Buying a Property Solicitors Liverpool & London
Although the precise details will vary according to the type of property you are buying and where it is located, the following is an example of the main steps that we will take when acting for you.
The Property Buying Process
There are essentially three main stages to the legal process of purchasing a property:
- Pre-contract stage – that is to say what we need to do before you commit to purchasing the property
- Pre-completion stage – in other words what we need to do in order to put the property legally in your name
- Post-completion stage – finishing off the things that need doing after you have moved in
We will, of course, ensure throughout the transaction that you know what is happening and when things need to be done by you.
- The starting point is for you to instruct us to act on your behalf in connection with your purchase. You should do this as soon as possible after finding a house you want to buy. We will then obtain your details and the details of the property you are purchasing, find out from you any arrangements you have made for a mortgage to assist with the purchase and whether your purchase is dependent upon a related sale. By law, we will also need to ask you to provide us with evidence of your identity so that we can comply with the strict money-laundering duties that apply.
- Next, we will contact the solicitor or conveyancer acting for the person selling the house and obtain from them the various contract papers including the draft contract, evidence that the seller owns the property and copies of any other relevant papers such as planning consents, proof of rights of way and so forth.
- We will also ask questions of any other organisations who might hold relevant information about your property. These are usually referred to as searches and will cover things such as the utilities that affect the property, planning, issues that could affect the property such as mining, flooding or subsidence and checks to make sure that sellers are not bankrupt. The searches we make will depend upon where in the country the property is located. We will need to pay for these searches and so we will ask you for an upfront payment. The precise amount will depend upon the searches needed.
- We will then check all of the documents and searches and if there is anything which we are not happy with, or insufficient information has been supplied, we will raise what are known as pre-contract enquiries of the sellers so that potential issues can be resolved before you commit to buying the property.
- If you are obtaining a mortgage, not only will we help you to make sure that it meets with your needs, but we will also in most cases represent the mortgagee – who has an interest in ensuring that the property you purchase provides adequate security for any loan you receive.
- When, and only when, we are happy that the property you are proposing to buy is satisfactory from a legal standpoint, and you are happy to go ahead, will we get you to sign the contract and then “exchange contracts” – in other words enter into a binding agreement on your behalf to purchase the property. The timing of this might be dependent upon any related sale that you have or on the ability of the person you are buying from to exchange on their related purchase.
- It is usual to agree at exchange of contracts the date upon which the purchase will be completed – i.e.when the property becomes yours – known as the “completion date”.
- It is also usual for a deposit to be paid by you on exchange of contracts. Normally this will be 10% of the purchase price, although it is not uncommon – especially when buying from a developer, for a lesser sum to be agreed. The deposit is a way of showing that you intend to go ahead with the purchase and will be forfeited if you pull out of the transaction after contracts have been exchanged.
- Once we have exchanged the contracts, we will start to deal with the final work leading up to the completion of your purchase.
- This will include drafting the purchase deed and getting the seller’s solicitor to approve it, sorting out the mortgage documents if any, undertaking any final searches – for example Land Registry searches – and making sure that everyone else in the transaction is ready to proceed.
- When the documents are all agreed we will get you to sign them in readiness for completion.
- We will work out the final details of the finances and get in the balance of money which we need to complete the purchase. This may come in part from you and in part from the mortgagee. It will include any other payments we still need to make such as the land registration fee and any stamp duty land tax.
- On the day fixed for completion we will, provided everything else is in order, transfer the balance of purchase money to the seller’s solicitor and receive from them the deeds and documents relating to the property. We will liaise with you over this so that you can make appropriate arrangements to get the keys to the property and move in. Please bear in mind that until such time as the money is received by the seller that you will not be able to move into the property – even if you are sat outside of it with your removals van!
- After completion has taken place we will deal with any final paperwork and arrange for the payment of the stamp duty land tax.
- Once the tax is paid we will arrange for your title to the property to be registered at the land Registry.
- When registration is complete we will then deal with the documents appropriately. If you have purchased the property with the help of a mortgage then the documents will be sent to the mortgagee as their security for the loan to you. If you have purchased the property without the assistance of the mortgage then we will send the deeds to you or retain them in our strong room on your behalf if you wish us to do so.
Contact our Residential Conveyancing Solicitors Liverpool & London
Contact our conveyancing lawyers in London & Liverpool today If you’re thinking of buying or selling your home, we can help. For advice about all areas of property law, please get in touch with a member of our specialist team.