Conveyancing Solicitors

Buying A House

Buying a House

When buying a house, whether it be for the first time or not, there is a buying a house process that everyone typically has to follow and until the process is complete it is not possible to move. When you are selling a house there is also a process you need to go through.

Our job is to try and make the two processes run as smoothly together as possible, and hopefully, the sale and purchase will go through together at the same time.

Buying a house process

Many of these activities take place at the same time but this should give you a rough idea of what happens when buying a property.

1. Firstly it is important to find out how much money you can borrow, whether you are a first-time buyer or not, you need to ask for a ‘mortgage agreement in principle’ then you can set yourself a clear budget

2. Setting a budget – there are a lot of costs involved in buying a property, these are just some of the things you need to consider

1. Mortgage Costs
2. Stamp Duty Fees
3. Solicitor Fees
4. Insurance Costs
5. Survey Costs
6. Removal Costs

3. Location, Location, Location – this is the fun part – finding your home! We often have our clients explain to us why they have chosen a particular property to buy. For example, to move closer to family, good schools in the area, big garden for their pet dog, a renovation project. These are all considerations when looking for your new home.

4. Making an Offer ‘subject to contract and survey’ – once you have found a property you would like you can put in an offer, this often involves some negotiation to agree on the price. At this stage, we would recommend you instruct a solicitor, once the offer has been accepted it is all systems go!

5. Once the offer has been accepted we get the contract from the seller’s solicitor and make sure it matches what you have told us.

6. Local Authority Searches – We obtain and report to you on various searches. These tell us a range of things such as: whether there are any public works that will affect the property; are there any proposals to build a new road; whether there are any planning restrictions; whether the property connects into the public sewers; or whether the property could be built on contaminated land. They do however only relate to the house you are buying and not to the neighbouring property.

7. Surveys – We recommend that, in most cases, you obtain a surveyors report as many lenders are only concerned with the value of the property. A slightly more detailed report might prevent you from finding out once you have moved in that the house you bought has problems.

8. If you are to have a mortgage we need to have the offer before we proceed. This is important as you need to ensure that you can borrow enough money to buy the property.

9. Contract Approval – Once all the searches are back and you are happy to proceed, a draft contract will be drafted by your solicitor for you to sign. A formal mortgage offer will be sent to your Solicitor for you to agree and sign.

10. Exchange of Contracts – This is the signing of the contracts by both you and the Seller. It is important before we exchange that you are happy and discussed any concerns with your Solicitor. At this stage, a deposit can be paid and a completion date set. The deposit (10%) is non-refundable. At this stage, you are also responsible for insuring the property (building insurance only) in case of anything happening to the property.

11. Completion day – all final paperwork is sorted and the mortgage is transferred to the Sellers. You will receive your keys and be able to move into your new home!!! It is almost the end of our involvement!!

12. We now finish the transaction by paying Stamp Duty (if that is required) and registering you as the owner of the property at The Land Registry.

13. Once the property has been registered at the Land Registry we will send you a copy of the Title Information Document showing you as the new owner.

14. As you have just bought a house you should now think about protecting it by making a Will.

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    Further Information


    This is simply the name given to the process of buying and selling.

    This is the most common question of all and it is impossible to give an exact answer. A “normal” transaction takes about 8 weeks but this can be shorter or longer depending on , for example, how many people are in the chain, how long it takes for a mortgage offer to come though, if someone in the chain goes on holiday etc.

    These are the out of pocket expenses that we make on your behalf for example, search fees, land registry fees, stamp duty.

    Do not cancel the payments until completion has taken place. If something were to go wrong and your mortgage could not be paid of then you could find yourself in arrears on your mortgage.

    Our advice is not until exchange of contracts. Until this point the chain can fall through and you could be left with a bill for their cancellation.

    If you are selling we will need to obtain documents to send to the buyers solicitors for example copy documents from the Land Registry and we need to pay for these when we order them. On a purchase we will need to order searches and again these have to be paid for at the time of ordering.

    If you are having a mortgage you will have no choice as it will be a term of your mortgage offer that you have the searches done. If you are a cash purchaser it is your choice but we always advise that you have them.

    Usual searches are a local search – this will tell us such things as is the road adopted; whether there are any planning applications relating to the property (although not the surrounding area); drainage search – this will show us such things as whether the property is legally connected to mains drainage and whether the sewer pipe runs though the garden; Environmental search this will tell us such things as are there landfill sites within the vicinity of the property.

    Less common searches are commons registration search – is any of the land registered as common ground, mining searches.

    You will no longer get a large packet of old deeds to the property. The Land Registry will provide a Title Information Document which shows the address of the Property, name of the owner and name of any mortgage lender. These are stored electronically by the Land Registry so if you lose your copy – don’t panic!

    Whether buying or selling a home, we hope that you may find some of these links useful.

    For further information or to speak to one of our team, contact us at one of our offices in Lincolnshire and Newark.

    Useful Conveyancing Links

    Environment Agency –

    Environment Agency – Flooding

    Companies House –

    HM Land Registry –

    Postcode Finder –

    Stamp Duty –

    Royal Mail –

    Local Authorities –

    Financial Services Authority –

    Highways Agency –

    Planning Authority –

    House Price Index –

    Don’t forget to look at local services and amenities in your area and removal firms.

    Sarah JacksonDirector & Solicitor
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    01522 561034
    Amanda GreenPartner & Solicitor
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    01476 515859
    Bev KirkTeam Leader & Senior Associate, Residential Conveyancing
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    01205 314628
    Lorraine HuntLicensed Conveyancer & Associate
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    01529 301300
    View the team

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      General enquiries: 0333 3580 393Your local office: NewarkGranthamSleafordBostonLincoln