Spring is now upon us and we just have come through the end of the cold winter and peoples’ thoughts are turning to their property purchase in the new season.
We thought that we would bring together some top tips based on our experiences of acting for clients in the property market for over 19 years.
The central part of the initial conveyancing process is knowing your client and conducting identity checks. We normally will need a valid passport or driving licence and a utility bill, no older than one month, as proof of address. It is important also to have funds available by way of deposit in a UK bank account as complications can arise if the deposit is held outside the UK where further money laundering checks may be involved.
It is rare that we would accept payment in relation to a property conveyancing transaction from a third party and we would need to make enquiries as to the connection between third-party funds and the Buyer. So it is best to have your own funds available to avoid delays.
A property purchase is easily one of the largest transactions that people make in their lifetime and for such a high value asset, a survey is essential. If you are buying the property by way of a mortgage, then the mortgage company will provide a basic mortgage valuation. This valuation report will highlight some issues in relation to the property, but generally does not go into detail and we would recommend either a home buyer’s report or a full structural survey. The home buyer’s report is an acceptable midway report, which will highlight main areas of problems, whilst a structural survey goes into far greater detail.
Generally speaking, if you are buying a house it will be on a freehold title absolute basis. Usually problems arise with a freehold property in relation to unauthorised extensions and issues that relate to rights of way or maybe access to highways. It is always good to ask the estate agent whether they know of any problems in relation to the property, for example a neighbour issue.
If your property purchase is a flat, then the property will be a leasehold transaction. Again we would be looking for leasehold title absolute. Points to look out for are excessive service charges, whether the management of the building is sound and in good hands. We would look at problems in relation to flooding or excessive repairs, whether alterations have been done in the property against the terms of the lease and whether the lease requires, for example, carpeting or whether it is acceptable to have wooden flooring.
Your ability to sublet and assign the lease is crucial. If your property purchase is on the basis of a buy to let we would be looking to ensure that there are no undue restrictions on subletting and assignment in the lease.
Once we are instructed, we will outline to you all the necessary steps in a detailed client care letter where terms of business and charges are easily laid out for you to understand. We will update you as the transaction proceeds and prior to exchange you will be provided with a full property report with copies of all relevant documents so that you can confirm that you are happy to proceed to exchange of contracts.
On exchange a 10% deposit is required and the completion date needs to be agreed with the Sellers and any other parties that may be in a chain. You therefore need to make financial arrangements to ensure that you have at least a 10% deposit to forward to us in cleared funds.
The bulk of the work for a property purchase is done prior to exchange. Between exchange of contracts and completion we will be preparing the paperwork for the transfer of the property, your stamp duty and registration and advising you of the final amounts required from you on completion.
Once we have completed, we are always delighted to inform you that the keys can be collected into your new home.
For any questions that arise in relation to this article please contact us on 0208 959 6090 or via this link>