How long will it take?
The gov.uk website currently states that buying or selling a home normally takes 2 to 3 months. The process can take longer if you are part of a chain of buyers and sellers.
How much will it all cost?
Our legal fees are fixed (where possible) plus any disbursements and we will provide you with a quotation before you confirm your instructions to us. If you are selling you will also have to pay any estate agents fees. If you are purchasing you may also have to pay a lenders arrangement fee and your own survey fee. For an indication of our charges please see our Pricing information.
When should I apply for a mortgage?
It is best to do some initial research before viewing properties as there are many types of mortgages available and you will need to determine which one is right for you. Most mortgage companies will give an “in principle” offer before you decide on a particular property. As soon as you have an offer accepted on a property you will need to contact your chosen lender and provide them with the details so that they can carry out the necessary steps to then provide you with a mortgage offer.
What is the difference between ‘exchange’ and ‘completion’?
Exchange of contracts is the point at which the seller and the buyer commit themselves unconditionally to the transaction and at this point the completion date is agreed and becomes part of the contract.
Completion is when you vacate your old property and move into your new one. This takes place on the completion date previously agreed at the time of exchange and on receipt of the balance of funds due from the buyer.
When must I insure the property?
The contract usually provides that you insure the property on exchange of contract.
Do I need to pay a deposit when I exchange contracts?
The contract provides for a deposit of 10% of the purchase price to be paid on exchange of contracts. If you are selling and buying the deposit you receive from your buyer will be passed on as part of your deposit for the property you are purchasing but you will need to provide the difference to reach the full 10%. A lower deposit can be negotiated particularly if you are borrowing 95% of the purchase price from your lender.
Can the same Conveyancer act for the Seller and the Buyer?
No. However the same firm of Conveyancers can act for the seller and buyer providing different partners act for each one and there is no conflict of interest.
When do I have to vacate the property I am selling?
You must vacate the property you are selling on the day of completion and remove all your belongings. If you leave anything at the property that you did not agree with the buyers to leave, you may be charged for their disposal.
When do I pay the estate agents fees?
Estate agents fees are normally paid on the completion date. It is usual for your Conveyancer to settle these fees on your behalf having received confirmation from you that you agree the figures.
Why have I been asked to provide proof of identification?
Conveyancers are required by lenders to check the identity of their borrowers for them to protect themselves against fraud or money laundering.
Do I need to have a survey?
If you are taking out a mortgage your lender will arrange a valuation but this is not a survey. It is recommended that you have your own independent survey carried out for your own peace of mind.
Can I let the property?
If you are taking out a mortgage you will need the consent of the lender to let out your property. If you are purchasing a leasehold property you must check the terms of the lease to ensure that letting is permitted.