1 Be Prepared
You will have no doubt already considered how you are going to finance your property purchase but there may be number of options available. If you are financing the purchase with a mortgage, you may need to seek the advice of a financial advisor or a bank to check that you are able to obtain sufficient funding. Perhaps it is the bank of mum and dad or another relative providing assistance. If so, they will need to have any necessary funding available for use. You will also need to think about whether the assistance will be a gift, a loan or will they become a part owner of the property?
More often than not, a deposit of 10% must be paid on entering into the purchase contract. You should have this ready for use. If you are also selling a property the deposit may come from further down the chain but please note you may be required to “top up” the deposit to the full 10% if the deposit is less.
You will also need to account for any fees you need to pay. With the current Stamp Duty Holiday due to be phased out later this year, you will need to be mindful of whether your completion date may fall past the deadline.
You will be required to provide identification to your solicitor. This should be dealt with at an early stage to prevent holding up the transaction.
2. Book a Survey
The conveyancing process is based on the principle of “buyer beware” and, generally speaking, after exchange of contracts you will have no recourse to the seller for any defects in the property.
A full structural survey should be carried out if it is a period or listed property, if it has been subject to alterations or if alterations are planned. In other cases a Home Buyers Report may be appropriate. A surveyor can advise on the type of survey most appropriate to you.
3. Read and Keep all Documents
During the transaction your solicitor will report to you on all aspects of the purchase, including searches, plans and the title to the property.
As your solicitor is unlikely to have visited the property you are purchasing, you should check any plans of the property are correct and that any rights or restrictions on the property do not restrict what you would like to do at the property.
You should also retain any certificates or guarantees that you receive during the transaction as you will need to provide these to any purchaser when you sell the property.
4. Be Patient
The average conveyancing process takes approximately 8 weeks to get to the point of exchange of contracts (when you become contractually bound to purchase the property) and then a further 2 weeks or so to completion. If you are purchasing a leasehold property, the timescales may be slightly longer.
Should you be in a chain, any completion dates will need to be agreed by all other buyers and sellers in the chain. It is important that you communicate with your solicitor in order that you are kept updated on progress.
5. Choose the Right Solicitor
To ensure your move is dealt with smoothly it is important to have the right legal team behind you. An experienced and approachable firm who provide an efficient and personal service will help keep the process as stress-free as possible. You should be able to speak directly with the person dealing with your matter, who should be a qualified practitioner and able to advise you on all aspects of your transaction.
As featured in David Burr Rooftops Winter Edition 2021
This article was extracted from David Burrs Rooftops Winter Edition written by Greene & Greene Solicitors.
For more information on the services offered by Greene & Greene Solicitors please visit greene-greene.com.