If you’re looking to buy a property locally, or anywhere in England & Wales then the right choice of Property Lawyer is absolutely crucial. When you’re potentially investing hundreds of thousands of pounds in a property, is it really worth putting your trust in a Property Lawyer based on price alone?
Here at Simeous, we bring our fresh, user-friendly approach to the home buying process. Our aim is to guide you through the transaction as quickly and as efficiently as possible, minimising the stress and costs typically associated with buying a property.
How Does The Home Buying Process Work?
We appreciate you’re more concerned with simply getting the keys to your new property than the intricacies of the conveyancing process however, understanding the basic process is useful.
Once you have found a suitable property and your offer has been accepted, the estate agents will circulate a sales confirmation which will enable the Lawyers to communicate with one another.
Once the sellers Lawyers send us a contract package, we will be able to start our investigations by raising enquiries and undertaking the various searches.
You ought to, by now and if you are procuring a mortgage, have made your application for finance and hopefully, your offer will not be too far away.
Once we have reviewed the enquiry replies, the search results and your mortgage offer, then we will talk to you about contract signing and discuss possible completion dates.
You Home Buying Questions Answered
Listed below are a few of the most commonly asked questions we received from our Clients. If your question isn’t answered below then please feel free to call us or use our contact form.
Q: What are searches?
These are not to be confused with surveys! Searches involve a thorough investigation of the council offices, water and drainage authorities and the environmental database, to look for any onerous entries or issues that might prejudice you as the home owner. We will report to you on these in full, once we have all of the results.
Q: What are disbursements?
This is a word that describes the additional payments needed to 3rd parties to enable your case to proceed. The disbursements payable on a sale are often far less than a purchase as you won’t need to pay for Land Registration fees or Stamp Duty. The disbursements should (broadly speaking) be the same no matter which law firm you choose to instruct.
Q: Do I need a survey?
This does depend on the age of the property, it’s location and your plans for its future use. We can advise further when we know more but we would usually advise that a form of survey be taken on any house. There are differing levels of survey though and the older the house, the more detailed the survey ought to be.
Please bear in mind that if you are raising a mortgage on the property, your lender will demand its own valuation, regardless of age. While you have to pay for this, you are not entitled to rely on its disclosures and strictly speaking, it will only be provided to reassure your Lender that the purchase price is a realistic one.
Q: Why do you need my identification
There are very strict anti money laundering rules in force as we have a responsibility to ensure that you are who you say you are. This is to avoid any possibility that funds are potentially being realised for terrorism financing. Our separate ID Sheet provides more detail as to what we need. We carry out electronic ID and source of funds checks once you have instructed us to act on your behalf. The charge is £9.95 plus VAT per client.
Q: What is the difference between freehold and leasehold?
A freehold property is one where you buy the property, the land on which it sits and a limited amount of airspace above. Therefore, aside from any possible covenants that affect its use, the land belongs to you.
A leasehold property is subject to many terms contained within a Lease. The benefits of the Lease and the restrictions that usually apply are held by a Freeholder, who will usually, own the Block in which the Flat sits.
Q: What happens if I am gazumped?
Sadly, there is little you can do. If your seller chooses to accept another offer then unless you want to enter into a bidding war, you cannot ‘make’ your seller sell to you. We always suggest that when your offer is accepted, you insist that the property is withdrawn from the open market. At least this cuts down on the likelihood that you will be outbid. But it doesn’t stop any previous viewer from making an offer, of course.
Q: What is the difference between exchange and completion?
Contract exchange is when you and the other party form a legal agreement with one another, to buy and sell from one another. Until this point, there is no obligation at all. It is at this stage that there is no going back, without financial loss so all loose ends and queries will have been dealt with by this time. Your deposit will be needed now and once provided to the Lawyer and used to exchange, it will be held by either us or the sellers Lawyers. Completion is the day on which you as a buyer receive the keys and own the property or as a seller hand over they keys and cease to own the property.