|Buying a House or Commercial Premises
Our years of experience have taught us that the daunting and unfamiliar territory of purchasing a home or a Commercial Premises can be a daunting experience for any Purchaser. At John Neville and Company Solicitors we have adopted a client-centered approach to all aspects of our business. In particular in the area of conveyancing we find that the need to adopt a client centered approach to the conveyancing process helps make this event a smooth, efficient and stress-free process. Our client-centered approach involves the following:
The following is a rough guide to the process involved in buying a house.
- We have are highly skilled and experienced in the area of conveyancing commercial and residential conveyancing to ensure you receive a quality service.
- We use a modern e-commerce approach for maximum efficiency in completing the transaction.
- Clients receive regular progress updates keeping you informed every step of the way.
- Our policy is to provide a service aimed at building long-standing client relationships.
- We operate a fixed-fee charging policy, i.e. we set out the costs at the commencement of the transaction so that there are no surprises as the transaction progresses to completion.
It is important at this stage to carefully evaluate all costs involved buying a home or a commercial premises, for example, mortgage costs, legal fees, registration of deeds, stamp duty, etc. If you have calculated that you can afford to buy a property taking into account all of these costs, then you are ready to buy.
Very few people have the funds to buy a residential or commercial property without getting a mortgage. A mortgage is a long-term loan secured against the property you buy. This means if you don’t repay your mortgage you may lose your home.
There are different types of mortgages and different mortgage providers.
You can get mortgage approval in principle before you start to look for a property; this will let you know how much you have to spend. However, when you find a property you like, you must get formal mortgage approval. We in John Neville and Company will generally as a rule not allow clients proceed to the signing of contracts without having a loan offer in place and confirmation that all the special conditions of the lending institution can be met by the client before you sign the contract for sale.
The legal process to buy the property may only start when the auctioneer receives your booking deposit. This booking deposit is the initial stage of the conveyancing process. Once the booking deposit is paid to the Auctioneer, the Auctioneer will send out a sale notice to the vendors and the purchasers and their respective solicitors. The booking deposit does not create any legal rights for any party. The booking deposit is 100% refundable until such time as you proceed to the signing of contracts for sale. You should never sign anything in an Auctioneers or estate agents office when paying a booking deposit that suggests that the booking deposit will not be 100% repaid in the event that contracts for sale are not signed by both the purchaser and vendor.
Issue of Contracts:
The vendor will instruct his Solicitor to issue contracts for the sale of the house to your Solicitors on foot of the sale notice being issued. At this stage of the process in advance of the signing of contracts the purchaser needs to ensure the following:
You must have the house surveyed to ensure that the property does not suffer from any structural defects. You surveyor needs to be sure that there have been no unauthorised developments on the property, ensure that all of the property is contained within the lawful boundaries of the property, ensure there is no asbestos within the property, and ensure that the property is built fully in compliance with the planning permissions and building regulations where applicable, etc. We would also recommend that you ask your surveyor to carry out a planning search and to check to see if there are any proposed developments planned for the area e.g. Incinerators, Dumps, Halting sites etc.
You need to find out what the total costs and outlays are going to be in relation to the property you intend on purchasing. This means that you should have a written letter of loan offer from the bank outlining the terms and conditions upon which they are prepared to loan the money to you
We, as your Solicitors will then examine the contracts and the title documents to ensure that the house you are buying has good marketable title.We will raise with the vendors solicitors if we are acting on behalf of the purchase what are known as pre-contract queries. These queries are raised pre-contract to ensure that we will be satisfied that you will be purchasing the property with good marketable title and to ensure there are no planning or taxation issues that could potentially remain outstanding by the vendors post signing of contracts. Once all of the above have been dealt with, the purchaser signs the contracts and they are returned to the vendor’s solicitor together with the balance purchase deposit (typically, this is 10% of the overall purchase price, less the amount of the booking deposit you have already paid).
The vendors then sign the contract bringing into existence a binding contract. It is vital that you keep in touch with you mortgage provider at all stages throughout the process. The mortgage provider will set down various requirements which you must complete before you can draw-down the mortgage monies. These requirements typically include setting up a life policy (which may include undertaking a medical examination), getting building insurance cover for the house, carrying out a valuation of the house and completing all the relevant mortgage documentation. It is vitally important that all those documents are in place as soon as possible as without them, the bank will not release your purchase monies.
The contracts contain a closing date which is the date that has been agreed between the purchaser and the vendor. This is the date that the balance purchase monies are exchanged for the title documents and the keys to the house.If it’s a case that you are not ready to buy the house on the agreed closing date, the vendor will be entitled to charge you penalty interest under the terms of the contract.
On the closing date we as your Solicitors would meet with the Solicitors for the vendors. We give them the balance purchase monies and they in turn give us the title documents. Generally, the keys to the house are held by the Auctioneers and once we confirm to you that the house has been bought, you call to the Auctioneers to collect the keys. Once a sale is completed, your deeds, showing the new ownership details and mortgage details, if relevant, must be registered with the Land Registry in The Property Registration Authority. Once the registrations are completed we will furnish all the title deeds to the new owner of the property if there is no legal mortgage in place with a lending institution or we will return them to the lending institution as their security in the event that there is a mortgage charge on the property.