Step-by-step guide to buying a new house
Date online: 29/11/2021
Kitsa Efthymiadis, a partner at Molesworths Bright Clegg Solicitors, explains the process of purchasing a new property.
Many people find the prospect of getting onto the property ladder both exciting and daunting.
We hope that this guide will set buyers on the right path to their new home, and enable sellers to understand the process too.
The conveyancing process begins as soon as a price is agreed, and usually involves estate agents, surveyors, and lenders. Central to all of this is the legal work, which is undertaken by conveyancers (who can be solicitors, licensed conveyancers or paralegals).
It is important to choose a conveyancer who has the necessary property expertise to identify and address any problems which may arise, and whose team knows how to communicate any issues clearly.
Once the price has been agreed, it is time to arrange your mortgage (if you need one), and consider having a survey, in case there are any structural problems.
A lender will arrange a valuation, but that is mainly for your lender’s benefit and is not the same as an actual survey.
Once instructed, your conveyancer will undertake various ID checks and request a contract pack from the seller’s conveyancer. The contract pack will include the draft contract, copies of the title deeds and various property information forms.
On receipt of the contract pack your conveyancer can begin the title investigation, the most important part of the process. This entails gathering and analysing information and will involve various searches, and scrutiny of the title deeds, as well as any necessary ‘pre-contract’ enquiries arising from the paperwork.
These searches and enquiries can often take several weeks, and will need to be completed and approved before you proceed further
Once their enquiries are complete, and any required mortgage offer has been received, a diligent conveyancer will prepare a written Report on Title telling you everything they have found out about the property. If you are happy with the report you will be asked to sign your copy of the contract, in readiness for the next stage, namely exchange of contracts.
Exchange is when the buyer and seller both become committed to proceeding with the transaction, and when a completion date is fixed. You will have to pay your deposit, and your conveyancer will order your mortgage advance. Exchange and completion can take place on the same day, but generally there is an interval between the two.
Completion is the day on which you become the new owner and can finally celebrate and enjoy your new home whilst your conveyancer pays any Stamp Duty Land Tax and registers your purchase at the Land Registry.
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.