You have decided that you want to buy a house. Even better, you have even found the house of your dreams and have made up your mind about buying it. What comes next? The next step to take would be to hire a conveyancer or solicitor so they can handle the purchase for you. If you are intimidated by the prospect of allowing someone else to handle what may be the biggest investment of your life, have no fear. This article takes you through the entire process of conveyancing, so you know exactly what to expect, each step of the way.
Your solicitor will draw up a contract or terms of engagement with you, setting out their charges and deposits required. They will also write to the seller’s lawyers to say they are instructed and request a copy of the draft contract and any other details, such as the property’s title and the standard forms.
Your conveyancer or solicitor will go over the draft contract and discuss it with you. Let the solicitor know if you have any queries or concerns. He or she will also conduct property searches. This is to ensure there are no factors you should be aware of. Some searches will be recommended by the solicitor for all purchases and others will be required by the mortgage lender to protect them from any liabilities that the property may have. These include local authority searches, title plans, flooding risk, water authority searches and repair searches. Moreover, sometimes extra searches are required or recommended depending on the location or type of property or due to particular concerns raised by the buyer.
You will also have to get your mortgage in order. For example, you must ensure that you have sufficient finances for the transaction/ for the mortgage deposit. Your solicitor will also receive a copy of the offer and go through the conditions. Furthermore, you will need to get a mortgage valuation. This is carried out on behalf of the mortgage company so they know that the property provides sufficient security for the loan. Although it is normal for the client to pay for it; the company may also pay it off for customer goodwill. After this, you may want to get some other necessary surveys done. The choice is entirely yours and depends on your circumstances. Before you exchange contracts, your lender will require you to get Buildings Insurance for your new home. As you are responsible for the property as soon as contracts have been exchanged, it will benefit you in the long run.
Before you sign the contracts, make sure that all your queries and questions have been answered satisfactorily. Moreover, check that all the fixtures and attachments in the house are where they are supposed to be. During the exchange of contracts, you will have to agree on a date of completion with the the sellers. Also, you should make sure that you have made arrangements to transfer the deposit into your solicitor’s account so that it is cleared in time for an exchange. You may want to negotiate on the size of the deposit, which is normally 10% of the value of the property. Your solicitor will exchange contracts for you. Once you have exchanged contracts you will be in a legally binding contract to buy the property with a fixed date for moving.
After the exchange, your conveyancer will file an interest in the property, allowing the deeds to be frozen for 30 working days. This is so that you can pay up the seller and then transfer the deeds to your name.The solicitor will send you a statement showing the final figure to pay, which will have to be cleared into your solicitor’s bank account at least one day before completion. You should start planning to move into the home. Completion takes place when the seller’s solicitor confirms that they have received payment for the property. Once this happens, the sellers will hand over the keys and you can move in.