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1st March, 2022

Property Purchases: Points to consider

hand holding a set of keys

Buying a new home is stressful. Once you have found the right property, you need support to navigate the conveyancing process and miss any hidden rocks.

Here are a few points to help ensure the purchase runs seamlessly.

Finding The Right Solicitor

You need to research your solicitor before instructing them – you need confidence that they can support you. You should always ask the solicitor for a quote at the outset. This should be written and clearly list their services and responsibilities to ensure that there are no hidden fees or unknown costs.

Some solicitors may add items for dealing with tax returns and registration of the property at the Land Registry to the headline fee so remember to compare like with like.

Know What You Are Buying

It is important to find out as much information as possible about the property prior to exchanging contracts and committing to buy. Searches can reveal information which may affect the value of the property or your proposed use or development of it.

The usual searches are:

  • local authority search;
  • water & drainage search; and
  • environmental search.

Ask your solicitor about additional searches.  For example, planning searches give details about the local area and applications to change and develop neighbouring properties.

When purchasing your new home, you need to consider if the house needs any essential work.  A building survey will flag any issues with the condition of the property.

Always double check the Land Registry plan and ensure that the boundaries and features on the ground match those shown on the plan.

“When Will We Be Completing?”

Each purchase is different and timescales are dependent on factors such as:

  • How quickly searches are generated;
  • Is there a mortgage offer in place;
  • How complex are the legal rights and obligations affecting the property; and
  • Is there is a chain of buyers and sellers swapping homes at the same time.

If you have specific requirements or a deadline you need to let all parties know as early as possible.

Remember, completion is not guaranteed until exchange of contracts. Either party can walk away at any time prior to exchange.

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