Buying a Property - Basic Procedure - See Disclaimer
For most people, buying a house or a flat is the biggest financial transaction they ever get involved with. It can be quite a complicated business. Your solicitor can help to guide you through the process.
Having found the right property, you have to arrange a survey, arrange finance to pay for it and make a formal offer to buy. You’ll need someone who can guide you through this process and offer you sound advice. It’s a process which starts before you actually make an offer and isn’t quite finished even when you get your keys. Throughout the whole procedure, Austins are there to explain the procedure and offer you expert advice and experience.
Finding a property
We can provide general information on current property available in the area and can use our local knowledge to assist in finding a property to suit you. Once you have found a property you like, ask your solicitor to ‘note interest’ for you with the selling agent. A note of interest does not oblige you to buy; it simply indicates that you are interested in the property and wish to be kept informed of developments, such as the fixing of a closing date for offers.
All properties placed on the market (subject to some exceptions) for sale from 1 December 2008, require to have a Home Report which can be made available to any interested party as part of the sale procedure. This Report provides details in relation to the property including an Energy Performance Certificate, a Property Questionnaire completed by the seller and a Survey Report in relation to the property giving an indication as to the condition of the property and the valuation for the purposes of sale. You may find that the selling Estate Agent or Solicitor will require a payment in order to allow you to have a copy of the Report. Messrs Austins are happy to discuss the terms of the Report with you and advise you as to any matters therein which may cause you concern. You may find that your lender is not satisfied with the Report as it may be of some age given that generally the Reports are obtained at the commencement of the marketing of the property and therefore it may be the case that a further survey requires to be carried out or an update to the Report and Messrs Austins can assist you in that regard.
Arranging a Loan
At the same time, you will have to arrange your loan. Ask your solicitor for advice regarding this. With many different kinds of loan available at any time (e.g. repayment mortgages, endowment mortgages, fixed rate, capped rate, slow start, deferred payment etc) it can be very confusing. It is important to have a reliable adviser, so that you are confident that you have chosen the loan repayment method which is best suited to your circumstances. Austins can give you advice on this and, if you want, can arrange your loan for you.
Submitting an Offer
If you wish, your solicitor will arrange the survey, Thereafter, he or she will give you advice about how much you might need to offer. If there are other people interested in the property, the sellers may well fix a ‘closing date’ when all the interested parties will submit their best offers. However, if you are the only person interested in purchasing the property, or if the property is advertised for sale at a ‘fixed price’, it may be possible to put in an offer right away. On your instruction the solicitor will prepare an offer, sign it on your behalf and submit it to the selling agents. Any offer prepared in this way has legal consequences for you, so it is essential that your loan arrangements are agreed beforehand.
Your solicitor will be able to advise you about insuring the property and its contents.
Negotiating the purchase
Assuming your offer is successful, there will probably be negotiations with the seller, to agree various things such as the date of entry (i.e., the date on which you will obtain the keys and the titles of the property, in exchange for payment of the purchase price). There could be other matters to be negotiated too, such as the items to be included in the purchase, guarantees in respect of the central heating system, how to deal with alterations for which there are no local authority consents and many other practical matters. Your solicitor will help you to deal with these issues and, once they are resolved, you will have a binding contract for the purchase.
Checking the titles
While all this is going on, your solicitor will also be checking over the titles and reporting to you on the exact description of the property and any ‘title burdens’, that is, conditions which will have to be obeyed by any owner of the property. These could include an obligation to pay a proportion of common repair costs, or a restriction on the possible uses to which the property can be put.
Transferring the title into your name
A new title deed (a ‘Disposition’) will also have to be prepared for signature by the seller, transferring the title into your name. If you have a mortgage arranged, a Standard Security will also have to be prepared (to be signed by you, the purchaser) giving the Lender (i.e. your mortgage provider) certain rights over the property, including, in certain circumstances, a right to take possession of the property and sell it. Your solicitor will advise you in detail about the effect of granting a security of this kind over your property.
Completing the Purchase
Once all these matters have been dealt with, the transaction will be completed on the date of entry, the deeds will be delivered, the price will be paid to the seller and you will get the keys to your new home. There are several other matters which you may have to deal with and which your solicitor can assist you with. For example, if you have not already done so, it is a good time to consider drawing up a will, especially if you are buying the property along with another person. If you are not married to the joint owner, there may be other issues to consider and your solicitor can advise on these.
Estimates of fees and outlays
Austins can provide you with an estimate of the fees which you will be charged for the house purchase and any will etc, and the various outlays you will also have to pay, such as Stamp Duty and survey fees.
Your solicitor can generally deal with everything from the start of the transaction to the moment when you move into your new home. So, if you are thinking of buying a house or a flat, the best advice is SEE AUSTINS FIRST.
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Property Particulars Disclaimer (1)These particulars of this website are set out as a general outline only for the guidance of intending purchasers and do not constitute a part of, an offer or contract.(2) All descriptions, dimensions, references to conditions and necessary permission for use and occupation and other details are given having (for the purpose of the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991) taken all reasonable steps to avoid committing an offence. Nonetheless such statements do not constitute any warranty or representation by the Vendor;(3) No person in the employment of Austins has any authority to make or give any representation or warranty whatever in relation to this property, nor is any such representation or warranty given whether by Austins or the Vendors of this property.(4) It is the responsibility of any intending Purchaser to satisfy himself as to the basis upon which he make an offer. The making of any offer of this property will be taken as an admission by the intending Purchaser (a) that he has relied solely upon his own judgement and (b) (To the extent that he has not personally verified the information in these particulars) he has noted and accepted the qualification and disclaimer set out in (2) above and (c) that in entering into any contract pursuant to any such offer, he shall have relied solely upon his own inspection and enquiries and the terms of such contract.(5) Nothing in these particulars or any related discussions forms part of any contract unless expressly incorporated within a subsequent agreement.