Buying a home can be one of the most important purchases you will make. Looking for properties is the fun part, but when you start going through the process of purchasing a property everything can become a bit daunting and overwhelming. At New Homes Law, we aim to make this process as simple and straightforward as possible, by supporting you through the process.
The average transaction can take between 8-12 weeks; however this timeframe can shorten or extend for a number of different reasons.
When purchasing a residential property, you will usually find there is a chain of properties being bought and sold. Everyone in a chain needs to exchange and complete at the same time. This can mean that your transaction may take longer than the expected 8-12 weeks as each party could be working to a different timescale. Therefore it is always advisable to discuss with your Estate Agent if you have a specific timetable to work to.
Purchasing a Leasehold Property
If you are purchasing a leasehold property, there are some additional pieces of information to be collated prior to an exchange taking place. It is important that you inform us if you are, or think you are, purchasing a leasehold property. We will need to get a Management Pack, from the management company and landlord, through your seller’s conveyancer.
The Management Pack will include:
- their accounts for the past three years
- building insurance
- how the property/building is managed
- fire risk assessment
- any future planned works
Offer Accepted – What is Next?
Your offer has been accepted on a property, so you will now need to choose a conveyancer to deal with the sale on your behalf.
You will receive a draft contract from the seller’s conveyancer, that you will negotiate via your conveyancer to agree the terms. This normally includes the length of time between exchange and completion (this is usually 7-28 days after the exchange of contracts), what fixtures and fittings will be included and any discrepancies highlighted during your survey.
Exchange & Completion
The next step is to exchange contracts which means you are legally committed to purchase the property, and the seller is legally committed to sell the property to you too. If you change your mind after this point, you could incur additional costs.
Completion refers to the final stage of the purchasing process when the property changes ownership, you pay for the property and receive the keys. Your completion date will take place on a previously agreed date. As your conveyancer, we would deal with this whole process, and register the transfer of ownership with the Land Registry.
The Process – Simplified
- Liaise with a mortgage broker and get an agreement in principle.
- Appoint a conveyancer.
- Memorandum of Sale – sent by Estate Agent.
- Contract Issued – sent by seller’s conveyancer.
Things to Know
- In a chain, all parties need to exchange on the same day with an agreed completion date.
- The average transaction lasts between 8-12 weeks.
- Leasehold properties require additional information from the management company.
Buying a Property
- You liaise with a mortgage broker to get an agreement in principle for a mortgage.
- Your offer is accepted on a property.
- You instruct New Homes Law as your conveyancer and provide your ID and proof of funds.
- You pass our details to the Estate Agent.
- The Estate Agent will issue a Memorandum of sale to us and the seller’s conveyancer.
- We will send a letter to confirm our instruction by you to the seller’s conveyancer requesting the draft contract paperwork.
We wait for the seller’s conveyancer to issue your draft contract to us.
- We receive the draft contract from the seller’s conveyancer.
- We will order searches and enquiries will be raised in response to the draft contract.
- Once we have received replies to all the enquiries and we have completed the searches, a Contract Report will be prepared for you.
- You will receive your Contract Report to review, sign and return to us.
- Your lender will send us a copy of your mortgage offer.
- We will prepare a mortgage report and send it to you, along with your mortgage deed to sign and return to us.
- We receive all of your signed documentation and your exchange deposit from you.
- We will request your authority to exchange contracts with a fixed completion date.
- You will give us the authority to exchange contracts.
- You will need to ensure you have home insurance in effect from the date of exchange.
- We will exchange contracts with the seller’s conveyancer.
You are now legally committed to your purchase. Failure to complete your purchase could result in the loss of your exchange deposit, as well as incurring additional costs under the terms of the contract.
- We will let you know that your exchange of contracts has happened.
It usually takes at least one week in between exchange and completion as mortgage lenders require at least five working days’ notice to draw down the mortgage advance.
- We will send you a Completion Statement confirming the balance required from you.
- We will request the mortgage advance from your lender for the completion date.
- We will carry out all the necessary pre-completion searches.
- We will receive all of your funds from you and your mortgage lender.
- We will send the full completion funds to the seller’s conveyancer.
- We will receive confirmation from the seller’s conveyancer that the completion funds have been received.
Congratulations, legal completion has taken place. You are now a home owner!
- You will be able to collect your keys from the Estate Agent.
- 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.
What our customers say
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.