Legal

Five Things to Be Aware of When You’re Buying a House

Buying a house is one of the most significant investments that most people make in their lifetime, and the process can be an intimidating one. In addition to finding the perfect home, there are numerous legal considerations that you need to keep in mind when purchasing a property, but that is where your solicitor comes in.

15 Mar 2023

Team name
Shah Al Hoque

Shah Al Hoque

Conveyancing is the name of the legal process of transferring the ownership of a property.  As experts in conveyancing, your solicitor will know the legal process inside and out to assist you in buying your dream property.

Below are five crucial conveyancing points that your solicitor will assist you with when buying a house to help you navigate the process with confidence and assurance.

Property searches

Your solicitor will carry out a range of title and property searches to check if there are any potential issues with the property which could affect your use or enjoyment of the property. These could identify whether there is a charge on the property for the seller which needs to be redeemed by them on completion, whether the property is prone to environmental factors and much more. Once these searches have taken place, the solicitor will report back to you about any issues they found, or if there is any cause for concern.

Mortgage

If you need to take out a mortgage, it is important to understand the terms and conditions of the mortgage agreement. Although your mortgage advisor will have procured the mortgage according to your needs and will no doubt advise you upon its terms, similarly your solicitor will look to ensure that you understand your obligations. Your solicitor may also act on behalf of the mortgage provider in completing the mortgage and registering it, together with your ownership of the property, at HM Land Registry following completion.

Exchange and completion

Your solicitor will have negotiated the terms of the contract with the seller’s solicitor. Exchange is the point which the buyer becomes legally committed to buying the property and the seller is legally committed to sell it. Your solicitor will explain the terms of exchanging contracts to you and the implications of the decision.

At completion, the purchase price, accounting for any deposit paid at exchange of contracts, is paid to the seller and the buyer becomes the owner of the property. Your solicitor will tell you when this has happened, and you will be able to collect the keys from the estate agent and move in.

Stamp Duty

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax that you need to pay when you buy a property (or land) over a certain price in England. The rules and rates for SDLT vary depending on the value of the property and other factors. A solicitor can assist you in completing and filing the SDLT return simplifying the process for you.

Property insurance

It is important to arrange adequate insurance coverage for the security of your property and yourself, both before and after completion. Your solicitor will help you to identify what types of insurance you might need and when you might need them. Generally buildings insurance should be placed on risk from exchange of contracts.

M&P Commentary

Shah Al Hoque, a Paralegal in our Residential Property team, said:

“Many of us will hopefully be buying a property at least once in our life. The process can be a stressful one, so its important you instruct a solicitor who will make your home purchase easy and your experience positive. The experienced Residential Conveyancing team at Mullis & Peake are not only able to advise you on the points mentioned above, but they will also keep you informed and updated throughout the whole process. Whether you’re a first-time buyer (check out our guide here), an experienced property investor, or beginning your climb up the property ladder, the team aims to ensure that our stellar customer service is upheld, by providing a professional service with a personal touch.”

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