Purchasing a residential property
- Once your offer has been accepted by the seller, you may instruct us to act on your behalf.
Upon receipt of your instructions, we will send you an instruction pack for your completion and return. This pack will contain all the necessary documents we require from you to start the process.
- We will then investigate the seller’s title, carry out the relevant searches and raise enquiries.
We will conduct a thorough investigation of title to ensure that the seller owns full legal title to the property which can be sold to you free of any encumbrances. We will also obtain the relevant searches: the Local Authority search, water and drainage searches, environmental searches and a chancel check. We will also raise with the seller’s solicitor enquiries on any issues arising from our investigation of title and searches, and also based upon your inspection of the property.
- We will be sent your mortgage offer from your lender, and we will provide you with a summary of its terms.
If you are obtaining a mortgage, you should ensure that your mortgage offer is firmly in place prior to exchange, and we will notify you when we receive your mortgage offer. You should note that, in most cases, as Panel solicitors for most building societies and banks, we will be acting for your lender as well as for you. Acting for both the lender and the purchaser has the benefit of minimising costs and helping to make the process as quick as possible.
- Obtaining a survey
You should arrange to obtain your home-buyer’s report or survey at this stage, if you are not arranging this through your lender or you are not obtaining a mortgage. Please ensure that this takes place before exchange, so that you are fully aware of any issues that might exist surrounding the structure of the property.
- We will provide you with comprehensive reports at every key stage of the transaction.
We will report to you on our investigations throughout the transaction. The reports we will provide to you include a mortgage report, a report on title, a report on the findings of the searches we have commissioned on your behalf, and a report on the enquiries we will have raised with the sellers, and their replies, so that you are kept fully updated and made aware of any legal issues that might impact your ownership of the property.
- We will send the contract documents to you for signature.
Once we are able to do so, we will forward the contract documentation to you for signature. You will be supplied with full details of what to do at that stage, and also the legal implications of each of the documents that you will be required to sign. At this point we will also require your deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) if you do not have a related sale.
- Once we are satisfied that all enquires raised have been dealt with, and any issues outstanding have been resolved, we will then proceed to exchange of contracts.
In order to exchange, all parties in the chain must be ready, and all parties must be in agreement with a proposed completion date. We will not proceed to exchange without your confirmed authority in this regard. Once exchange has taken place, you will be legally bound to buy the property from the seller on the agreed completion date. You will not need to be present for the exchange, as most exchanges take place by telephone.
It is at this stage that we will transfer your deposit to the seller’s solicitor. You should ensure that between exchange and completion there is sufficient time to send any remaining monies to us no later than one working day prior to the proposed completion date. Upon exchange, we will request that your mortgage advance be released from your lender in readiness for completion.
- We will prepare your file for completion.
There is much to do behind the scenes to ensure that completion can take place on the allotted day. This includes drawing down your mortgage monies from your lender, carrying out pre-completion searches, calculating completion statements, and complying with your lender’s pre-completion requirements. You must ensure that you provide us promptly with any balance owed by you, so that we are ready in good time to complete.
- We will then proceed to complete.
Completion day is moving day, and it is considered to have taken place once the completion funds are sent to the seller’s solicitor and the keys are released to us. The timing of this can vary, depending on your position in the chain and the speed of the banking system. We will contact you to confirm once your transaction has completed. The keys are usually provided by the seller to the estate agent on or before the day of completion, and they may then be collected by you unless alternative arrangements are made between the parties prior to exchange.
- We will attend to all post-completion matters and the Land Registry registration requirements.
Upon completion, we will pay your stamp duty and register your property at the Land Registry. You will be notified once the property has been registered in your name, and you will receive copies of all relevant documentation for your records and safe keeping.