How Long Does It Take to Buy a House With No Chain?

Conveyancing is quite a lengthy process, and it is almost impossible to determine the exact timescales involved. However, usually, a conveyance might take anywhere between 6 and 12 weeks, particularly when a property is tied to a chain. On the other hand, the process can be shorter when there is no onward chain. Chain-free properties are rare, but are out there. But, exactly how long would it take you to buy a house with no chain? Here is everything you need to know.

What is a Chain in Conveyancing?

A property or conveyance chain is a sequence of connected property transactions, each of which depends on the foregoing and subsequent purchase. Conveyance chains are the primary source of delay in the process of buying a property. This is because sellers tend to list their houses in the property market with an expectation to purchase new properties using the proceeds of other house transactions. Ideally, what this means is that there is more demand than supply for properties, and it might take longer for a buyer to acquire a house than it is for a seller to dispose of their property.

Property owners can create a chain-free scenario by purchasing new houses before listing their current homes in the property market. In this case, buyers need to consider property sellers that are already settled in other houses. However, keep in mind that buying a property in a chain-free scenario does not always guarantee a shorter buying process. This is because of other potential issues that might be linked to the property you intend to purchase, such as unpaid taxes, payment dues, or even disputes.

Average Timescale for a Chain-free Conveyance

On average, the process of completing a property conveyance without a chain can take up to about 4 weeks. This is good news for a person planning to move into their new house in the shortest time possible. With time completion of paperwork and release of search results, there is no good reason why purchasing a new chain-free property should take more than 4 weeks. In the UK, only 1 out of 10 property transactions are chain-free. Such properties exist in such scenarios as homeowners moving abroad, houses disposed on behalf of a person that has passed away, or homes owned by property investors.

Also, newly built houses are considered to be chain-free. Therefore, when purchasing a new property from house builders, no other transactions are linked to that process.

What Slows Down the Conveyancing Process?

Buying a property can be a complicated process sometimes. As such, there are potential factors that are likely to slow down the process of acquiring a property. These factors include the following;

  • Conveyance Chains

A conveyance chain is one of the many factors that can slow down the process of buying a property. The complexities of arranging transactions and other legal details by every party involved in the chain are notorious for delaying the conveyance of a home.

  • Surveys

Surveys are critical when it comes to the exchange of ownership rights of a property from the seller to the buyer. Unfortunately, a slow surveying process implies a lengthy conveyance.

  • Search Delays

Search delays are quite popular during the peak times of the year. The longer it takes to receive your search results, the more time it will take you to acquire a new property.

  • The Mortgage Factor

The time taken to acquire a formal mortgage offer must always be factored in determining the overall timescale of a conveyance. When the acquisition of actual mortgage funds is delayed, the timeframe of buying a property is also slowed down.

  • Delays in Paperwork

When the seller’s solicitor delays in preparing and sending the paperwork to your solicitor, there is no doubt that you will have to wait longer to acquire the property.

How to Minimise Delays with No Chain

The general rule to avoiding conveyance chains is by identifying a seller who has no subsequent or foregoing property transactions to the one you are about to initiate. On the other hand, you can avoid delays linked to property chains by ensuring you do not have any other house transaction subsequent to the one you are starting with a new seller. However, as illustrated above, chains are not the only factors that contribute to conveyance delays. So, how do you minimise conveyance delays when there is no chain involved? Here are some helpful tips.

  • Appoint a competitive solicitor

In addition to providing legal guidance to their clients, solicitors are mandated to act on behalf of sellers or buyers in the conveyance of properties. With an experienced and competitive solicitor, you can rest assured that the paperwork, contract signing, payments, and other legal procedures in the conveyance framework are well taken care of. You can push your solicitor to have everything finished in time and in the right way. This way, all the unnecessary delays are eliminated.

  • Be available always

Your availability throughout the process is critical as far as conveyance timescales are concerned. This includes being available for surveys and responding to all queries raised by your solicitor. Delays on your part (for example, delaying to respond to your solicitor’s emails) could slow down the conveyance of the property in question.

  • Work on a Completion Date

The sooner you establish a completion date for the process and initiate negotiations at an early stage, the faster you will acquire the property at hand.

  • Do your homework thoroughly

In this case, you want to ascertain that the conveyancer you choose to act on your behalf is highly qualified, experienced, and competent for the process. Also, please do your research on a property before you commit to it. This will save you time and money too.

  • Online Conveyancing

There are plenty of reasons why an online conveyance is considered faster and more reliable. For example, you can share information with your seller at any service and hour, including timelines outside the working or office hours. This means that surveys and searches can be facilitated at faster times and queries addressed in the shortest time possible. There is no better way to buy a house faster than online conveyancing.

Tips for Buying a House with No Chain

To acquire a property in good time, consider the following tips;

  1. Never allow the agent to do all the communication

Estate agents play a critical role in liaising with solicitors, sellers, buyers, and other property professionals in the conveyance of a property. However, since you are the one purchasing the house, ensure that all the communication is not left for the agent. The only point in which the agent should be given some latitude of freedom is in ensuring that all the moving parts remain intact and that you are kept in the loop with the other parties.

  1. Maintain contact with your solicitor to ensure that all your responses and uploads have been received successfully.
  2. Maintain constant feedback. This is the only you will eliminate confusion, delays, and the pressure arising from lack of information on your part as the buyer.
  3. Select your conveyancer wisely. Not every cheap quote means good to your property conveyance.

Solicitor Fees for Selling a House

Solicitors Fees

Selling any property can be an uphill task. You need to know how to manoeuvre through the hoops of bureaucracy. More often than not, many property sellers end up making a loss instead of a profit on the house’s sale. It may be occasioned by the various charges you need to pay before making a property sale. For this reason, you need a solicitor.

Fees when buying a house

Of course, these professionals do not come for free, solicitor fees for selling a house come into play. It is vital to understand that the solicitors only handle legal affairs; therefore, they are not responsible for finding you a buyer.

Let us dive right into the services they provide.

Conveyancing fees

Let us kick off with the basic definition of terms. A conveyancing fee is an amount one has to part with to ensure all legalities involved in selling a house are handled correctly. In simpler terms, it is the amount of money you pay a solicitor to handle all the paperwork involved in selling your property.

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These fees are further divided into two:

  • The legal fees
  • Disbursement fee

Legal fees

This is the amount charged by the solicitor for their services and time. It is their fee for doing all the work and streamlining all sale operations.

Disbursements

Refers to the fee charged by third parties; these third parties complement the efforts of the solicitor. An example of a third party is a land registry, who is responsible for holding copies of a title deed. The buyer or seller can pay these expenses depending on the agreement or personal preferences.

Here is a list of the significant disbursements you might incur:

Transfer of ownership

There is a certain fee charged by the Land Registry to change a house’s ownership or any property. They have to change the names in the database from the previous owner to the new buyer. This cost may vary depending on where you live, but the standard fee is between £200 and £300. They will cover all the costs of this operation

Local authority searches

You will need to look up if there are any development projects planned to occur in the area you want you to buy a house. This search is mostly done on the local authority database. They charge a fee of £250-£450. This search will check for things like the drainage system or anything else related to the environment.

Anti-money laundering checks

It is an essential step before anyone can sell any property to you. The solicitor has to investigate if the money you are paying with is legit and that you are not just looking to launder the money. They will also verify your identity. This expense is about £6-£20 and will mostly be done by an online firm.

Property fraud

Refers to a check done by the conveyancer to find if the lawyer you are about to hire is a real one. You certainly do not want to send money to a fraudster. A typical property fraud check is about £10.

Title deeds

The Land Registry mostly holds title deeds. If you want to sell your property, you will need a copy of the land’s Title Deed. There is no buyer out there who will pay for land without a legit Title Deed.

Additionally, you must be aware that the freehold cost is often cheaper than the price for a leasehold. It just means that it is cheaper to buy land as compared to leasing.

Stamp duty land tax

Refers to a tax charged for buying land that exceeds a certain amount set by the authorities. In this case, any property above the value of £125,000 is subject to stamp duty land tax. This cost is based on a sliding scale so that the price may fluctuate.

Bank transfer fee

Telegraphic transfers are most preferred when it comes to transferring of funds because it guarantees the money will reach the seller’s account on an agreed day. The fee charged by the bank for this transfer is about £20-£30. The solicitor you hire may also charge a fee for overseeing the transfer of funds.

Help to Buy scheme (HTB)

The Help to Buy scheme has indeed helped many people become land or homeowners. But there is a small liability; you will have to pay extra due to the added legal work attached to this scheme. Many solicitors will charge a fee of £200-£300 depending on the workload that may be present.

Help to Buy ISA

It is the bonus that one can redeem if you want to buy a house or property through Help to Buy ISA. It means you will pay less for the property at hand. The solicitor will charge a total of £50 and the VAT.

Gifted deposits

If the deposit you are making does not come from one source and comes from multiple entities, you will have to pay extra. It is because you will have to prove that the other entities are legitimate. It results in more legal procedures, and thus, incur more expenses.

Any law firm will charge around £100 for this service. You will also incur an additional £200 for an insurance cover, but the insurance is optional in many cases.

Let’s now take a look at the factors that influence conveyancing fees.

The legal fees may vary depending on the law firm you hired, among other factors. The standard total for this service stands at £850-£1500. Here are some factors that make these services a bit costly:

  • Surveys and inspections- these are procedures governed by the law. You cannot surpass these steps because doing so may be an act of defiling the law. They are put in place to protect the buyer’s investment, and they contribute a large percentage to solicitor fees.
  • The size of a house; the bigger the house, the more the value. When the total value of a house is high, it attracts more risks because a large amount of money is involved.
  • If selling a leasehold property- you will have to pay more because such cases involve more legal work.
  • Other factors include; the state of the market and ownership structure. If the structure

Charges for leasehold properties

As stated earlier, the fees for freehold are cheaper than costs for a leasehold. It’s because a lease will involve many legal procedures that may prove to be expensive. One such procedure includes paying for a Deed of Covenant. The Deed of Covenant is a legally binding agreement between a landlord and a buyer. This agreement may entail details of conducting some repair work on the structure.

Other fees

Most of the significant fees have already been mentioned above. However, there may be events where one needs to pay for other expenses, such as an insurance cover. For instance, if a seller does not have a building regulation certificate and intends to set up a structure. Then an insurance policy may be necessary.

What to do if a sale does not push through

In the unfortunate event, you do not make a sale or property purchase, then liaise with your solicitor. Some firms will offer a waiver for all legal fees incurred while some will only give you a discount. It is essential to choose a solicitor who waives all legal fees because you are looking to save some money.

Also, seek a clear explanation from the firm on why the sale did not push through, and possible remedies to the situation. It may be of help if you will head out to the market again and seek another buyer.

The need to hire a conveyancer

Conveyancers are professionals who will help you make that sale on your property. It is not a requirement by law to hire one; it is crucial to get yourself a conveyancer to make the deal much smoother.

Here are some reasons why you need to get one:

  • Legal procedures can be hard to grasp- a conveyancing solicitor act as guides through the universe of property sales. An experienced solicitor will always explain to you what each step means and what to do next.
  • Save on money- as much as hiring a conveyancer is a bit pricey. Think about the risks of attempting to make a sale all by yourself. You have no way of knowing what expenses to avoid and which not to, you will be walking blindly. A solicitor will guide you in the right way.
  • They have special knowledge and skills- this is the most obvious reason for hiring a solicitor; to act as a guide and adviser as you make the transactions. They will explain to you the details in a contract and many more areas.
  • Help you save on time- selling any piece of real estate will involve talking to many officers, agents, banks, vendors and many other parties involved. A conveyancer has a full understanding of all parties involved and as a result, will take less time getting in touch with each one of them.
  • Stress-free transactions and closing process – solicitors will save you the hassle of running around and booking appointments with various offices. You will sit back and wait on the solicitor to get in touch with you.

When to pay conveyancer

Most conveyancers ask for a deposit so they can commence any work. This fee can be up to 10% of the total amount they will charge for the whole process. It is advisable to comply and pay this deposit fee so they can begin any work. You will then pay the balance after the sale goes through. However, in some events, the solicitor’s firm will ask you to pay for various disbursement fees before the sale is complete.

The role of a solicitor in the transfer of equity

If you get a divorce and need to split the marital property acquired over time, you will need a conveyancing solicitor. There are various processes carried out in such cases that include an identification search, bankruptcy search, Land Registry search, and transfer fees. Lastly, if you are looking to remortgage such property, you will incur additional soliciting fees.

How to save money on solicitor fees for selling a house

An excellent way to reduce this cost is by comparing the quotations of different firms online. However, look at their service charter to confirm you are getting value for your money. Do not go to the cheapest and get low-quality services.

Another way is hiring a solicitor who keeps the charges fixed from the beginning to the end. Some firms charge extra when a process turns complicated, and you end up getting a large bill from them.

How do you identify a professional solicitor?

Getting an excellent and reliable conveyancer can be challenging due to the various legal procedures involved and their costs. A quarter of all legal complaints filed to the Legal Ombudsman, UK are related to conveyance. It depicts a clear image of the situation on the ground. It is imperative to get the right solicitor and avoid being part of the sad statistics.

 

  1. A competent solicitor should be registered and associated with a professional body. It will help you know that the solicitor is indeed legit and is not out to defraud you of your hard-earned money. It would be best if you also did due diligence before hiring any firm to handle the legal part of the sale for you. A brilliant way to find if a firm or an individual is trustworthy is by going through reviews. Reviews give you a clear picture of the people or person you are dealing with.
  2. Additionally, you should check out online solicitors whose services are affordable and who take average time to complete their task. Most online firms tend to be cheaper and will produce good results in a shorter time. But the best way to get a solicitor is by comparing quotes from different firms.

In conclusion, get yourself a solicitor who puts the client before profit. A good solicitor should be client centred and will try their level best to deliver results in real-time.

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Transfer of equity solicitor – What you need to know

Transfer of equity is the inclusion or exclusion of an individual from a title deed of a property. It is a partial or complete change in the ownership of a property. A transfer of equity is done in the presence of a solicitor. The new title deed will reflect new ownership once both parties bring the process to a close.

Transfer of Equity

Picture this short scenario. You are a real estate mogul. You decide to transfer one of your high-end properties to the management of your son. This transfer will be considered legally valid once the ownership rights in the title deed reflect your son.

As opposed to a property sale, transfer of equity does not necessarily change the entire ownership, unless this is the intention. The former owners of the property might remain when a new one comes in thus changes the list of owners.

When Can A Transfer Of Equity Occur?

Most people have their reasons or intentions on why they want a transfer of equity. The common ones, however, are:

  1. A New Relationship Or Marriage

If you are in a new relationship or are getting married, and you own a property, you might feel it best to change ownership of that property such that it reflects both you and your partner. Such a transfer will involve adding your spouse to the title deed, which will transfer ownership of a portion of the property to them.

  1. Separation or Divorce

Visualize that you are looking to separate or divorce your partner. Throughout your time together, you bought assets and jointly owned them. Now, that your relationship is over, you might wonder what to do with those assets. You can decide to keep being joint owners or opt to transfer ownership of each property to one partner. Maybe the matrimonial house can go to your ex-wife together with the kids, while the downtown piece of land to be entirely in your possession.

  1. Tax Efficiency

You can transfer ownership of your property to your spouse or children to reduce your tax liability. The tax payable according to most state laws reduces once you transfer ownership rights as a gift to a family member. It would, however, be advisable to seek legal consul before transferring ownership for tax purposes.

  1. Opting Out Of A Joint Ownership

Maybe some time back, you decided to pool funds with a friend or family member to purchase a property. You might have thought of leasing it out and sharing the profits. Now, one of the owners wants out or wants to transfer ownership to one of his friends or relatives. Doing this would call for a transfer of equity. Another instance is one owner seeking to buy out all the others, making him the sole owner of the property.

Process Involved In Transfer Of Equity

The process in the transfer of equity is, on most occasions, simple when the involved parties are in agreement, and when the owners listed on the title deed fully own the property. Factors like taxes, mortgage, or disputes between owners, can at times, come in play, thus complicating the process. Other times you and the other owners might be required to work with different solicitors as opposed to working with one. Each transfer of equity process involves varying factors and situations, and therefore, should be treated as unique. The process, however, follows the same steps. They include:

  1. Review The Title Deed

The solicitor involved in the transfer will request a copy of the title deed. He or she will examine the parties listed and check for any factors that might restrict the process, for instance, mortgage, taxation, and age of the new owner. The solicitor might as well request for the identity information of the individuals listed on the title deed to confirm their identities.

  1. Draw the Transfer Documents

Once the solicitor finishes reviewing the title deed, he will prepare the documents for the transfer, with the main one being the transfer deed. The transfer deed serves as legal evidence that a transfer of equity took place. The land registry provides different transfer deeds, depending on the portion of ownership being transferred. A TR1 form, for instance, covers for a full transfer of ownership.

  1. Inform Third Parties

A third party is any individual who does not necessarily own property but might be affected once it changes hands. In this case, it can be a bank, mortgage lender, or a building agency. Third parties should consent in writing, to the transfer of equity.

  1. Sign

All parties involved will then sign the transfer documents to consent to the transfer of ownership. An independent witness should oversee the signing process. In the case of a mortgage, your solicitor should as well send the transfer documents to the mortgage lender.

  1. Inform The Land Registry

After all the parties consent and sign the transfer deed, your solicitor will inform the land registry so that they can create a new ownership record for the proposed transfer. A fee ranging between €50 and €1000 might be charged, depending on the property’s value.

What If The New Owner Is Less Than Eighteen Years Old?

A person under the age of eighteen cannot legally own property. If the new owner is less than eighteen years old, you might have to prepare a trust deed, then assign a trustee to hold the property until the young lad or lass turns eighteen. The trust deed will act as a covenant that the trustee is holding the property until the new owner comes of age.

Do All Parties Require A Different Solicitor?

One solicitor can serve both parties if no conflict arises. Another suggestion would be to work with two solicitors from the same firm. The law society, however, advises each party to work with a different solicitor if they sense that a conflict might arise, now or in the future. The usual assumption is that a conflict might arise. If one emerges, the same solicitor cannot represent both you and the opposing party. Another factor that calls for the involvement of two different solicitors is if there is money involved. Will the new owner take up mortgage after the transfer of equity? Is the transfer of equity a buyout? Is there any indication that the transfer is in exchange for monetary value?

What If There Is A Mortgage On The Property?

A mortgage is usually the most common inhibitor in the transfer of equity. The lender’s interest is that the debt continues being paid as per the stipulated instalments and timeline. The owners listed on the title deed are liable to ensuring payment of the debt. If your property is a mortgage, you will have to inform the mortgage lender about the transfer of equity.

If a new owner is being added to the title deed, the mortgage lender will assess his or her creditworthiness by running a background check. The lender might prepare some terms and conditions for the new owner, should he decide to take ownership of the property. The new owner can then proceed to take up ownership if he agrees to the conditions, and if the mortgage lender finds him credible beyond doubt. After the transfer of equity, the new owner will be responsible for payment of the debt.

In the case where an original owner wants out, he or she will be withdrawn from the mortgage agreement, meaning that he will not be held liable for the debt in case of default. No lender can allow you to walk away from a credit agreement without overseeing its payment. The mortgage lender will only approve the transfer of equity after ensuring the original owner pays the debt or at least pays his share. If not, then the new owner should consent that he shall be liable to pay the debt after the transfer, failure to which he stands to lose the property.

To avoid these complications, the involved parties can pay the debt in full before proceeding to transfer ownership of a property. They afterwards, will not have to seek approval from the mortgage lender. Another option can be taking up new debt to clear the existing mortgage, then remortgaging the property and henceforth, working with a new mortgage lender.

Payment Of Stamp Duty

A variety of factors need to be considered when assessing whether to pay or not to pay stamp duty land tax for a transfer of equity. If so, how much should you pay? The amount of stamp duty you pay depends on the situation. As per HRMC guidelines, you are required to pay stamp duty when a property is transferred to you, in exchange for monetary value. The term “monetary value” stands not only for money but also for a case where a mortgage transfers from the original owner to a new one.

A few situations that call for an assessment are:

  1. Marriage

You may have to pay stamp duty land tax if you transfer ownership rights of a property to your spouse. It will, however, depend on whether the property has been exchanged for monetary value. HRMC charges a 2% fee for a monetary value that surpasses the statutory threshold of €125000. For example, say the monetary value is €300000. Deduct the statutory threshold (€125000) from the €300000 to get €175000. The payable stamp duty land tax will then be 2% of €175000, which is €3500. In contrast, if the monetary value is €100000, you will not pay the stamp duty land tax.

  1. Divorce or Separation

At times, a court order or a prenuptial agreement might require you to divide your assets after divorce or separation. In both cases, you will not be required to pay stamp duty land tax. However, if you decide to buy your partner out in exchange for monetary value, you will pay the stamp duty land tax. This payment will as well follow the HRMC guidelines of 2% and €125000 threshold.

  1. If the transfer of equity is because of a will agreement, you will pay stamp duty.
  2. If you transfer ownership of a property as a gift to a family member, you will not be liable to paying stamp duty because the transfer is not in exchange for some monetary value.

It would be advisable to seek counsel from a solicitor if you are not sure on whether to pay stamp duty land tax. Some solicitors can conduct the payment for you, as per your agreement with them. They can as well claim relief for you if your situation does not require you to pay stamp duty.

Transfer of Equity Timeframe

A Transfer of equity usually takes four to six weeks to complete. It might, however, take longer if the parties do not agree or if the property is a mortgage. In the case of a legal dispute, the transfer of equity will have to be held off until the dispute is resolved. In the case of a mortgage, the mortgage lender or any other third party should consent to the transfer. It might take time for the lender to perform due diligence. Another factor that might delay the process is if you opt to remortgage the property with a new lender. The involved parties might as well slow down the process by not providing the necessary documents, paying the required fees or signing the transfer deed on time.

Costs Incurred During Transfer Of Equity

The two main costs that you will incur are fees payable to the solicitor, and registration fee to the land registry. The sum you pay your solicitor will depend on your agreement with him or her, and the sum you pay the land registry will depend on the value of the property. If your transfer of equity involves a mortgage, you might be required to pay a search fee or any other closing costs that might arise. Another cost that you may have to pay is stamp duty land tax, though it will depend on the situation.

Memorandum of Sale – What you need to know

You may have come across the term ‘Memorandum of sale’ while selling or buying a property but maybe unacquainted with it or its importance. For any prospective buyer who looks to submit a mortgage loan application or a seller who wants to sell a house quickly, you must obtain this important document. This post explores the memo of sale in detail while explaining all you need to know about it.

memorandum of sale

What is a Memorandum of Sale?

A memorandum of sale is a simple document containing written confirmation of every important detail of a property transaction. It is drafted by an auctioneer, home buying company or the estate agent after a sale agreement. The document is then sent via email or post to solicitors representing the seller and buyer.

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In most cases, memorandums of sale contain the following important details:

  • The agreed cost of the property
  • A full address of the property in question
  • Important details of the seller and buyer such as their phone numbers, current address and email
  • Complete contacts and details of solicitors representing the seller and buyer
  • Land registration number of the property
  • Whether it is a leasehold or freehold property and how many years are still on the lease if it’s a leasehold.
  • If it’s a quick cash property sale
  • The amount of deposit to be paid and whether it has been confirmed or verified.
  • In case of an auction sale, information must be given as to the exchange date
  • Where applicable, the mortgage lender and if there is principle decision in place.
  • All the relevant details of the mortgage advisors participating in the sale
  • Confirmation of ownership which should be done prior to property listing
  • Whether the purchase of the property is under a company name
  • Expected completion and exchange dates
  • Any special condition in the sale like cash advance, an option agreement or delayed completion.
  • Any legal issues that require investigations, for example, rights of way
  • If the vendor is purchasing another property and if so, all the details of the purchase
  • Fittings and fixtures involved in the sale
  • Any additional detail relevant to the sale

Generally, the more the data, the better. This essential document should be drawn as soon as possible for the sale to kick off.

Who provides a memorandum of sale

A memo of sale is put together and given by the seller’s estate agent. The estate agent is to be paid a commission from the property’s sale; hence it is realistic that they provide the document.

When is a memorandum of sale issued?

As the seller, your estate agent is responsible for drafting and issuing the memorandum. The agent will draft it immediately you receive or make an offer and you accept it. The memo should be received soon after negotiating verbally and agreeing on the sale. However, neither the buyer nor the seller is obligated by law to adhere to the memo’s conditions; therefore, it can change upon further negotiations.

Why is a Memorandum of Sale Necessary?

The memo of sale is a crucial document as it confirms when a property sale or purchase is agreed upon by the seller or buyer. It is vital since, at this point, it becomes an official document and the agent will take your property off the market, which is crucial to the buyer as it implies less chance to be overcharged.

Memorandums of sale are very important documents that contain all the relevant data necessary for a property transaction in one place. With this document, you save a lot of time wasted in moving around when it comes to selling a house.

Immediately the sale is confirmed, the estate agent should circulate the document as soon as possible. By this, the sale can start immediately and efficiently. However, this is not legally binding, nor is it a complete confirmation. Therefore, the buyer can always withdraw the sale anytime, even with the document. To avoid such an incident, keep every information open and be honest from the start. Transparency is important in every legal transaction. Keep in mind that you don’t have to sign the Memo of sale.

What Happens After You Send the Memorandum of Sale?

A memorandum of sale is the very first and among the most important stages of a property sale process. It implies that your estate agent, in case you are using one, is now authorized to change the listing to sold-subject to contract (STC) or under offer. As soon as all solicitors get hold of the document, the actual process and work can start. However, this should not mean that everything involved is settled.

  • Buyer Checks: make sure your agent checks the buyer’s financial state before proceeding with the process. This means evidence of a mortgage proposal in the last two months, sometimes referred to as an Agreement in principle (AIP) or a Decision in principle (DIP). You can also request for proof of deposit, so you are sure the buyer can afford to buy the property before changing it to sold on the property listing.
  • Conveyancing: both solicitors start conversing with each other to begin the process. If they have not already taken any relevant ID checks, they will do this and request funds on the account to begin their work.

What property forms are required?

The following property forms should be filled out:

    • TA6 form: which is a form containing all the property information
    • TA7 form: a fixtures and contents form
    • TA10 form: if you are selling a flat, you will need a TA10 form, typically a leasehold information form.

What your solicitor will also require

Apart from the TA6 form, TA7 and the leasehold form, your solicitor will need two forms of authorized identification, guarantees, warranties, building control documents, planning permission, among others. Besides, he or she will require the title plan or any other important information that will aid in the process.

With everything ready, you can start the arrangements with the mortgage company. This ensures that mortgage funds may be drawn at any point in the contract exchange.

What searches are performed

The buyer’s solicitor will perform certain searches like environmental, drainage or water, local authority, chancel repair, brine or common registration, clay as well as coal or tin mining searches.

Survey

The buyer can also conduct some surveys on the property. Although there are several such surveys, the main ones which should be done by an expert form the Royal Institute of Charted Surveyor include:

RICS General Condition Report

Although it’s a minimum requirement in many mortgage companies, this report is essential. It involves a survey to check the whole property in general without paying attention to the tiny details.

A qualified surveyor from RICS spends an hour or so on the property. However, the time spent on the property depends on the size of the property. The surveyor will raise any concerns with the property. However, this is not the best survey if the house is in critical condition.

RICS Homebuyers Survey

This is a very detailed survey that reveals every important information and issues with the property in question. For example, this survey report reveals structural issues, damp or any other issues with the house. A qualified surveyor will report these issues without disturbing the seller, like moving the furniture to analyze the area.

A homebuyers survey includes a valuation that uses the HM Land Registry information and includes any arising issues. This may mean that a buyer may have to renegotiate the purchase price downwards in serious conditions that will need repair. However, it is the seller’s choice to reduce the price. If the seller agrees to correct the price, there is no need to correct the memo of sale and passing this information to the solicitors involved is enough.

RICS Structural or Building Survey

Building survey is the most severe survey that buyers will opt to have peace of mind. Although it may be expensive to conduct a building survey, a buyer will prefer it if the house is old, it has many structural conditions and has not been refurbished for many years.

The surveyor will conduct a thorough survey similar to a forensic approach to produce an extensive report on everything. The buyer will research the cost of refurbishing the property to a good state and communicate it.

Property enquires

An example is with a property in leasehold where checks will be conducted with the management company. The solicitors will converse with each other and raise any concerns. Immediately they have all the data; they will summarise everything and refer to this as a report on Title.

Exchange of contracts and completion of sale

If the survey returns fine and there are no other inquiries, both solicitors will set a date to exchange the contracts and complete the sale. A Transfer (TR1) form will be sent to you to sign it and send it back.

The exchange of contracts and completion of the sale may happen a couple of days, weeks or even months later. However, it can still occur on the same day, especially since a lot of buyers and sellers prefer to exchange contracts and complete sale immediately after the process is completed.

The estate agent not sending a memorandum of sale

If you are having a problem with the agent failing to send a memorandum of sale days after the sale is agreed on, then this is not a very good sign that things will proceed to the end. It may not necessarily mean there is an issue since there are few things resulting in the delay. They may be:

  • The seller is having trouble obtaining a solicitor to send the details across
  • The estate agent is either slow or dis-organised
  • The seller is considering other viewings or is waiting for more viewings before committing to the sale.

If even after a week of a sale agreement, the seller or estate agent is not sending the memo, this may be a sign of a slow and frustrating purchase process. It’s even more painful when the memo is sent a few days later, so you realize they are slow and the process will take more time than you expected.

What to do when you are not receiving the memorandum of sale

The seller should send the memo a few days after a verbal agreement on the sale. If you are not receiving the document almost a week after a verbal sale agreement, then it’s time you take a step. Contact the seller or estate agent if there is one to enquire about it. Ask when and what time to expect it and wait patiently.

Although the delay is not a good sign, it may be as a result of some unavoidable circumstances, so it’s best you give them some extra time. If they are not sending it on the communicated date, you can still inquire. However, note that a verbal sale agreement does not legally bind you to the purchase. You can therefore walk away to another sale, especially since the concern is not from your side. However, may communications to inform the seller or agent of your decision before you proceed.

Property sale chain complications

A chain break is among the causes of a memo of sale to fall through. It happens when somewhere along the property chain, on party drops out, causing other involved parties to be at risk of falling apart. This causes lots of frustrations and upset as the dream of acquiring a house may slip away in the buyer’s hands.

A property sale chain occurs when a property buyer and seller are tied together because the purchase depends on another different transaction. The potential buyer is not always selling his or her house to buy yours.

However, the risks of the other transaction will not necessarily fall to you. Besides, there are different ways to overcome a situation where a dependent sale falls through. The key factor here is communication, as it will help solve the issue. Solicitors who have enough experience will handle such a situation best and avoid problems in time. Ways to eliminate the issue include:

  • Analyze the problem and understand what the problem is. If the problem is related to money, alternative funding, for example, borrowing from family or friends, can be sourced.
  • If the property was on-demand, the agent may choose to replace the buyer. At this point, a good number of the paperwork is already done, so an experienced solicitor will know how to go about the conveyancing quickly.
  • You can also choose to drop the price for the buyer.

This whole process may be frustrating; hence you should remain patient and handle things in a calm way. watch out on ‘gazundering’ where the buyer may decide to drop the price at the last minute. If it happens, you should back off from the transaction.

Other common issues with a memorandum of sale and how to solve them

Apart from the chain break, there are other issues relating to a memo of sale. One common issue is how long it takes to complete a transaction relating to the memo of sale. A completion date is postulated as four weeks after exchanging the final contracts. However, the uncertain nature of the property transaction may imply several delays between the final stage and the memorandum. To avoid such delays, hire a competent agent and experienced solicitor to help in the buying or selling process.

Since the memorandum is not a legal binding paper, a party can choose to withdraw and there is nothing you can do about it. There are no penalties for withdrawals, hence no reassurance that the sale process will proceed to the final stage. Although you cannot eliminate the possibility of a fall, being transparent and organized during the process will help.

If you are buying, be transparent on your financial position and obtain a mortgage agreement in principle prior to the process so you look at properties that you can be financed for. Besides, go for houses that are within your budget to save you the finance troubles. When selling, be considerate of the price and explain every important detail, especially the property’s state.

Final thoughts

A memorandum may seem overwhelming as it involves a lot of details and forms to fill out. However, the benefits of acquiring the document make it worthwhile, and taking your time to familiarise yourself with this document will save you a great deal. It’s important that you seek legal guidance if you feel the urge to and understand everything that is involved in a memorandum.

The document is not only important to the process but will also help you sell or buy your property quickly. With a competent estate agent and an experienced solicitor, you will sell your house quicker than you expected. If you are buying, then your dream of acquiring a house will come sooner than expected.

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What documents do I need to sell house

It can be a daunting process to sell your house and most especially with all the hustle and bustle required to obtain the necessary documentation. Though it is an overwhelming experience to change what was once your haven and move into a new house. Conversely, the hard work takes its toll on the homeowner right after they have made the decision and they start the selling process. The selling process is complex and among the decisions that you need to put in place are finding an estate agent that will organize the viewings and spruce up your property. Then here comes the paperwork which is a key step to get your home selling process. Some documents are fairly straightforward and others are complicated. Here is everything that you need to know about the documents needed for you to sell your house in the UK.

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Documents needed to sell house

1. Management Information Pack

This is also known as the leasehold information pack. If you have been paying for services or your house is leasehold then you are required to have a Management Information Pack. This pack contains the necessary information a seller is formally required to avail to the buyer. The vital information contained in this pack could sway potential buyers to make a purchase of your house. To arrange for this document, it can be done through the freeholder, managing agent or you can hire a solicitor to get this document for you. It is worth noting that the pack takes several days to arrive and it is better doing this right off the bat after you have decided to sell your home.

2. Proof of Identity

Basics first, right! For you to make to sell your house you need to prove your identity by providing any form of identification. To prove your identity, you will most likely be asked for a minimum of 3 forms of ID, such as passport, driving license, bank statement or a recent utility bill. Also, photo identification is required, it is key to check with your conveyancer or solicitor beforehand. Your proof of identity can be held for five years after which the documents are destroyed.

3.Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

When you sell, rent or build a home it is a requirement to provide the EPC. This legal document contains details of how energy efficient a house is and its CO2 impact. Properties are given energy efficiency ratings. An A rating being maximally efficient while a G rating being minimally efficient. This important document enables buyers to determine the cost of energy once they move in or if they will need to improve the efficiency of the house energy system. An EPC remains valid for 10 years and it can be acquired from a qualified assessor. By simply providing the register with your address you can retrieve your lost EPC certificate.

4.Property Title Deeds

Original property title deeds need to be provided so that you can sell your house. Not only do these important documents provide the chain of ownership but also contain important documents such as leases and licenses which the potential buyer needs to see. Whether or not your property is registered it is a must for you to provide the property’s title deeds. If you are lacking the deeds do not fret as you can check your title deeds with the Land Registry whereby they are digitally put into the system and registered. In the case your property is unregistered you will have to prove ownership by providing unregistered title deeds.

5. FENSA Certificate

FENSA is an abbreviation standing for Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme and this certificate contains any details about any doors or windows that were replaced after 2002. It establishes whether the doors or windows comply with the stipulated building regulations. When you sell your house you need to supply this certificate. If you haven’t been living in that property you should check with the home records to find out if any replacement work has taken place or not.

6. Fittings and Contents Form

This is also known as The TA10 Form. It serves to enable both parties to know what exactly is being sold from furniture, outbuildings to even ornaments. It covers items such as the garage, trees, plants, shed to any other indoor item that you may throw into spruce up the deal. The property price should be well detailed so that both the seller and buyer should know what is included to prevent delays or reduce the risk of the potential buyer pulling out.

7. Shared Freehold or Leasehold Documents

If you are selling a leasehold property then you need to provide the lease for the said property to the prospective buyer. Whereas a Share Certificate is required if you are trying to sell a shared freehold home. Obtaining this information can take several days or weeks and it is entirely dependent on the landlord or managing agent. To avoid any hold-ups you should seek to get this information right after you have decided to sell your house.

8. Property Information Form

This is also known as the TA6 Form and it is hefty to complete though it is a vital document that plays part in the selling of your property. It is among the largest documents that you will need to complete when selling your property and it is essential to invest enough time when producing this document. This document provides detailed information about the property and it enables a buyer whether or not to purchase your house. The answers to this form are legally binding and they need to be completed truthfully and accurately. The TA6 form covers matters such as:

  • Planning- this includes any new building works or alterations that are either ongoing or have been completed.
  • Boundaries- where does the boundary of the property lie.
  • Agreements- whether formal or informal you need to disclose such agreements.
  • Council tax band
  • Sewer system- if there is a septic tank or a mains sewer system connecting to the property.
  • Utility suppliers- you should give details of utility suppliers
  • Target completion dates- if there are any undergoing projects you should give their target completion dates.
  • Complaints- any complaints or disputes with the neighbors.
  • Warranties- any guarantees and warranties relating to the property.
  • Insurance- information regarding how much it will cost to insure the house and any other added irregularities.
  • Occupiers- if after the purchase of the property will the current tenants continue to stay in the sold house or not.
  • Parking- whether or not will you share your parking space with your neighbors and any matters related to parking.
  • Services- the condition of various services in your home such as heating, wiring and that of the boiler.
  • Environmental matters- this covers matters such as flooding risk, radon levels and your EPC.
  • Other charges- it includes costs such as lease costs or costs that may arise from a gated residence.

9. Electrical Certificates

Electrical certificates give information on all the electrical works that have been carried out at the house and it is something you need to provide the potential buyers with. Examples include electrical replacements or rewiring. If you don’t have this document then consider hiring the services of an electrician who should be able to produce this certificate so that you can hand it over to the next homeowner.

10. Boiler Replacement and the CORGI

CORGI is a gas safety certificate that gives information about the condition of your gas or boiler. If you have either replaced the boiler or the prior owner has done so and you have the records then you should provide the records to the prospective buyer. If you don’t have updated records of your boiler then the buyer will assess the shape of the boiler is or if they need to invest in it to make sure it is fully functional This is not favorable to the seller as they will have to incur these costs or better yet reduce the price of the house.

11. Documents On Alterations and Extensions

Adding extensions or making alterations is a common doing to add value to your property. Though not all refurbishments require approval it is important to be informed to prevent delayed sales. This document provides proof that all the legal procedures were followed before and during the renovation of your property.

Final Thoughts

For you to sell your house you need to comprise this long list of documents and it is not an easy task. However, depending on your work or lifestyle you don’t have to stress over comprising this long list of documents.

Some solicitors and companies can do all the heavy lifting for you at a reasonable fee. With this in mind, it up to you to find an estate agency or company that will sort out all these vital documents while putting your best interest at heart.

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How to Buy a Second Home

For many people, buying a second home or property can be a very appealing idea, and around 10% of the UK population have second homes. The process of looking for a second property may be a bit easier since you have been through the process of buying your first house., but things can be a little bit different.

Buying a second home

The reason for buying the property and the purpose of the home brings about different rules and regulations. We discuss the different issues that a buyer needs to know in the purchase of a second home. These important aspects include; reasons for buying a second home, how to finance the purchase, the extra costs incurred and the importance of contracting a conveyancer.

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Reasons of Buying a Second Home

Most people buying second homes are motivated by having a getaway crash pad. Some want a house outside the city where they could enjoy the serenity and fresh air of the countryside when having a relaxed weekend or a house in the city where they can stay during the working days and go back home to the family during the weekends. In some cases, it is an investment with the hope of the property value going up, while renting it out to cover the cost of mortgage. Whatever reasons you are buying the property, you will be subject to different regulations and rules.

Buyers need to look for a real estate agent who will work to meet their needs to find the right property.

How to Find a Good Real Estate Agent

Having bought your first home you may be familiar with the ways around estate agents. For a second home, you will need to be more careful as you are buying in a locality that may not be very well known to you. You have to find someone who knows the property around that area very well. Here is what you need to check out on an estate agent:

An Understanding of the local housing market

The agent should be conversant with the houses on sale at the same time be in the know of the price ranges of those houses.

 A good transaction History

BE sure to ask for the agents records of previous completed works. The history will help you gauge the capability of the agent in finding the home you want.

Communication Skills

Engage the real estate in talk to evaluate his or her communication skills before contracting them. You have to find a reliable communicator as you will probably be busy with your job. Good communication is a sign of commitment.

Good Negotiation Skills. You can gauge the agent’s negotiation skills through his completed transactions. A success rate is a proof that the agent has good negotiation skills and can get you the best deal.

Are there Extra Costs Incurred?

Yes, there are extra costs. When buying a second home, the first house becomes a primary residence. A buyer must be aware of some extra financial burden that was not felt when buying the first home.

Stamp Duty

In the United Kingdom, second homes are subject to the stamp duty. While buying his or her first home, a buyer is exempted from paying the stamp duty. It is a relief for first-time buyers, and is included in the purchase of any other home that the individual buys. The stamp duty depends on the price of the property they want to call a second home.

 

Property Value Standard Stamp Duty Charged Additional Stamp Duty Charged
Up to £500,000 0% 3%
£500,001 to £925,000 5% 8%
£925,001 to £1.5m 10% 13%
Above £1.5m 12% 15%

 

Rates are different depending on where you are in the United Kingdom, and if you are buying a mobile home such as a houseboat, and caravan you are exempted from any stamp duty.

Capital Gains Tax

In a scenario where the owner of a second home decides to sell it, the owner is liable to pay the capital gain tax that does not apply to primary residences. The tax applies to the excess cash earned from the increase in the value of the property and not the whole amount you sell the house.

For basic rate taxpayers, the tax is lower than that for higher taxpayers. Basic taxpayers are required to pay 18% while higher taxpayers are required, to part with 28%.

If you plan to use the second home as your primary home, it is important to inform the relevant authority to be exempted from the tax.

Council Tax

Just like your first home, the second property will be subject to council taxes. Second homes are classified, as furnished home and the taxes are applicable whether no one lives on the property. There are discounts given if the home meets certain criteria, and is leased for a certain amount of time.

Costs such as bills still apply in second homes. These bills include insurance and heating tax. You could also spend on renovations and decorations that are not that cheap.

Financing Options for a Second Home

The different ways available to finance the purchase of a second home include mortgages, self-sponsoring and using equity.

Mortgage

Most people who are still paying mortgage on their primary residence are widely worried if they can get a mortgage for the second house. Well, they can apply if they meet some requirements. These requirements are:

  • A Substantial Deposit – Most lenders will need a form of commitment from a buyer, in form of a deposit. Most lenders will need a deposit of 25% of the property’s value.
  • A Good Credit Score – Just like any other loan, mortgages need to be certain that your history of credit has been smooth and that you are reliable. Lenders will need this before considering giving you another mortgage.
  • A Good Income – Since you are still repaying your first mortgage the lenders need to check if you earn enough to service your first home mortgage and the second home mortgage at the same time.
  • Proof of Rental Income – If the plan is to rent out the second house, you will have to show your prospective lenders proof of a potential rental income.

Different mortgage facilities give different valuations costs, counsel fee, arrangement charges and early-payment fees, a buyer should be keen at comparing the offers.

Using Equity

Instead of taking another mortgage, a buyer can take into use the equity he or she built up in the repayment of the mortgage on the first home. It is a phenomenon known as re-mortgaging.

Since buyers need 25% of the value of the property they want to buy, they could increase the mortgages they are currently servicing by that similar amount. The important thing is the buyer to check the amount of equity they have on their home.

The equity you have on your property is calculated by finding the difference between the current value of their home and the amount of mortgage they are yet to pay.

For the older borrowers they have they have the option to ask for a retirement interest-only mortgage that allows them to pay interest until they die or enters long term care. The house will later be sold to repay the mortgage.

If the equity is enough to release the 25% needed as deposit, they have the option to increase their mortgages by that amount.

Letting Out the Second Home

In case the reason for buying a second home is to have a holiday home, it can be turned into a revenue generator. As the homeowner, you have the right to let out the house when you are not using it. In some instances, you cannot let out a home on ordinary homebuyers’ mortgage. For that situation, you may have you remortgage your first house or get a specific holiday let mortgage.

You could also opt to rent out your primary home and live in the second home through buy-to-let.

Buy-to-let

This a situation where a buyer lets out his or her current home to raise a deposit for another house or to live in their second home.

If a buyer decides to go this route, they must communicate with their lender as some prohibit letting out a house whose mortgage is yet to be fully paid. The rent earned must also be more than the monthly payment of the mortgage you have to make.

Whether it is holiday letting or let-to-buy, the owner can do it personally or seek the help of real estate managers and services like air BnB. You are allowed to deduct the expenses of maintaining the house before taxation if you rent the property for more than 105 days. Also, it is important to remember that before seeing profits, the revenue will have to settle renovation costs and stamp duty.

Helping a Family Member

A homeowner who is trying to help a relative climb the property pyramid, the property will be considered as a second home and will be required to pay the stamp duty.

Buying to Resale

Some people may buy a second house to try the art of property development. The goal and aim are to profit off on a strong housing market.

The plan is to buy a cheap house, work on it through renovation and extension and then later sale it at a higher price. The problem with this is it only needs people who are risk-takers as housing markets could crush leaving the individual with a house that they are unable to sale while counting loses on the money spent on the house.

Buying to Start a Business

If you are purchasing a property for business and partially for residence, it will be classified as mixed property or semi-commercial. It means that business rates will apply for you but you will have a reduced stamp tax.

Buying at an auction

You could choose to buy your second home at an auction thus eliminating the need of a real estate agent and freeing up funds for the stamp tax and other taxes.

Once you have decided on the locality you want you could contact a nearby auction house that will send you a catalogue. Check out the catalogue, and visit the properties personally to check them out.

For this purchase, if your bid is successful you are needed to pay 10% immediately and the rest soon after. It is suitable if you have the full amount to purchase the house.

Buying a Home is a Legal and Financial Process

The process of buying a house comes along with a lot of financial calculations and decisions. The process can be very tiring and very risky if not handled with a lot of care. For that reason, a buyer should seek the help of a conveyancer. You need to know who a conveyancer is and what services you should expect out of him or her.

What is a conveyancer?

A conveyancer is a specialist who deals with the legal clause in the buying and selling of a property. It is important that though licensed a conveyancer is not necessarily a lawyer or solicitor, though they could be.

Conveyancing Process

The process takes the following steps;

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Instructing a conveyancer

The first step is you deciding on a house you want, and you get an offer. After this, you contact a conveyancer who will ask you to fill up documents and draft a contract and terms of business. The contract will set out the costs that you will have to pay and the deposit you have to make. Be careful when using one who was recommended by a real estate agent.

Receiving sellers Draft contract

The seller’s conveyancer will do the drafting after which your conveyancer will go through it. The contract should include; property forms, official documents supporting ownership and other documents relating to the house.

Be sure to check whether the property you are buying is a leasehold or freehold. Freehold means you will own the land on which the property stands while freehold means the land you are on, is leased. Be sure to check by yourself the lease period as it can be challenging to extend.

Searches and Investigation

At this stage, your conveyancer will dig deep looking for other details about the property that could not be seen by just visiting the property. This is done to protect yourself and your mortgage lender.

Searches could include;

  • checking if there are any future government infrastructure that will affect the property i.e. a road
  • Checking out the land and house title deeds are authentic
  • environmental searches to see if the house is near any kind of environmental unfriendly site and chances of the property being affected by acts of nature like floods
  •  Checking that there are no leftover liabilities on the property. You could be advised to take a chancel repair insurance.

These searches incur extra costs so be sure to include them in the conveyancer fee.

Mortgage Check

It the responsibility of your conveyancer to go over the details of your mortgage and evaluating it. You will also be required to take building insurance on the property by your lender

Contract Signing

After all inquiries have been answered, and you are satisfied you can go ahead and sign a contract. The contact must include the fixtures and fittings inventory, the date of completion and arrangements for paying the deposit.

Exchange of Contracts

On the agreed-upon date, the deposit is paid, and contracts are exchanged, marking the end of a legal process. At this point, the contract is legally binding. Both your conveyancer and the sellers will read out loud the contacts to ensure that they are similar and record the whole process.

Buffer Days

Between the time the contracts were exchanged to the time of completion, the seller must have vacated the premises and their conveyancer or solicitor have received the payment. This period allows you the buyer to apply for transfer of title deed to your name at the land registry

Completion

For completion to happen, all the payments should have been made, and the seller leaves the keys to the property at the real estate agents office. At this juncture, the process of conveyance comes to an end.

After completion, ensure that your conveyancer paid the stamp duty, you receive your legal documents from the Land Registry that you will send to your lender. Ensure to keep all documents including the estate agents and conveyancer documents and copies of them safely.

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Buying A House Timeline

Purchasing a home can be a very daunting task, especially if it’s your first time trying to own one. With the current Covid-19 pandemic, this task is even more challenging. Having a rough sketch of how this process works will make this task less stressful. This post is a comprehensive guide on the several steps of buying a home and the possible timescales.

Buying a house time line

What period will it take you to buy a house?

The basic timeline for purchasing a house will always vary, this is depending on the purchaser and the seller’s circumstances, including the conveyancing issues and delays that may arise.

1. 6 weeks-8 months

  • Finding a property: Do some research on the area, look out for estate agents and search on several websites.
  • Submit an offer: Approach the seller and tell them what your budget is and if there are any conditions you want met.

2. 4-12 weeks

  •  If you offer is accepted: Get in touch with a surveyor to check on the property’s condition. Get a conveyancing quote and instruct the chosen
  • Conveyancer or solicitor who will also check on any legal issues.
  • Exchange: You will make a deposit and once you do so, you will not back out of it without a high cost.
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3. Instantly-4 weeks

  • Completion: You will need to pay the balance in exchange for the keys and deeds to the property. Legally, the property is now yours.
  • Note that: Nobody has the legal authority to see the deal to completion until they exchange contracts.

Affordability of the property you want

It will be a waste of time getting excited about your dream property if you don’t even know if you can afford it. It will be best to avoid unnecessary disappointment by sitting down and assessing if:

  •  You have the necessary funds to buy the property
  • You can borrow any additional cash that you will need,

AIP application

An AIP refers to a mini-application that involves the lender checking on your information and credit file to decide the amount of money they might be willing to loan you. These are not binding offers since the lender can change their minds. For instance:

  • The lender might be unimpressed with the property that you are willing to buy.
  • You may fail to present the requested necessary evidence. This evidence is such as payslips or p60.

An AIP is also be known as a ‘mortgage in principle’; thus, you need to be keen.

Finding your dream home

By now, you should be ready to go on a house hunt. This should help you find your dream home.

Make good offers

Consult with experts in the field of house buying, selling and renting to give you clues on the offers you can give when buying property. Do not spend amounts more than what your pockets can afford since you will also have to pay additional costs. Make sure you ask the seller to include a list of all the fixtures and fittings in the purchase. This will enable you to avoid being given the keys to an empty house.

Offer accepted

This is just a small milestone in the process of owning your new property. But remember that at this point, remember that nobody has any contractual obligations.

Be keen on gazumping and gazanging

It is important to keep in mind that you and the seller have no legal obligations to see the purchase to completion until the exchange of contracts’ level is arrived at (Engalnd and Wales Only). Before you reach the level of exchanging contracts, you will always face the risk of gazumping and gazanging.

  • Gazamping: This is when another buyer makes an offer that comes with more money and your seller decides to put a hold on the deal. Therefore, you could add a condition to your offer that asks them to take the property off the market. This will reduce the possibility of them welcoming another buyer.
  • Gazanging: This is when the seller makes a choice to cancel; thus, staying put. This usually happens when the prices are skyrocketing and they can make a lot more money if they are patient for a few more months.

There is very little that a buyer can do to avoid these situations since they are interlinked to what the seller chooses to do and this could end up costing you lose of a lot of cash. This is especially if it happens prior you exchanging the contracts and possibly your solicitor has already done a great deal of work.

Therefore, the best thing to do to avoid this situation is to be as fast as possible in the process of accepting your offer and exchanging contracts. You can do this by getting your solicitor and the mortgage lender to fasten things.

Find Your desirable mortgage

An agreement in principle is usually valid for a period of between thirty to ninety days; this is depending on the lender. Therefore, if the search took long, then this period might have expired. The mortgage products on offer might vary daily. Therefore, it will prove worth it to do a snap check of the market to ascertain if there are other better deals out there.

Don’t be quick to go direct to the bank

There are so many lenders out there and only a few will have an ideal deal for you. Maybe your bank will be able to give you a good deal. Having a good credit score will grant you a lender that will want to offer you a deal. You can go an extra mile and get a personalized mortgage illustration that will have detailed mortgage features.

Choose a good conveyancing entity

Conveyancing is a process that involves transferring property from one owner to the other by following a legal procedure. Conveyancers who have a license are also specialist property lawyers. They handle all the legal paperwork, carry out the local council searches and also the land registry, develop a draft contract and take care the whole process of exchanging of cash.

Most people scouting for houses do this before making an offer even though it is not crucial. However, with the help of a good conveyancing solicitor, this process can be fast. You need to have a good solicitor who is confident with what they do, good at communicating and most importantly, reliable.

How to find a good solicitor

When you are trying to purchase a property, you must find the best solicitor to represent you. Appointing a conveyancing firm with a lot of experience will enable you to find a solicitor that will be beneficial to you. You can check out the best conveyancing firms by going through reviews, meeting with the solicitor will not be necessary. However, you can be able to arrange for face to face meetings.

These conveyancing solicitors carry out several duties such as:

  • Understanding the requirements of the client and the timeframes.
  • Preparing for the completion procedure.
  • Represent the buyer in making inquiries to take care of issues that are pending.
  • Checking for the house’s title and compiling a list of searches for the property.
  • Understanding the terms of the mortgage and taking care of any special conditions
  • Answering the client by providing important information and documents.
  • Setting up dates for exchanging contracts and documents.
  • Register ownership with the land registry.
  • Handing over tax returns and transferring funds for the required stamp duty that is needed.
  • Preparing a budget for the client to know the amount of money that the conveyancer will need to exchange and complete the deal.

Checking the property by the lender and if you are worth it

At the time when the agreement in principle is complete, the next procedure will be converting it to an entire application. The lender will make sure it is comfortable to:

  • Lend to you: The lender will check whether the information you gave is accurate and they will ascertain by requesting for evidence like payslips and others.
  • Lend on the property you intend to buy: The lender’s collateral for taking out a loan is the property. In case you don’t manage do update your mortgage payments, the lender will repossess the property. The next step will be to sell it for them to earn back their money. Your lender will want to ascertain that the property is qualified for this purpose. For this reason, is why the process of application makes use of an independent valuer. He will be responsible for assessing the property and give the lender a final report. What the buyer offers for the property may not be the actual value. The loan to value ratio of the mortgage deal will have to be scrutinized on the official valuation but not based on your offering. Lenders will have their own rules on the type of property they are willing to lend.

Does a lender have the power to not lend on your property?

A lender might have different reasons as to why they do not want to lend on your property. Some of these reasons may be:

  • The lender may become wary of the properties that are higher than commercial premises or residential houses constructed using unusual materials.
  • The application form needs to verify these issues so that the lender can see if it is a no go so that they do not waste the time of an application valuer. In case you find something that’s not adding up about the property, note it at the application stage so save time.The solicitor carries out searches on your behalf

While the lender is assessing your application for the mortgage, your solicitor will begin carrying out the required searches. Searches and prices will always be different depending on the location. Some of these searches are optional but it will be great to carry them out. Furthermore, the mortgage lender will persist on some. For example:

  • Local authority searches: Check to see if you require to be aware of any issues related to building control, neighbouring road schemes and enforcement actions.
  • Drainage searches: Check whether the property has any connections to the sewers.
  • Environmental searches: Check to ensure that the land which the property sits on is not contaminated.

These searches usually cost certain amounts of cash and the solicitor will always charge you these fees at the early stage of the conveyancing process. So, you do not need to get it out of pocket again. There is no way of reducing these costs.

Solicitors mostly work depending on their schedule. Check on them frequently through phone calls to get the papers and documents processed faster since you have paid them to carry out these duties. Try and write to the senior partner if they do not meet your expectations.

Book a property survey if you need one

Once you are certain you have the chance to borrow the money you need, you will need to make sure that the entire property is in pristine condition. You should do this after the mortgage offer is complete but you might do it before the exchange.

1. Mortgage valuation isn’t a property survey

The mortgage lender performs basic valuations to guarantee that they are comfortable to lend on it. On a bad note, this does not guarantee any protection. If the property goes down just when you purchase it, it will just be tough luck on your side.

2. Having second thoughts on mortgage valuation?

At times, the property’s valuation is usually carried out by just a simple ‘drive by’. The valuer can simply drive past the property and inspect it to find out what they can see through the car window. Most of the time, they just do this to make sure that the property exists. If the property appears to have a problem, it will be best to revisit the estate agent and renegotiate the price. This might seem like a late move to engage in during the process but surveying means additional costs so it won’t be reasonable to pay up until you know you are getting the mortgage.

3. Types of surveys

There are three major types:

  •  Homebuyer’s report: This survey is best for conventional properties that are less than fifty years old. At times, you can settle your mortgage dues with your lender to carry out this survey simultaneously as the basic valuation of the home.
  • The full structural survey: This survey is more relevant for older properties. Furthermore, they are more detailed and cover everything and most of the time they are usually worth the expense. This survey can give you a reason to re-negotiate the price of the property. While carrying out this survey, try to make sure they access the attic space among other things.
  • Snagging survey: Buyers who intend to buy new buildings might also have to spend a little more cash. This survey points out any defects and bits that are unfinished so that you can push the developer ensure they get corrected before completion.

It will work out great for you if you befriend the surveyor. They are likely to tell you more than they will write in the report. If the surveyor finds any property issues, you will need to ask the builder for the costs of repair. You can request the vendor to fix it or reduce the total from the price.

Attainment of a mortgage offer

At this stage, you are close to owning your property. The only thing you need to do is get a formal offer that states your lender is willing to front you cash to purchase the property. Sit down and go through the mortgage offer and check out the following:

1. Find your mortgage illustration

Go through your new mortgage illustration, including the offer document sent from your lender with the illustration that you put away. In case there are any differences, you will have to go back to your lender.

2. The accuracy of the mortgage offer

All things listed on the mortgage offer document need to be accurate, especially in the case of your personal information and any vital figures. Therefore, if the information is not accurate, get in touch with your solicitor to get it corrected.

3. Mortgage conditions review

The mortgage offer you receive will outline the conditions to apply by before the lender hands over the cash. The solicitor will be responsible for making sure these conditions are adhered to.

Take care of your buildings insurance

You may not own a building, but you will be legally bound to buy it once you exchange contracts with the seller. Go through the valuation report of your mortgage to review the value of rebuilding that the surveyor estimated. The purchasing price may not be a factor but you will need to have enough cover rebuild if anything happened.

Hold talks for a date of completion

The solicitor will give you updates on the searches’ results. If it turns out all good, the next step will be to agree on the date of completion with the seller. The date of completion is the day you get the keys to the property. This will have to be a suitable date for all of you.

Surrender the cash deposit to your solicitor

At this stage, you are almost getting at the stage of exchanging contracts. This means you need to hand over your deposit money to your solicitor. Your solicitor will also involve you in a contract signing at this stage, this is also the time you commit to buying the property.

Exchange of contracts

At the time when the seller’s solicitor and your solicitor exchange copies of the contract, you go through a process termed as exchange of contracts. Therefore, these exchanged contracts are legally binding between the associated parties. You can’t back out from a sell once this happens. The same applies to the seller too. At this stage, a series of paperwork happens quickly.

Ask for a statement of completion from your solicitor

The solicitor will furnish you with a completion statement. This statement will clearly breakdown the amount of money you need to hand over to the seller’s solicitor. Furthermore, it will entail any outstanding deposits, solicitors’ stamp duty land tax among others. You will have to pay these fees before the completion date.

More searches carried out by the solicitor

Before completion, your solicitor will have to verify that the seller is still the owner of the property and at the same time you haven’t gone bankrupt since the mortgage offer.

Signing the transfer deed

The solicitor will get the transfer deed ready for you to sign and there needs to be a witness to this. This will be an assurance that you are ready to own the property. After signing, the seller’s solicitor will be sent this copy by your solicitor.

Your solicitor gets money from your lender

The mortgage money that you agreed with the lender will be requested by your solicitor from the lender so that payment time will have adequate time to clear in account of the solicitor. This is the point you can receive the mortgage funds you agreed upon with the lender.

House payment

The solicitor will send the payment in full to the solicitor of the seller and get their title deeds and proof of the seller’s mortgage being cleared.

Completion

At this point, you get the keys to the property handed over to you.

Stamp duty payment

This payment is made through your solicitor. You will have 14 days before the solicitor sends your transfer deed to the stamp office so that you pay stamp duty tax. However, they usually ask for money before the completion.

Register your ownership officially

You should leave it to your solicitor to register your details with the registry. The amount you pay can be large or small. It will all depend on the price of the property you are purchasing.

Get the tittle deed

It will be the responsibility of your solicitor to fetch the new title deed from the land registry. The next step will be to forward these documents to your mortgage lender. At times, they keep them in a file. This is in case you don’t put in a request for them.

You are now the proud owner of your new property so it is time to put your mark on it and make it your dream home.

Buying a leasehold property in UK

When buying property in England or Wales there are two main types which are called freehold and leasehold.

Buying Leasehold property

Freehold: When you buy a freehold property you are buying the property and the land it is on and it is for an unlimited time period.

Leasehold: As a leaseholder you do not own the land the property is built on, so as the leaseholder you just rent the property from the freeholder for the period setout in the lease agreement.

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Buying leasehold property in England and Wales

Many real estate properties are sold as leasehold properties. A lease is a contract whereby a freeholder coveys a property to another in an agreement for a fixed periodic payment. With leasehold, you get exclusive possession of a property for that fixed period, but you do not actually own it. Leases vary depending on the agreement of the conveyor and the leasehold property buyer.

Most flats are leasehold and houses can be leasehold too.

It is essential that when you want to purchase a property, you fully understand the lease you are given by the conveyor. This helps to avoid any future difficulties in figuring out the property owner. You should look into several details when buying a leasehold property such as the actual lease duration, any ground rents or maintenance fees applicable to that property. It is wise to invest in a property only when you have all the crucial information in understanding your actual ownership of that property.

A legal advisor will inform you of the benefits and shortcomings of owning a leasehold property, before you invest in one. For further clarification, when you buy a leasehold property, you may own the property for the agreed period but not the actual land the property is built on. Therefore, you will be required to pay a certain amount in the land’s ground fee. You must fully understand the extra cost of purchasing a leasehold property by studying the terms and conditions of the lease given by your conveyor. Some leases can last for 99 years, while others are as long as 999 years and more. Be wary of investing in lease property that is shorter than 90 years, because you may face difficulties in getting a mortgage on it or upon trying to sell it. The landowner on which the leasehold property sits will require a ground fee on the lease. When you purchase the leasehold property, you will have to pay the annual fee, which is fixed.  You must get help from a professional advisor to investigate all aspects of the purchase or sale.

Leasehold property owners may face the challenge of paying a higher ground fee after some years of owning the property. Research shows that some people miss the small details that give the freehold owner authority to increase the ground fee. If your ground rent doubles, say, every five or 10 years, you could face bills running into thousands and may not be able to do much about it. You are essentially at the mercy of your freeholder if they choose to ‘up’ the costs.

A service charge is also a part of investing in a leasehold property. This charge is the amount you pay to contribute to the maintenance of the property. It may include security, cleaning, gardening,  and any other upkeep services of the building. All leaseholders are obligated to pay this fee, and you have to study the terms of the lease before you make a final decision. Your solicitor should review the lease and give you legal advice on the service fee. You should be informed if the service fee you pay will increase after a period of time. In most leases, the service fee paid is fixed and expressed in writing in the lease. It should be stated clearly on the lease for you to know if the fixed fee can change or not before you invest in the property. Having your solicitor lookout for all these crucial details helps you protect your investment and avoid having future misunderstandings with the property seller.

Understanding all the clauses in your lease is crucial. Seek expert legal advice on the lease agreement before you invest. You have to know what you are subjected to when you buy the leasehold property, by understanding the restrictions and rights given to you. You may find conveyors have stated several restrictions when selling a leasehold property, making it hard for the buyer to resell or get a mortgage. It is vital to clearly understand the process.

Work with a solicitor and real estate agent to understand all details of the purchase. Getting legal assistance when investing in such a property helps you avoid miscommunication. With legal help, it is easier to understand the lease and make an investment with the confidence you know what you are doing.

Lease Extensions

Under the 1993 Leasehold Reform Act, most flat-owners are legally entitled to get 90 years added to their lease at a fair market price, but you must have owned the property for over two years before you apply.

If the lease falls under 80 years, then you will have to pay considrably more for the extension.

In conclusion, buying a leasehold property is not an easy task that can be done overnight. You will have to be patient and ensure you employ a professional legal team who are attentive to the legal details of your specific leasehold purchase. Investing without legal advice will undoubtedly lead to future legal issues and problems. If you fail to pay your annual fee the leasehold seller can take legal action against you. In the eyes of the law, you are a tenant to freehold owner, with a fixed lease on the property, for the period agreed according to the lease. You risk losing the property to the freehold owner  if they win the case after filing a legal complaint due to your failure in settling your annual fees as per agreement.

Insurance on the leasehold property is the responsibility of the purchaser and this in turn must be in line with the leasehold legalities.

Make sure you ask your conveyancer or solicitor to explain all charges fully.

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How Much are Solicitors’ Fees for Buying a House?

Apart from the cost of the house you intend to buy, there are other expenses you must account for in your budget. These expenses might be overwhelming, especially if you didn’t include them in your financial plan. The main ones include the solicitor’s fees, estate agent’s fees and stamp duty. Research on these costs and add them to your budget to determine if you still afford to move.

Fees when buying a house

Fees you Should Pay when Buying a House

1. Deposit

When buying a house, you have to pay a deposit of at least five percent of the total amount to secure the house. However, a ten percent deposit is more convenient. The deposit may vary depending on the seller thou you can always negotiate. If a house is going for £400000, your minimum five percent deposit will be £20000.

The deposit can be in cash or through the bank. However, there is an equity option where the payment is made using equity from another house sale. That is, if your house worth £300000 has an outstanding £200000 mortgage, you have £100000 equity in the home. Therefore, if you sell the house, the money is yours and you can use it to purchase another property.

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2. Stamp duty

Stamp Duty Land Tax: temporary reduced rates

Reduced rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) will apply for residential properties purchased from 8 July 2020 until 31 March 2021 inclusive.

Up to £500,000 zero

£500,001 to £925,000 5%

£925,001 to £1.5 million 10%

£1.5 million above 12%

These temporary rules affect England only.

This is a tax imposed on the transfer of property. It is paid to the government as ownership of a property like a house is transferred to another person. However, stamp duty is imposed on properties worth exceeds a specified amount of money. When buying a home, you will pay the sum to your solicitor, who will then shell it out to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). This will be upon completion of the purchase.

The sum of your stamp duty depends on the cost of the house you are buying. A lot of people underestimate the value of the stamp duty and disregard it in their purchase budget. Such mistakes may delay the process of acquiring your new home when you find out you can’t afford the amount. However, if you are buying a house below £125000 in the UK, you will not pay the stamp duty.

According to regulations, houses worth £125000.01 to £250000 will pay 2 percent stamp duty. Those ranging from £250000.01 to £950000 pay 5 percent while those worth £950000.01 to £1500000 pay 10 percent. Any house over £1500000.01 will pay 12 percent stamp duty. Note that stamp duty will only be charged on property worth over £125000. Therefore, a house worth £225000 will be free of stamp duty on the first £125000.

Calculating your stamp duty shouldn’t be complicated. Take the purchase price of your house and deduct £125000 since it’s free from stamp duty. Note the remaining figure and identify where it lies. Calculate the correct percentage on the noted figure, depending on your percentage bracket.

From 2017, any first buyer will not pay stamp duty for houses up to £300000. If the purchase price ranges from £300000 to £500000, the first £300000 is free of stamp duty.

3. Legal fees

To buy or sell a house, you need a solicitor to help with the paperwork. A solicitor will guide you through the legal process and make sure you draft and sign all the necessary documents. Besides, the solicitor will do local research to make sure there is no hindrance in the process. For all these services, you will pay a solicitor a certain fee. You can always negotiate with your solicitor on the legal fee.

4. Estate agent’s fee

An estate agent will come in handy when you are selling and buying a house simultaneously. You will have to include the estate agent’s fee in your budget if you are in such a state. There are currently two agent options to sell a house. Online estate agent and high street estate agent. However, online agents are cheaper because they charge a one-off fee at the start. The fee is not refundable when your house doesn’t sell.

High estate agents charge according to the sale price. On average, calculate a one to three percent range as their fees. Since you can’t predict their exact figure, check with local agents. Every estate agent option has advantages and disadvantages. Weigh all the pros and cons before settling on one.

5. Surveyor’s fees

It is advised you pay to have a survey in your new home. A survey will outline any house concerns, such as woodworm, dry rot or roof damage. You will also learn if the property is an area that experiences frequent flooding or any natural calamity. Such issues significantly affect your choice; hence you must understand them before making a purchase. Surveyors will charge differently depending on the state of the building. New buildings will cost less to survey while ancient buildings will demand more fees.

6. Land registry

A land registry registers your new house under your name. You will pay a certain amount of money for this service, depending on your home’s price. You also need to present the necessary documents for a successful registration.

The total fees when buying a house

Excluding your deposit, you will pay an average of £8650 for a house worth £225000 in the UK. However, this is just an estimation of all the fees you need to pay. The estimate is broken down to:

  • Legal fees-£1500
  • Stamp duty-£2000
  • Land registry-£300
  • Estate agent-£4500
  • Surveyor’s fees-£350

It is also a good idea to include property insurance before you complete the purchase process. The house becomes yours immediately; you exchange contracts and with insurance, you are instantly covered from any damage.

Must you have a Solicitor when Buying a House?

No law obliges you to a solicitor when buying a house. However, having one saves you a lot of unnecessary mistakes and gives you an easy time as you acquire your new home. You must present the correct information on all the paperwork involved and doing this alone is not advised. A licensed conveyancer is an alternative if you are operating on a tight budget. They will still do the task for you.

When to Pay a Solicitor’s Fee when Buying a House

This will depend on the solicitor. Some may request an initial fee at the beginning, where you will pay the remaining amount at the end of the process. The amount is mostly ten percent of the full fee amount. Otherwise, your solicitor may request payment in small amounts during the process to cover the incurred expenses.

Other Essential Costs to Budget for when Buying a House

The last thing you want is to complete the buying process and remain in your previous house. This can happen, especially if you didn’t budget for the costs in the new house. Besides, you also need to move to the new home hence moving costs. All these costs may translate to huge figures, so it’s essential to include them in your calculations. Some of them are:

1. Removals costs

You will need to move from your current location to the new house. It is essential to include the removal cost in your financial plan so that you are set to move after the process. Removal costs vary depending on distance and belongings. Besides, if you want professional packaging, you will have to pay more.

2. Council tax

Properties are categorized into bands. The estate agent or seller will tell you where your new house lies. If they are not sure, check it online on the government’s website and calculate how much to pay. Calculate your council tax, depending on your band. There are online council calculators to help you with this. Research what your new neighbors are paying to make sure you are paying the right amount.

3. Maintenance and house repair costs

If you were living in a rental house, these might be new to you. Such costs are catered for in your rent and you only liaise with your caretaker when you need a repair. However, you will have to cater for these costs as soon as you become a house owner. Therefore, include all these costs in your budget as your new house may need repairs.

You may also need to upgrade some items. Set some money aside to make sure you can finance such costs. A boiler may breakdown requiring instant repair. All these are new financial responsibilities you must cover.

4. Contents insurance

As you move from your old house to the new home, you may damage some items. Contents insurance covers such costs. As much as it’s optional, it’s good to have one. However, you can combine it with buildings insurance to get home insurance.

5. Renovation costs

A house may be convenient in location and everything else but feels off. Everyone needs to make a home perfect for them and match their desires. You will therefore have to make renovations for the house to appeal to you. Renovations will demand quite an amount; hence it’s essential you budget for them.

6. Utilities

Budget for at least three months’ utilities. This gives you time to settle in your house while enjoying the water, electricity, cooling, heating, among other utilities. Consider the number of people in the house while accounting for water bills as it affects the amount of water used.

Recap

Although it’s exciting to own a home, it’s an expensive process that demands preparations. There are so many expenses to cater to, so you need a perfect financial plan. While it may sound unrelated, including your food budget in the plan is a good idea. The process may drain all your money and budgeting for food in the first few months will save you a great deal.

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House survey what do they look for

A house survey is an expert inspection of a property’s condition, and identifies any problems to the prospective buyer.

The homebuyer generally has a survey done on a property after their offer has been accepted by the seller.

Reasons to Have a House Survey

Property surveys are often detailed inspections of the home’s state. A surveyor, an expert who is professionally trained to inspect houses, carries out the tasks and gives you a report on all the problems that your property has. After highlighting the structural issues, they then give you a way forward regarding the corrections and alterations. If your roof leaks, they will suggest different ways to fix the roof to avoid more damages. A homeowner knows everything concerning their home. Here is a breakdown of the reasons to have a house survey.

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Old Property

Just like people, property develops issues as they age. The systems begin failing thus potentially dangerous to the occupants. If you are about to purchase or own an old property, you must have a house survey.

Worry about the Property

Do you have any worry about the property? Have you heard any parts of the home creaking or seen failing structures and systems? Well, it is time for you to have a house survey done. This process is the only way to know where the problem is.

Determine Value

Selling or purchasing a home is a considerable investment. It either takes a huge chunk of money from you or puts a large one into your pockets. For this reason, you must determine the actual value of the home before the transaction.

Types of House Survey

When choosing house surveys, one is advised to make selections in line with the property’s conditions and not the estimated cost. Understand that determining the problems of the house early enough helps the homeowner make the repairs and corrections in good time. As such, one can avoid extensive damages that could occur. Let’s explore the house surveys!

Condition Report

A condition report gives an objective viewpoint concerning the condition of the home at the time of the survey. Done by a certified surveyor from a firm like RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), the condition report will include the date of inspection and the defects ascertained during the survey. Additionally, they highlight things that require additional investigation to prevent underlying problems from erupting and the shortcomings that are potentially dangerous to the occupants. This home survey is suitable for new buildings and conventional homes to inform you about the conditions generally. It covers the outside and inside of the property as well as the services and grounds.

The ratings on the condition report are NI, 1, 2, 3 in ascending order. NI implies that a building was not inspected while 1 means that no repair is needed at the time of inspection, and the building should be maintained just as it is. On the other hand, 2 implies that the defects discovered need repairing or replacing but are not urgent, while 3 means that the repairs and replacements must be urgently done as they are too risky. As seen, they follow a particular order with 3 being the highest and NI being the lowest.

Home Buyer Report

Buying property can be a complicated process, especially when you are uninformed of how to go about it. With a homebuyer report from a reputable surveyor, one is in a great position to make informed decisions. The information helps you make a reasonable decision about whether you should make the purchase. One also understands the fair price to pay for the property as well as understand the repairs that are needed upon property acquisition. Remember that it is an investment that you are making hence the need to make it worthwhile.

A buyer understands the structural problems in the home, damp, and any other hidden issues both inside and outside. Depending on the professionals you engage, they can also perform a property valuation to give you an accurate value of the property. In the absence of property valuation, an aspiring homeowner must use the report suggestions and bargain for better terms of purchase. Compile the cost of the repairs and renovations and less it from the asking price. The ratings are similar to the ones seen in the condition report.

Building Survey

Majorly used for properties when planning works, the survey is a comprehensive report that gives information regarding the property’s conditions, advice on the defects and due repairs. Just like the other surveys, it should be performed by credible surveyors for best results. The building survey helps you make quality decisions towards the purchase of property, repairs, maintenance and property upgrade. With detailed advice on the underlying conditions, one can identify potential risks that could come to life during the building process. Since it is practical, the property owner also gets an estimate of the costs for the due repairs.

After getting into the attic and checking behind the walls, floors and ceilings, the surveyors will give recommendations to the problems that you have hence protected you from expensive repairs in future. Homeowners must understand that it does not include insurance reinstatement value estimates unless stated by the surveyors.

Home Condition Survey

A home condition survey is performed by the residential property surveyors to reveal issues in the home that require prompt attention. If unattended, these issues could yield to deadly problems in future. With the survey, a homeowner gets insight on the maintenance that you can perform to avoid problems. The reports are independent of each other to foster consistency and high quality.

New Build Snagging Report

Sufficient for new build homes, the snagging surveys are meant to identify problems with a new home before anyone moves in. A homeowner should do it before the legal completion date so that the contractors know where to rectify before you move into the premise. The four to five-hour survey highlights all the problems and gives actionable ways to correct the issues at hand!

How to Find the Best Home Surveyor

Are you ready for your home survey? Find the right home surveyor and get started on the process!

Location

Your location determines the surveyor that you engage for the tasks. With recommendations streaming in from different places, your first instinct should be narrowing down to the home surveyors that operate in your area. There could be right surveyors out there, but it only makes sense when they are in your area. With this, you can enhance the convenience and access to your premise.

Licensing and Regulation

RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and RSPA (Residential Property Surveyors Association) are the major bodies regulating the activities of the home surveyors. As such, you must only work with professionals that can produce these certifications before performing the surveys. Since the surveyors follow a strict code of conduct, you can trust them to deliver uncompromised home survey reports. You can check for their credibility on these institutions websites. As a homeowner, you must avoid working with them if they are listed for any misconduct or malpractice.

Reputation and Reviews

The online reviews are an indispensable source of information regarding the credibility of the home surveyors. With technological advancements, there is a chance that your selected home surveyor has a website or online presence. Before you engage them, you should check the reviews as written by the previous clients on these websites. Negative reviews imply dissatisfaction, while positive reviews imply satisfaction.

Cost

Different surveys have different price tags, and a homeowner should understand the importance of the investment you are about to make. You must talk with several selected home surveyors and obtain quotations for the survey process. With the estimates, it becomes much convenient for you to compare and make informed decisions. Your focus must be directed to the surveyors that guarantee you of value for your money, quality services and affordability.

Should you have a survey done when buying a property?

The survey you choose will depend on the risk you think you are taking when buying a property. You do not have to have a property survey done, but they can help you avoid expensive repairs such as a rewiring job. They give you peace of mind. If you need a mortgage to buy the property than the mortgage company will send a someone to do a mortgage valuation on the property to ensure it is worth what you are paying for the property. This should not be seen as a full house survey as they are just assessing the value of the property.

Given the cost of buying any property it should be seen as a wise investment paying a few hundred pounds for a survey from an expert surveyor.