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Residential Conveyancing FAQs

Written by: Keoghs Solicitors

Date: 8th May 2013

Buying and selling a property can be exciting and nerve-wracking in equal measure. Purchasing a home is usually the most expensive purchase you will make in your lifetime.

Our team of residential conveyancing solicitors provide friendly, jargon-free advice to progress your purchase or sale quickly and efficiently.

Here are some of the most popular questions that we are asked by our clients:

On average, how long will it take from my purchase being agreed to completion?

Every sale or purchase is different but typically the process  takes between 6-8 weeks, from an offer being accepted.

How much will it cost?

In general, selling a property is cheaper than buying a property but our team would be happy to provide a fixed fee quote without obligation in most cases.  Fees are due and payable upon completion.

Who will handle the process for me?

At Keoghs, Nicholls, Lindsell and Harris the Residential Conveyancing Team is headed up by Rebecca Faulkner.  Each member of the team is a fully qualified solicitors with extensive experience in property related matters, including: buying and selling freehold and leasehold property, transfer of equity transactions, and re-mortgages.

You can be confident that when you instruct one of our solicitors, you are dealing with professional, experienced and friendly experts. Your case, be it either a sale, purchase or other property related matter will be handled, from start to finish by the same person.

I don’t need a mortgage but should I still undertake a Survey of the Property?

A Home Buyers Report carried out on the property can be relied on at a later date if there is a structural problem with the property which was not mentioned when the report was carried out. If the property is quite old and you are concerned about its condition, then you can also obtain a full structural survey which provides more detail.

The golden rule is ‘let the buyer beware’ which means that you will be liable for any problems that are discovered after you have exchanged contracts.  Regardless of whether or not you need a mortgage to purchase the property, a survey would provide some reassurance and potential safeguards in the future.

Can I exchange contracts before I receive my mortgage offer?

If for any reason the mortgage offer is declined or delayed and you are reliant on the mortgage to purchase the property, then it would be extremely dangerous to exchange contracts without having this in place.

When will I receive any monies left over from my sale?

If there is a surplus of monies due back to you after the completion of your sale then we will try to send this to you on the day or completion, or at the very least, on the next working day. Payment is usually made by same day  transfer directly into your bank account.

Why can’t I move house on a Saturday?

The UK Banking System for electronic transfers (of funds) cannot be used on a Saturday and therefore your move would need to be arranged and agreed between Monday and Friday.

What do we need to know regarding buying in joint names?

Most couples who are married and buy a property, purchase as ‘Joint Tenants’ which means that in the event of the death of one, the deceased’s share will automatically pass to the other.

An alternative is to hold the property as ‘tenants in common’ which means that each person’s share is treated as being separate.  In the event of the death of one or the other, then the share does not automatically go to the other, but to whomever the deceased decides in their Will.  In the event of no Will being in place it would pass to their next of kin.  This is something that our Estate Planning Team could discuss with you.

I’ve inherited a property. What do I need to do first?

The first thing to do is to contact us to arrange the formal transfer of title in the property.. Inheriting a property can be complicated, if, for example, it is shared ownership.   Speaking to fully qualified and experienced residential conveyancing solicitors will help to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.

I’m thinking of buying a buy-to-let property, what do I need to do?

Becoming a landlord involves considerable paperwork to protect you and also your tenants. We can help you make sure that all your tenancy agreements are watertight and correctly prepared for signature.

I’m thinking of buying a leasehold flat. How can I find out what shared repairs costs I may be liable for?

If you are buying a leasehold property, it is imperative that a solicitor checks the lease for you, as this forms the contract between the leaseholder and the landlord (freeholder).  You should also be supplied with accounts so you can assess expenditure to date, as well as looking into account management fees and what the money is used for. The majority of leases are straightforward but leaseholders should be alerted to landlords who charge high management fees, or who fail to maintain their properties to an acceptable standard.

If you have a specific question or need advice on a particular aspect of buying and selling a property, then please get in touch.

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