Whether you are buying or selling a property you have to instruct a solicitor or conveyancer to take care of transferring the legal ownership. This is done by signing a letter of instruction. Whoever you choose as a representative will act on your behalf, overseeing the process and accessing any important information needed when buying or selling a property.
2 Searches against the property
A search is undertaken by local authorities at the local council to find out if there is any information about the property which may need further investigation. This could be anything from a compulsory purchase order, breach of planning permission or works to be carried out within the property proximity, like improvements by the Highway Authority.
There will be a conclusive examination of the title documents to clarify whether or not the title is clean and free from errors or defects.
3 Draft contract investigation
At this stage of the process a draft contract is submitted and the investigation of title takes place. The purpose of this is to highlight the terms and conditions of the purchase and provide concise details of the buyer and seller, sale price and size of deposit required on exchange and complete details of the property being sold.
4 Prior to exchange
Anything that arises from the investigation of title will be dealt with prior to the exchange and you will be notified if there is anything you need to be aware of. After this point you will be asked to sign and return the contract ready for exchange. You are not bound to the contract at this stage but once it is signed and exchanged with the other party it is legally binding.
5 Deed of Transfer
The Deed of Transfer document transfers legal ownership of the property upon completion and is a form you will be required to sign for your solicitor/conveyancer. It is often referred to as a TR1 Form.
6 Mortgage Deed
This document secures the loan on the property you are buying. It is signed in the presence of a witness by the buyer or buyers in the case of a joint purchase.
7 Completion statement
This is the statement which shows the remaining balance you are required to pay to complete the purchase of your new property. It includes any other expenses like stamp duty.
After the contract has been signed and the required deposit has been received, the contracts are exchanged by the solicitor. At this point a completion date is set by the buyer and seller agreeing a suitable day which is written on the contract. Once exchanged you have legally committed yourself to buy or sell the property.
It’s a legal requirement when buying a property with a mortgage to have buildings insurance in place from exchange of contracts. You can purchase buildings insurance as a stand-alone product or with contents insurance to protect your belongings as well as your property.
We recommend taking out buildings and contents insurance and all of our branches have experienced financial advisers who can help get this in place.
Completion occurs once the residual monies are transferred from or to your solicitor depending on whether or not you’re buying or selling. The title deeds are then received and you’re ready to move in or out of the property.