The Residential Purchase Process
The process of buying a property is theoretically straightforward; however, the many steps involved can each involve complexity, especially if the property is old and/or has extensive covenants on the title. For this reason, it is essential to instruct an experienced Conveyancing Solicitor who has the knowledge and technical tools required to spot potential problems and anomalies before you commit hundreds of thousands of pounds to the transaction.
To help make it easier to understand below is a Step by Step guide to the purchasing of a residential property.
- An offer is accepted via Estate Agents (or privately) from the Buyer for the sale of the property.
- All parties instruct Solicitors.
- The Estate Agents (or if private the parties themselves) send out the Memorandum of Sale to all parties concerned confirming the agreed price and details of the Buyer, Seller, and their respective Solicitors.
- Both Solicitors write to each other to confirm their instructions.
- Seller’s Solicitor applies for a copy of the Deeds, including the lease, if the property is leasehold, from the Land Registry and sends the Seller various forms/questionnaires to complete such as a Fixtures Fittings and Contents form.
- Once the Seller’s Solicitors have received the copy Deeds from the Land Registry and completed forms/questionnaires from the Seller, they send to the Buyer’s Solicitors the Contract package.
- Buyer’s Solicitors review Contract package.
- Buyer’s Solicitors submit local search and will also submit any other required searches e.g. a coal mining search, an environmental search, or a drainage search.
- Buyer’s Solicitors may request additional information about the property, the legal title or the surrounding area from the Seller’s Solicitors. If the property is leasehold, additional leasehold enquiries will also be sent to the seller’s Solicitor to be answered by the Landlord or their Agents. Such enquiries are to ensure that any rent/service charge arrears are paid by the seller on or before completion and that any current disputes that the seller may have with the landlord are resolved before your purchase completes.
- Seller’s Solicitor will deal with any legal enquiries they can answer but may need to forward some enquiries to the Seller to answer.
- Buyer’s Solicitors will send a report to the Buyer on the property which includes a plan of the property and a form indicating items to be included in the sale.
- Buyer’s Solicitors receives the Buyer’s mortgage offer and reports to the Buyer on the terms of the offer.
- Buyer’s Solicitors receives the search results and reports to the Buyer on any adverse entries. They may need to request further information from the seller’s Solicitors regarding any entries revealed in the searches, which could in the future have an adverse effect on the property.
- If the Buyer’s Solicitors are satisfied with the replies to the Additional Enquiries they will then arrange for the Buyer to sign the Contract documents and request a deposit (if applicable) from the Buyer.
- Once the Buyer’s Solicitors have received satisfactory replies to Additional Enquiries, satisfactory search results, mortgage offer (if required), signed Contract documentation and a clear deposit (if any) the Buyer’s Solicitor is then READY TO EXCHANGE CONTRACTS.
- The Buyer’s Solicitor contacts the Seller’s Solicitor to advise they are ready to Exchange contracts and to suggest a Completion date.
- The Seller’s Solicitor then contacts the Seller to check if the proposed Completion date is agreed upon. If not agreed the Seller’s Solicitor will negotiate with the Buyer’s Solicitors (or via the estate agents) for a Completion date acceptable to all parties.
- Once a Completion date is agreed the Buyer’s Solicitor and Seller’s Solicitor EXCHANGE CONTRACTS.
- BOTH PARTIES ARE NOW LEGALLY BOUND TO BUY AND SELL THE PROPERTY FOR THE AGREED PRICE ON THE AGREED COMPLETION DATE.
STEP 9 – THE COMPLETION DATE
- On the Completion date, the Buyer’s Solicitor will send by same-day money transfer to the Seller’s Solicitor the monies required to purchase the Property.
- Once the money is received the Seller’s Solicitor will authorize the release of the keys to the Buyer either via the estate agents or via the Seller direct.
THE PURCHASE IS THEN COMPLETE.
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Depending upon the complexity we are able to offer fixed fees in some cases. In other cases our solicitors charge the following hourly rate:
- Partner/Member SolicitorHourly rate of £250 + VAT
- Senior Solicitor or Head of Dept: (PQE 8yr+)Hourly rate of £225 + VAT
- Assistant Solicitor/Fee Earner (PQE 3/7yr)Hourly rate of £200 + VAT
- Newly Qualified Fee Earner (PQE 1/3yr)Hourly rate of £170 + VAT
- Paralegals/TraineesHourly rate of £120 + VAT
- Support ParalegalsHourly rate of £100 + VAT