applications go as smoothly as possible. To help advisers and their clients, we have compiled a list of top tips that are designed to avoid some of the common challenges people face when trying to complete.

“While this won’t guarantee that a client will meet the deadline, it will help to give them a fighting chance and allow the adviser to better manage their expectations.  Providing intermediaries with the tools that will enable them to deliver better retirement outcomes for clients is a priority for more2life, and we are confident that today’s guide will be welcomed by equity release advisers facing increasing pressure to complete purchase cases over the coming weeks.”
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This website is intended for intermediaries only and has not been approved for customer use. more2life Limited. Registered in England No 5390268. Registered Office: Baines House, 4 Midgery Court, Fulwood, Preston PR2 9ZH. more2life is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.