Portcullis Property Lawyers

Traditional Values with a Modern Approach

steps to buying a property

The actual process of buying is like a  jigsaw puzzle made up of various pieces which all need to be joined up properly before it is completed. Whilst the process is quite straightforward, not all the pieces may fit together. In any property transaction  the knack  is putting it all together  and making it work as smoothly as possible  whilst taking into account the circumstances of those involved in any chain and any issues which may arise. The stress is normally due to not being in control of the situation and  being in the hands of other people especially as  no one is committed to buying or selling a property until exchange of contracts takes place. We will guide you through the process, be available for you and  give a realistic appraisal of the situation at any time.

  • Before you start - Work out your finance. See a mortgage adviser and check that you can comply with the requirements of any mortgagee. If you are dependent upon the sale of  your own property then you are going to be involved in a chain. If you need funding from a relative then sort out the basis of the borrowing before you start.
  • Making an offer - Once you have found your property you need to negotiate the price, what is included in the purchase price and discuss timing. You may be asked to put down a preliminary deposit as a sign of "good faith" especially if it is a new build or there is a lot of interest in the property or  the seller does not want to remove the property from the market. Offering to buy a property is simply the start of the process, there is no commitment until exchange of contracts and  some sellers are not prepared to remove their property from the market.  If you are asked to pay a holding or preliminary deposit get in contact with us. Any preliminary deposit should be for a relatively nominal amount, be held as stakeholders,  "subject to contract" and preferably refundable.
  • Once an offer has been accepted the agent will write to the buyer and the seller and their respective solicitors with details of what has been agreed and  an indication of timing.
  • You need to arrange your mortgage and  survey
  • Receiving the paperwork: We will receive the preliminary paperwork from the sellers solicitors which is usually a draft contract, details of the sellers title, details of fixtures and fittings and  some  general information about the property. We let you know when this paperwork is received and normally send you a plan of the property on which the searches will be based .
  • Checking the property : This is the due diligence or enquiry stage. We check the title, carry out searches on the property, deal with any points raised by your surveyor and deal with any issues relating to the property.
  • Reviewing the paperwork: Once your  mortgage offer is  received ,  we go through the  paperwork again sending a written report to you if we have not already done so, with a view to proceeding to an exchange of contracts or setting out any outstanding issues. If your mortgagees are separately represented we will  make ensure the appropriate paperwork is put in place to meet their requirements
  • Getting ready to exchange :  If you are ready to proceed to an exchange we will send the contract to you for signature and request the deposit which is normally 10%  of the purchase price but can sometimes be less. A completion date being the removal date is agreed
  • Exchange of contracts: The seller signs an identical contract to the one you are signing and the matter proceeds to an exchange  of contracts which normally happens by telephone between each parties solicitors. This is the most important part of the transaction as at that stage each party is committed to the sale and purchase and have agreed to complete
  • Post exchange:  If  you are obtaining a mortgage we will report direct to your mortgagee or their solicitors if they are seperately represented. We put in hand certain searches against the title which will protect you until your purchase is completed. We arrange for any documents to be signed in preparation of completion and for  you to let us have any balancing monies required to complete your purchase so that we have cleared funds at least one day prior to completion
  • On the completion date we send the monies to your sellers solicitors, the timing very much depends on the extent of the chain and the banks systems  but it does take a few hours for the monies to be transferred from one bank to another. The contract normally provides that the monies should arrive by  1.00pm. Once the monies have been received by the sellers solicitors the transaction can be completed and the keys released to you
  • Following completion we pay any stamp duty land tax and arrange registration of your title at the Land Registry and send a copy to you once registration has been completed

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Portcullis Property Lawyers
Suite 11
Dukes House
5-6 High Street
Windsor
SL4 1LD

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Phone: 01753 621610

Fax: 01753 621550

E-mail: advice@portcullispropertylawyers.co.uk

Website: www.portcullispropertylawyers.co.uk