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This article was published on January 29th, 2020
Identifying your dream home is an exciting prospect and planning to purchase a property is one of the biggest decisions you are likely to make in your lifetime. Here at Thorneycroft Solicitors, our team of conveyancing experts will do all they can to ensure the purchasing process runs as smooth as possible so that you can get moving and settled into your new home.
We understand that sometimes the conveyancing process and the legal obligations that come with the purchase of a property can be frustrating, that’s why we’ve put together this guide to help ensure you understand the process fully, allowing you to focus fully on organising yourself for your move.
When you instruct us to act on your behalf, we will initially contact you to explain the conveyancing process to you fully, and a member of our Conveyancing team will set out your responsibilities during the process as well as explaining the actions our team will take on your behalf to ensure your purchase is completed.
If you’re in doubt about any stage of the process you should always consult your conveyancing solicitor
Once you’ve instructed us to act on your behalf, our Conveyancing Team will send you a welcome pack, which will contain information about the conveyancing process as well as your contract papers and Terms of Business. You’ll need to read through the documents, sign them if you’re happy to proceed, and send them back to us.
The next stage will see a member of our team chase the seller’s conveyancing solicitor for the legal papers relating to the property you want to purchase.
The documents usually contain the title deeds to the property as well as the answers to any enquiries that have been made. Once we receive the papers from the seller’s solicitor, we’ll check through the contract and begin the conveyancing searches, these searches include:
Local Authority Search – These searches check whether or not there have been planning applications made for the property, as well as enquiring about the possibility of any roadworks are due to take place near the property.
Environmental Search – This search checks for any potential damage that the environment may cause to the property, e.g. flooding or contaminated land.
Coal Authority Search – This search checks for any potential dangers to the property relating to previous coal mining activity
Drainage Search – This search checks whether the property has access to mains drainage and water facilities.
As well as the conveyancing searches you should also consider organising a buyer’s report or a full structural survey to ascertain the condition of the property and help you decide whether essential repairs are needed. Carrying out a survey could potentially save you money in the long run as you will be liable for any repairs once you have exchanged contracts with the seller and finalised the sale.
After we’ve received the results of the searches and surveys, we will compile a report including any contract papers our team has received from the seller’s solicitor as well as details about what will be left at the property as well as any restrictions that the title deeds may impose.
At this point, you will have the opportunity to discuss any issue arising from the report with a member of our team.
Once you are happy with the report we will check that you have the correct finances in place to purchase the property. This will either mean ensuring you have given our team a copy of the mortgage offer supplied to you or demonstrating that you have enough private means to allow you to purchase the property without one.
Once you are happy that the mortgage is in place, all your enquiries about the property have been answered to your satisfaction and you are ready to proceed, your solicitor will need you to sign the contract and mortgage documents. You’ll also need to transfer your deposit into your solicitor’s bank account so that the exchange process can run as smooth as possible. You will then agree on a move in date with the seller and a completion date will be set for all parties involved.
It is at this stage of the process that you will exchange contracts with the seller. This process can sometimes be longer if there are several people in the chain of purchase as all parties will need to reach this point in the conveyancing process before contracts can be exchanged.
The exchange is carried out over the phone between the solicitors representing each party. Once the exchange has been made, the deal for the purchase of the property will be legally binding and the property will be your responsibility and if either party tries to back out of the deal at this point, they can face significant penalties.
In order to protect your new property, it’s a good idea to arrange building and contents insurance to cover the property from the date the exchanging of contracts will take place.
Before your moving in date, otherwise known as your completion date, we will request mortgage funds and carry out Land Registry searches to make sure the seller hasn’t added anything to the title deeds that may not have been evident previously. We will also consult with you a few days before you move to make sure you have everything in place and assist you where possible.
On the date of completion, we will receive the money from you – the buyer, and transfer the remaining monies of the purchase price to the seller’s solicitor.
The seller’s solicitor will then inform the estate agent to release the keys and we will get in touch with you to notify you that you can collect the keys to your new home from the estate agents.
Once you’ve settled into your new home and you’ve started sifting through the boxes and organising your rooms and making the house your home, there are still legal matters which need to be addressed.
Following the completion of your purchase, a member of our conveyancing team will pay your stamp duty and register your ownership of the property with the Land Registry. This process can take between 4-8 weeks to complete.
Our conveyancing team is led by Christine McClenaghan who is the Head of Residential and New Build Conveyancing at Thorneycroft Solicitors. She has over 20 years experience in the conveyancing sector and both she and her team have a long history of providing an outstanding service to those looking to purchase a property.
If you’re in need of a reliable and efficient conveyancing team to assist you with your property purchase, our team would love to help.
Please our team today by calling 0330 058 0118 or complete our online enquiry form by clicking here and our team will get in touch with you at a more suitable time for you.