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Buying a house

Conveyancing - Buying a House

  1. Once the seller accepts your offer of purchase, you need to exchange solicitors details with them.
  2. Inform your solicitor that a sale has been agreed and give them the seller's solicitors details. Your estate agent will then contact the seller's solicitor
  3. Your solicitor will receive the draft contract. This contains details of prices, deposits, details of the two parties involved in the sale and information from the deeds of the property being sold.
  4. Your solicitor will now make pre-contract enquiries
  5. Your solicitor should now send you a property information form, or a draft contract for you to review. The property information form contains key property information. If your solicitor has sent you a property information form, they will often also include copies of any previous title deeds, as well as a fixtures and fittings form detailing anything in the property you are purchasing that are included in the price, and which items will be removed.
  6. Your solicitor will carry out searches relating to your property such as local authority searches to ensure there are no plans for any new major roads or buildings near to the property.
  7. Your solicitor will also carry out additional searches. These include standard information being requested from your local water authority and may also include regional specific searches such as coal mining.
  8. Your solicitor will check the title of the property, ensuring that the seller really owns the property and has the right to sell it.
  9. Your solicitor will send a standard set of enquiries to the seller's solicitor requesting information on:
    • Any disputes relating to the property
    • Planning constraints on the property
    • Any planning permission existing for the property
    • Where the boundaries of the property are
    • Identify any rights of way through the property
    • Any restrictive covenants on the property, e.g. no multiple occupation
  10. Your solicitor will check the details in the draft contract, and negotiate changes to it with the seller's solicitor as necessary. This will include any issues you have raised as a result of reviewing the draft contract for yourself.
  11. The contract is negotiated and agreed. A completion date is agreed
  12. If you are taking out a mortgage to purchase the property, you will now get a formal mortgage offer (rather than an agreement in principle).
  13. Contracts are exchanged. You hand over a deposit which is non-refundable if you pull out of the purchase.
  14. Your solicitor draws up a transfer document and sends it to the seller's solicitor
  15. If you have taken out a mortgage, your solicitor arranges finalisation and signing of your mortgage documents
  16. Your solicitor carries out final searches and enquiries to make sure that nothing is registered against the seller. Problems such as undisclosed mortgages or disputes could be uncovered at this stage.
  17. At this stage you need to ensure that all the practical matters related to moving house are in hand.
  18. On completion day you can move into your new property. The seller will be paid the balance of the house purchase through your solicitors
  19. You receive the transfer document and the title deeds
  20. You any outstanding costs, such as stamp duty (if applicable), Land Registry fees and your solicitor fees
  21. Your solicitor will register the transfer of ownership of the property at the Land Registry
  22. Your solicitor will send you a statement of completion