Legal Marketing Services (LMS) has launched a European mortgage service intended to make the process of purchasing a property overseas a lot simpler.
Denise Ballard, managing director at Legal Marketing Services, said: ‘An estimated 200,000 people intend to buy a home in Europe this year. The majority of these people will be looking for a mortgage and the quicker and cheaper the process, the happier they will be.’
One of the main difficulties for clients wishing to purchase in Europe is the language barrier. Ballard said: ‘Purchasing property aboard is a minefield. The process is similar to here in the UK but all the contracts and paperwork are in a different language, which makes things difficult.’
Clients purchasing property in Spain will access the service through a web-based application which can track and follow cases, whereas French properties will be handled by Pannone & Partners.
One of the main advantages of the service is that the legal costs are halved. ‘Until now, French and Spanish lawyers have charged 1% of the house purchase price with a minimum fee of £750. LMS will be charging 0.5% with a minimum fee of £475,’ Ballard said.
All transactions via the service will be in English so there is no need to deal with European lawyers and LMS is able to help with the transition.
Ballard said: ‘To purchase a property overseas, homeowners are able to remortgage their current property and will not need to switch lawyers to purchase a property overseas. LMS controls the remortgage then transfers it to European lawyers so it is a smooth process.’
The service is free to lenders and Ballard believes that it is a growing market which IFAs need to be aware of. She said: ‘There is a real opportunity here for IFAs and mortgage brokers to build a wider portfolio of clients. Last year, 150,000 British people bought a house in France or Spain, the equivalent of the population of Blackpool.’
For more information call 01244 651 600.