In my “Buying a House” Series on my blog I am trying to include all the information I have been given since we started our search for the perfect family house. It can be really overwhelming especially for first time buyers who have never been through the process before (like myself although I have experience the sale of our flat a while back but buying is another game all together!) I am no expert in any of the matters I have been talking about so far but I just wanted to share my tips for you to read if you are in a similar position and hope it will easy your mind a little bit! For me reading up on all the topics involved on buying a property was a godsend amongst all the waiting you have to do!
So lets talk about Solicitors! What can you expect? And how to find the right one for you?
We where really lucky that we could use the same Solicitor we had when we sold our Flat back in 2015 who was a personal recommendation from our Broker. I would recommend to research and maybe get some quotes from different local Solicitors and ask your Family and Friend Circle for any recommandations!
Once you have had your Mortgage offer agreed in principles (you can read more about this on: “Getting a Mortgage approved“) and you have found a property, put in an offer and had it accepted its time to employ the services of a Solicitor. We agreed a fixed sum with him (as long as no problems e.g.. with regards to the title to the property) which will be paid once the sale is agreed on.
First of all your Solicitor needs the details of the Buyers as well a a correspondence Address and details about your (Mortgage) Lender as well as the address of the Property you want to purchase the Estate Agents Details who is involved in the sale as well as the Vendors Names and their Solicitor Details.
Our Solicitor gave us a estimated sum as well as a run down of the costs involved (apart from the agreed property price) which in our case where as followed:
Stamp duty £3,250.00 (thats of course depending on the price of the house)
Land Registry fees £135.00
Local search fee (depending on the local authority) between £175.00 to £250.00
Drainage search fee £60.00 approx.
Environmental Search fee £60.00 approx.
Land Registry search £3.00 Bank telegraphic transfer and administration fee £42.00 Bankruptcy Search £2.00 per name
PLEASE NOTE: This will be different for every single property and I have just listed this as an example so you can see what the estimated costs are and what exactly it is for.
Most Solicitors will ask for a cheque upfront for some of the searches to be covered and then he will start with the searches and you will receive a report of each single search which has been carried out.
Once the Survey report has been received and send to the Solicitor you can ask him to forward any concerns or matters regarding the report to the vendor’s solicitors on the buyers behalf.
Your Solicitor is with you on every step of the way once the searches are completed it will go into things like the Fitting and Contents List and onto Exchanging Contracts as well as the actual Completion. After completion your solicitor will tie up some loose ends like:
Pay Stamp Duty Land Tax on your behalf.
You will receive your legal documents about 20 days after completion after your solicitor has sent them to the Land Registry.
Send a copy of the title deeds to your mortgage lender, who will hold them until you pay your loan off.
Notify the freeholder if the property is leasehold.
Give you a bill for their payment.
A good Solicitor is worth a lot but you still have to do some chasing because you aren’t his only client!