Buying a Property
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or someone with an extensive property portfolio, buying a house can be stressful – but It doesn’t need to be. Through the use of our well-developed process, we help to ensure that our clients have a stress-free experience when buying property.
The first step once you have instructed your solicitor will be for them to request documents for the seller’s solicitor. This will include the draft contract and a copy of the title documents and anything else relevant. Once these documents are received, they will be examined in detail to ensure that there are no problems. We’ll be looking for any irregularities with areas such as planning or boundaries. Once we’re satisfied with our examination, we’ll consult with you to make sure you are satisfied as well.
Local Authority Searches
One of the most important searches will be the local authority search. This is, what it sounds like, a check against local authority records for any information that involves the property. It will include prospective plans that could affect the property, such as other developments. It’ll also include information on who is responsible for maintenance in the area of the property, for roads and walkways. These searches can take anywhere from one to six weeks with the cost varying depending on the local authority.
Land Registry Searches
It needs to be proven that the person selling the property is the legal owner. This is done by checking the Land Registry. This search is a legal requirement for the sale to proceed.
You’ll want to know if the environment surrounding your property, and underneath your property, is appropriate and free from any contamination. We’ll be checking the results of this search for any evidence that the property is at risk of flooding or that it is near contaminated water or land.
It’s important to do this as if these searches aren’t performed, or not performed correctly, you could find yourself with a property that is hazardous to your health and impossible to sell.
Water Authority Searches
You need to know the water source for your property and if any public drains are present on the property. The presence of public drains could cause problems getting planning permission for building work you might want to carry out, making it important to know before you buy.
Area Specific Searches
If the property you are buying is built in an area that was once used for mining, then carrying out a mining search could be beneficial. This will establish if the property is at risk of subsidence due to being built on unstable ground.
Chanel Repair Searches
It’s possible that your property carries with it a historical obligation, passed from the middle ages, to pay for church repairs. In order to guard against this possibility a chancel repair search can be performed – so you are aware prior to purchasing. This is made possible by a 2013 law change which mandated lodging of liability by the church with the Land Registry. It’s also an option to take out chancel repair insurance.
It’s important to have the property you’re buying surveyed prior to exchanging contracts. A survey will check for any potential large repair requirements or structural problems. We’ll be able to advise you on what we believe is appropriate for the property in question.
Signing & Exchanging Contracts
Once all necessary searches and surveys have been completed and the contract is finalised, and you’re satisfied your solicitor will provide you with a contract to sign. Following this, your solicitor will exchange contracts on your behalf with the seller’s solicitor. This is the point where the deposit will need to be transferred to the seller’s solicitor and the point where you are legally bound by the contract.
The outstanding balance will be transferred to the seller’s solicitor and ownership will be legally transferred to you. This is achieved through a Transfer Deed, payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax and sending the necessary documents to the Land Registry. Additionally, it will be necessary to perform final searches, such as against bankruptcies and existing mortgages. All that is left aside from this is for you to move into your new home.
Arthur Jackson & Co Solicitors will only use your information for the purposes of your enquiry.