Purchasing a new build property is like purchasing any other home, except first you need to reserve a property with a developer. Your future home may well be already built, in the process of being built, or an ‘off plan’ plot within a development. After reserving your plot, or property, with a reservation fee, you will normally have 28 days within which to exchange contracts.
Once the exchange has taken place, you are legally committed to purchase the property. If you have exchanged on a property that has not been finished, you will exchange with completion ‘on notice’, which means the purchase process will take longer to complete. Once the property construction has been completed, notice will be served by the Developer’s conveyancer to us and completion of your home purchase will take place within approximately 5-10 working days.
Whilst we may be one of the preferred conveyancers for several developers, we do not work for them. Each developer has their own conveyancer that deals with their involvement in the sale of a plot.
We are listed as a preferred conveyancer as the developer wants to do their utmost to ensure:
- you receive excellent customer service
- you use a conveyancer that has full knowledge of new build transactions, and
- that the exchange deadlines are met.
A developer’s preferred list details conveyancers they are confident can do this.
When you are purchasing a new build property, you may well end up purchasing ‘off-plan’. Purchasing a home in this way, means you will be purchasing a property that has not been built yet. Although this sounds quite risky, there are advantages to buying ‘off-plan’. You may find you can secure one of the best plots available in advance, be able to have a say on finishes and specifications of your home, as well as potentially receiving incentives towards the purchase.
The downside of purchasing a property ‘off-plan’ is that there might be delays with the build and your home may take longer to complete than expected. With mortgage offers being valid for fixed periods of time, you may need to reapply and secure a new mortgage during the purchase process.
The Process – Simplified
- Liaise with a mortgage broker and get an agreement in principle to ensure affordability.
- Reserve a property with the Developer.
- Receive a list of preferred conveyancers.
- Appoint a conveyancer.
- Developer’s conveyancer sends out Reservation Form.
- Developer’s conveyancer issues Contract.
- Mortgage offer issued (if required).
- Exchange within 28 days of the issue of contracts.
- Completion – this is either a fixed date or once notice is served.
Things to Know
- You need to exchange on your property usually within 28 days of the contract being issued, although this can be less
- If you miss the exchange deadline, the Developer can remarket the property
- A mortgage offer has a shelf life – you will need to renew your offer should this time lapse
Purchasing a New Build Home
- You liaise with a mortgage broker to get an agreement in principle for a mortgage.
- You find a property to purchase, complete a reservation form and pay a reservation fee to secure the property.
- The Developer will supply a list of preferred conveyancers for you to potentially use.
- You instruct New Homes Law as your conveyancer by returning our instruction form including your ID and proof of funds. You will also need to accept our terms and conditions.
- You provide our details to the Developer’s sales office.
- The Developer will send a copy of the reservation form to their conveyancer.
- We will contact the Developer’s conveyancer to confirm we have been instructed by you and to request the draft contract paperwork from them.
We wait for the Developer’s conveyancer to issue the draft contract paperwork to us.
- We receive the draft contract from the Developer’s conveyancer.
- We will order searches and enquiries will be raised in response to the draft contract paperwork.
- Once we have received replies to all the enquiries and we have received the search results, a Contract Report will be prepared for you.
- You will receive your Contract and Contract Report to review, sign and return to us.
- We will receive a copy of your mortgage offer direct from your lender (if applicable).
- We will prepare a mortgage report and send it to you, along with your mortgage deed for signing.
- You will need to return your signed documentation to us.
- We receive all your signed documentation and your exchange deposit is transferred by you to our client account.
- We will then request your authority to exchange contracts with completion either on notice, or with a fixed completion date.
- You will provide us with your authority to exchange contracts.
- We proceed to exchange contracts with the Developer’s conveyancer.
You are now legally committed to your purchase. Failure to complete your purchase could now result in the loss of your exchange deposit, as well as being charged interest and costs.
- We will let you know that your exchange of contracts has happened.
- We wait for notice of completion to arrive from the Developer’s conveyancer if a fixed completion date has not already been set.
At this point of your purchase, everything may go a little quiet whilst we wait for the notice of completion to arrive. The Developer’s site office will contact you just prior to this once the property is approaching completion.
- Once a date for completion has been confirmed, we will send you a Completion Statement confirming the balance required from you.
- We will usually request the mortgage advance from your lender for the day prior to the completion date to prevent delays on the actual completion day (if required).
- We will carry out all of the necessary pre-completion searches.
- We receive all your funds from you and your mortgage lender (if applicable).
- We send the full completion monies due to the Developer’s conveyancer.
- We receive confirmation from the Developer’s conveyancer that the completion funds have been received.
Congratulations, legal completion has taken place. You are now a home owner!
- You will now be able to collect your keys from the Developer.
- We will register your purchase with the Land Registry. The wait time for confirmation of registration from the Land Registry can vary, but will be in the region of 6-9 months.
Your questions answered…
What is completion?
The day you become the legal owner of your property and can collect your keys.
Why should I use a preferred conveyancer?
Most of the developers we work with are rated by their customer service. An element of the developer securing good feedback is the level of customer service a buyer receives from their conveyancer. It is therefore in the developer’s best interest to make sure the conveyancers on their preferred panel have excellent customer service, as well as the experience and ability to work well under pressure.
Being a preferred conveyancer, means we know the development, we’re regularly in contact with the developer’s conveyancer and can take you through the purchasing process with ease.
What does being a preferred conveyancer mean?
Along with other conveyancers, we’ve been chosen by developers due to our experience and our excellent customer service, as well as for being proactive and efficient. It’s important to developers to choose conveyancers for their panel that they are confident can meet the deadlines and timescales of buying a new build property.
What our customers say
- I would definitely recommend New Homes Law. They were all approachable and friendly, and I was comfortable they would be able to deal with my transaction well.
- As a first-time buyer I'd had no experience before; I didn't know the difference between solicitors and conveyancers. But dealing with New Homes Law was easy, convenient and seamless.
- The level of communication from New Homes Law was by far the best I've ever had with any company I've worked with. They were professional and transparent about everything.