What are the steps when you purchase a house?
Our costs and charges cover all of the work required to complete the purchase of your new home, including dealing with registration at the Land Registry and dealing with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp Duty) if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax) if the property you wish to buy is in Wales.
We will send you our Terms of Business which will set out details of the costs and charges in relation to your transaction for your signature and would request that you provide us with evidence of your identity, such as your valid passport or driving licence, together with your proof address such as a utility bill which is not more than 3 months old. You can access here our identification guidance.
Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender's solicitors if needed
Pre- Exchange Contract
The sellers’ solicitors will send us the Contract paperwork
We will check through the Contract papers, advice you on the same and then carry out the usual pre-contract searches such as the Local Search, Environmental Search, Water and Drainage and Chancel Liability
Raise additional enquiries on the Contract and title papers, such as Obtaining further planning documentation if required and approve the contract. If you have enquiries you wish to make about the property you should let us know at this stage.
We will receive your Mortgage Offer (if any) and report to you on the terms and provide you with a report on the Contract and Title and if it is a leasehold, the lease.
If the property is leasehold, we will advice you of the terms of lease, any ground rent and service charges and the covenants. We will advice you if the ground rent increases over the term of the lease and sometimes, we will have to report this to the lender, if any.
We will prepare a Stamp Duty Land Transaction Return and provide this to you along with the Contract and Mortgage Deed (if any) for signature. If the property is a leasehold, there may be a requirement to execute a Deed of Covenant.
Exchange of Contracts
You will need to transfer the 10% deposit usually payable on exchange of contracts.
You will need to put your Buildings Insurance on risk from the exchange of contracts ensuring that the lender’s interest is noted and insure at the recommended re-build value.
Contracts are exchanged once a completion date (date from which you own the property) is agreed by all parties and notify you of the same.
Between exchange and completion, we will arrange for you to sign a Transfer Document, send a funds request to your lender (if any) and provide you with final completion statements confirming the amount required to complete the purchase.
Just before completion, we will undertake some final searches at the Land Registry and Land Charges Department and receive the mortgage money, if any and/or the balance of monies from you.
Completion will take place on the agreed date upon receipt of your balance to complete (if any), mortgage advance (if any).
If the property is leasehold we will serve any Notice of Transfer and/or Notice of charge upon the Landlord or their agents.
Once completion has taken place you will collect the keys from the agents or the seller directly.
Following completion, we will deal and pay on your behalf the Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp Duty) if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax) if the property you wish to buy is in Wales. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC's website or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority's website.
We will send an application to the Land Registry to register your interest and that of the lender if any.
You will receive a copy of the Title Information Document showing you registered as proprietor once the Land Registry application is complete.
Likely time scale
How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move into your house will depend on a number of factors. On average it takes between 6 – 12 weeks. It could take longer if there is a chain (a line of buyers and sellers all involved in linked transactions). If you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer, between 12 – 24 weeks. In such, a situation additional charges would apply.
If you require further information in connection with the purchase of your property please do not hesitate to contact our conveyancing team