Buying or selling your home? Here’s what you need to know…

Morrish SolicitorsProperty, Site News, UncategorisedLeave a Comment

How long will my sale/purchase take?

It is difficult to put a precise timescale on a conveyancing transaction. In general we would say somewhere between 4-6 weeks. However, this is dependent on a number of outside factors. Some lenders take a while to issue mortgage offers. Sometimes there can be problems with the legal title to the property which need to be sorted out before we can proceed. Sale and purchase of leasehold properties generally take a little longer, because in addition to dealing with the seller/buyer’s solicitor, we will also have to correspond closely with the landlord/management company.

Why do I need a solicitor?

The conveyancing process is a complex one. If you are buying, and having a mortgage, then your lender will insist that you instruct a solicitor to act. Even if you are purchasing for cash, consider that you will need to recognise any legal defects in the title to the house you are buying, you will need to know which searches to apply for, and you will need to know how to pay your Stamp Duty and register the property at the Land Registry.

You may also find that seller’s solicitors refuse to accept money directly from you, because of money laundering considerations.

If you are selling, then most buyers’ solicitors will want you to also be legally represented. You will also find that a buyer’s solicitor will not send completion monies directly to you, but will insist that all monies go through a solicitors client account. They will also require a solicitor’s undertaking that any existing mortgage will be repaid.

Do I need a survey?

We would always advise a Buyer to have a survey, to ensure that you are fully aware of any physical problems with the property before you commit to a purchase. There is no obligation on the Seller to disclose any physical defects. Similarly, unless up to date gas and electrical safety certificates are available, we would advise having the central heating/boiler, and electrical systems checked by a competent professional before exchange of contracts.

If you are having a mortgage, then your lender will arrange for a valuation to be carried out. This is not a survey. It is simply designed to establish that the property is sufficient security for the loan.

What searches should I have?

If you are buying with the aid of a mortgage, your lender will require you to have a full set of searches carried out. At the present time, this includes a Local Authority search, Water and Drainage Search, Environmental Search, Chancel Repair search, and depending on where you are buying, possibly a Coal Mining search (required for the Leeds area). If the property is in an area affected by flooding, you may also need to have a flood search carried out.

If you are not taking out a mortgage, then it is up to you which searches to have done, but again, we would always advise a prudent buyer to have a full set of searches done. Forewarned is forearmed!

When do I need to insure my new house?

If you are buying a house, the Law Society’s standard conditions of sale state that the property is at the Buyer’s risk from exchange of contracts, rather than completion. You will therefore need to insure your new house from exchange. If you are buying with a mortgage, your conveyancer will need to check that you have adequate insurance in place before they can exchange. This is to comply with the lender’s requirements.

Can I complete on a Saturday?

No. Completion must take place on a working week day, when the banks and solicitors offices are open.

Do I have to complete my sale and purchase on the same day?

Assuming that you are moving out of your sale property and straight into your purchase property, then yes. This is because once your buyers have paid over the money from the sale, the house belongs to them and you are no longer entitled to remain there.

Where do I get the keys from?

Generally, you will collect the keys from the estate agent, although there is nothing to prevent a buyer and seller from making their own arrangements regarding the keys.

Do I have to repay my mortgage?

If you are selling your property, and you have a mortgage secured against it, then yes, you have to repay the mortgage on completion of the sale. This is because the mortgage is secured against the property by way of a legal charge at the Land Registry, which will need to be removed in order for the buyer to register his/her purchase and mortgage. Your conveyancer will repay the mortgage from the sale proceeds on completion of the sale.

Can I keep my deeds?

If you are selling your house, then you do really need to hand your deeds over to your conveyancer. If the property is registered at the Land Registry, and the old deeds are of particular significance to you, then you may be able to keep them. If the property is not yet registered at the Land Registry then the deeds will have to go to the Buyers.








Leave a Reply