Once you have had your offer accepted to buy a property, you will probably want to get the ball rolling with the legal process as soon as possible. We will provide you with a no-obligation fixed fee quotation and a full breakdown of the other legal charges involved (these are often called disbursements). You can obtain a quotation by completing our online form or if you would prefer, by telephoning us.
Once you have accepted our quotation, we will ask you to complete some straightforward initial forms, produce your identification and put us in funds to apply for your search results.
Please note that you agree to buy the property in the condition it is in. The principle, “let the buyer beware” applies. You will have no claim against the seller unless you have asked a specific question and they have given a deliberately misleading answer. Therefore, if you have not already done so you should consider the desirability of a survey.
Searches and Enquiries
By this time, we should have received the draft contract and a copy of the seller’s title deeds from their solicitor to enable us to review the paperwork and raise any appropriate enquiries on your behalf. Once we have received your search results and satisfactory replies to our enquiries from the seller’s solicitor, we will prepare a report on the property for you to read. This will include copies of all of the relevant documents we have received, including a plan of the property and a list of the items which the seller intends to leave when they move out. We will then deal with any questions you may have about the property and our report.
If you require a mortgage to complete your purchase of the property, we will need to review your mortgage offer once we receive this from your mortgage company. They require us to ensure that the property is a sound investment and make a large number of checks on their behalf. We often also have to report various matters to them for approval, before you will be able to exchange contracts.
Signing the Contract and Paying the Deposit
Once we have satisfied your mortgage company’s requirements we will then arrange for you to come to our office and sign the contract documents in readiness for exchange of contracts. At this stage you will also be required to pay us your deposit (where required). Once everybody else in the chain reaches this stage, it is then possible to agree a completion date (a moving date) which is satisfactory to all parties. Exchange of contracts can then take place.
Exchange of Contracts
Exchange of contracts is the date at which you are legally bound to purchase the property. There is no going back from that time on. REMEMBER once a completion date has been arranged by the parties and contracts have been exchanged you will be penalised if you are not in a position to complete. It is important for you to understand that once you have exchanged contracts you must complete on the completion date.
Once the completion date arrives, we will arrange to transfer the purchase money to the seller’s solicitor. We have no control over what time you will obtain the keys to your new property on completion day. This will depend on how many parties there are in the chain, what time we receive your sale money from your buyer’s solicitor (where appropriate) and how quickly the money moves through the banking system. However, as a rule of thumb, the keys tend to be available around lunchtime.
After completion has taken place, we will take steps to register the ownership of your property (and your mortgage, where appropriate) at the Land Registry. A few weeks after you have purchased the property, we will send you a photocopy of your legal title for your records. We will also send any deeds to your mortgage company that they require. Where this is not necessary, or your mortgage company do not require your title deeds, we will store them for you at this office, free of charge.