Buying Your Property
There are two clear milestones in conveyancing:
Exchange of contracts (the seller and buyer become legally committed to the transaction) and Completion (moving day).
As soon as your offer has been accepted, and you have instructed a solicitor, you are ready to proceed with your purchase. The transaction will not be binding at this stage. If you are having a survey, this is the time to instruct your surveyor.
If you are buying with a mortgage, you will need to make a mortgage application. A mortgage broker can help you with this. Once accepted, your mortgage lender will send us the mortgage offer. We will also act for your lender as their legal advisers. Your mortgage offer must be received by us before exchange of contracts can be considered.
Contract Bundle, Enquiries and Searches
The seller’s solicitor will provide a comprehensive pack of information about the property. We will ask additional questions about the property. We will then submit the searches (local search, water and drainage search and environmental search) We will also discuss with you and advise you on any further searches that you should consider.
If you are buying a leasehold property, we will check the lease thoroughly. We will ask the seller’s solicitor to apply to the landlord for a Leasehold Information Pack which will include service charge information, a copy of the buildings insurance policy, copies of accounts etc.
Signing the Contract
Once everything is in place and all enquiries are satisfied, we will arrange for you to sign the contract. We will ask you for deposit monies. This is usually 10% of the purchase price but if you are also selling, we can use the deposit received on your sale to pay the deposit on your purchase.
We will also be sending you a Report about the property you are buying and copies of the search results.
Exchange of Contracts
When all parties are ready, we proceed to exchange of contracts. This is when the transaction becomes binding and neither party can withdraw without serious consequences. The completion date is set on exchange of contracts and will not be changed.
We will start to prepare for completion, by requesting funds from you and your lender, and carrying out pre-completion searches.
We send the purchase monies to the seller’s solicitor and upon receipt they will authorise the estate agent to ‘release’ the keys to you.
After completion we will deal with the payment of stamp duty land tax and registration of your ownership of the property at the Land Registry.
Common Reasons for Delay and Complications
The conveyancing process can be stressful and it is really helpful to be aware of some common reasons for delays and complications:
- Legal – there can be issues with the ‘legal’ papers, such as a defect in the seller’s title or an adverse search result. Some properties may have issues with adequate legal rights or access to and from the public highway or a lack of planning permission or building regulations for work carried out by the current or previous owners of the property. Sometimes resolving these issues requires third party involvement, such as the Land Registry, search providers or legal indemnity insurance companies.
- Search results – different search providers have varying turnaround times for supplying search results and in busy periods this can result in some delays.
- Mortgage offer – your lender will not issue the mortgage offer until it is satisfied with your application and the mortgage valuation. Sometimes we have to make a ‘disclosure’ to your lender about a legal issue and wait for their confirmation to proceed.
- Chains – there may be several people buying and selling properties in the chain. Everyone needs to be ready to exchange at the same time and agree a completion date. Each party may have their own preferences and restrictions such as work commitments, holidays, funds, school dates etc. It is important to remain as flexible as possible.
At Spurlings we operate a transparent pricing policy and we have set out below an indication of our fees for our most common services:-
Residential sales and purchases
Freehold up to £500,000.00 = £875.00
Leasehold up to £500,000.00 = £975.00.
Freehold over £500,000.00 = £1,000.00
Leasehold over £500,000.00 = £1,200.00
In addition to our fees the following disbursements will be payable on a purchase:
Land Registry fees
Stamp Duty Land Tax fee
The exact cost of these disbursements will depend on the price of the property and we will discuss this with you at the beginning of the transaction
Over £1,000,000.00 = £1,500.00
£500.00 – £600.00
Please note that the above costs are for guidance only and are subject to final instructions and VAT. There may be extra costs if you are purchasing with the assistance of Help to Buy.
Spurlings is committed to providing a professional and high-quality service at all times. Any expression of dissatisfaction about our service will be taken very seriously.
Buying and selling property clearly requires careful management of your personal finances, however, we advise against choosing a solicitor based on cost alone and recommend that you also consider experience, recommendations and professional standards.
Our legal fees are based on the following:-
• Time spent on reading and preparing documents, correspondence, meetings and phone calls.
• Specialist experience, knowledge and skills.
• Difficulty and legal complexity and value of the property or Estate.
Further information is set out in our Terms and Conditions.