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Conveyancing — Buying and Selling Residential Property

Buying a property

There are lots of elements to consider when purchasing a property. Our step-by-step guide will help you understand the process you will follow with us at Thackray Williams.

  • Negotiations
      • You (the buyer) will be introduced to a property by an estate agent who will negotiate for the purchase on your behalf.
      • The selling agent should make the property Energy Performance Certificate EPC available.
  • Instructing a solicitor and mortgage application
      • You’ll need to instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf in connection with the purchase.
      • You should return the Letter of Instruction to your solicitor, together with a cheque (made payable to Thackray Williams) for the sum of £350 on account of initial costs - this will enable us to start work on the purchase.
      • If you require a mortgage you’ll need to make a mortgage application to allow the lender to begin the mortgage process.
  • The solicitor's work begins
      • Acting as your solicitors, we will receive sales particulars from the estate agents confirming details of the sellers and their solicitors.
      • We will then write to the seller’s solicitors confirming instructions and requesting draft contracts and supporting paperwork.
  • Searches
      • Once we receive the draft paperwork from the seller’s solicitors, we will make an application for local authority, drainage, environmental and any other appropriate searches. We will also raise any further additional enquiries of the seller’s solicitors that may be necessary.
      • The searches will usually take between seven to 10 days to come through. We cannot apply for a local search until we have received funds on account from you and are in receipt of draft paperwork from the seller’s solicitors.
  • Mortgage offer, search results, further enquiries and contract
      • We then wait to receive your mortgage offer, the search results and all replies to any further enquiries that may have been raised.
      • Once these are all received and are satisfactory we will then return one part of the contract to the seller’s solicitors and report to you with the contract for signature.
      • The contract will give details of any deposit which may be required – this is usually 10% of the purchase price but it can be less, for instance, where a 95% mortgage is being arranged.
      • You should read everything through and if happy return the signed contract to us with instructions on a completion (or moving) date. You will also need to send us the deposit in a guaranteed form.
  • Exchange of contracts and completion date
      • Once the seller’s solicitors are similarly placed, we can proceed to exchange of contracts with an agreed completion date.
  • Mortgage advance and mortgage deed
      • After exchange, we will request the mortgage advance (if applicable) and provide a statement of account to you confirming how much more money will be needed before completion.
      • Arrangements are also made for you to execute a mortgage deed (if applicable) and pre-completion bankruptcy and Land Registry searches are done. There should be enough time between exchange and completion to conclude these formalities.
  • Completion
      • We’ll send the balance of purchase monies to the seller’s solicitors who will then telephone the estate agents to release the keys.
  • Land Registry
      • Once we receive the title deeds from the seller’s solicitors we submit an Inland Revenue Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) form to the Inland Revenue and wait to receive the Stamp Duty Land Tax certificate.
      • When the certificate arrives we submit an application for the registration of title to HM Land Registry. We wait to receive the Confirmation of Registration, giving details of change of registered proprietor (and mortgage). We are then able to forward confirmation of this to the mortgage company, and this will to be held by them during the subsistence of the mortgage.
      • Any original deeds still held by us are either placed in storage or sent to you.
  • How long will it take?

      From start to exchange of contracts
      On average it takes six to eight weeks to arrive at exchanging contracts. This is dependant on the number people in the chain and assumes that there are no problems with surveys or obtaining mortgage offers.

      Exchange of contracts to completion
      It will usually take two to four weeks for this stage. Parties often want shorter periods between exchange and completion, but this often involves additional charges as the solicitors have to push-through the execution of documents and make urgent requests for mortgage monies and pre-completion searches.

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