Moving Home FAQs

Moving Home FAQs

Moving Home FAQs

Buying and selling your house


When should I ask you to start the legal work?

You may instruct us to act on your behalf at any time. If you are buying we will not incur any fees until you ask us to start the work following the seller's acceptance of your offer. If you are selling we will help compile the pack of information needed by your buyer's solicitor.

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Will I need a valuation of the property?

Yes. This will usually be arranged by your mortgage lender if you are obtaining a mortgage.

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Do I have to pay a deposit before I complete my purchase?

If you are a first time buyer you will have to pay a deposit which is usually 10% of the purchase price. However, if you are borrowing more than 90% of the purchase price a seller's solicitor will usually accept the difference between the purchase price and your mortgage. This way you avoid having to take out a short term loan.

If you are selling and buying the deposit will be provided by the first time buyer at the bottom of the chain and usually that deposit will be acceptable to the solicitors acting for all the sellers in the chain. However, you may be asked to make up the difference between that amount and 10% of your purchase price.

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If I have to pay a deposit, when is it payable?

We will ask you to pay the deposit to us before contracts are exchanged. Your cheque will need to have cleared before we can send the deposit to the seller's solicitor on exchange of contracts.

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When do I pay the legal fees?

We will ask you for £250.00 on account. If you are buying this amount covers the search fees including VAT. We will ask you for the remainder of our fees between exchange of contracts (when you become legally bound to buy) and completion (when you move). If you are selling we will take our fees out of the money you receive from the sale.

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Can I or the other party pull out of the sale and purchase?

You or the other party can withdraw from the transaction at any time before exchange of contracts. If you are buying it means that you could lose money spent on a survey and searches even though it may not be your fault that the purchase has fallen through. After exchange of contracts both parties are legally committed to complete the transaction.

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When will I receive my money from a sale?

We will send the amount due to you on the day of completion. If you are selling and buying then the sale proceeds will be used towards the purchase of your new property. Any balance due to you will be sent to you on the day of completion.

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How long does it take to buy a property?

The usual timescale from acceptance of offer to completion is six to eight weeks. Exchange of contracts is usually one to two weeks before completion. However, if your transaction is part of a chain of transactions there may be delays caused by matters which neither you nor we can control.

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How early on completion day can I get the keys?

The time for completion is dependent on money being transferred through the bank system. Unless a different time has been agreed in the contract the latest time for completion is 2pm. By that time the money should have reached the seller's solicitors and the keys should be released to the buyer. However, if there is a long chain of transactions the money might be received later than 2pm and therefore the keys released later than that time.

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Where do I collect the keys on completion?

If it is convenient the sellers may agree to hand the keys over to you at the property. Alternatively, the seller might prefer to leave the keys with the estate agent for you to collect.

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Am I committed once I have signed the contract?

No. Only when contracts are exchanged between solicitors do you become legally bound. Exchange of contracts takes place by a series of telephone calls between solicitors acting for the sellers and buyers in the chain of transactions when every seller and buyer is ready.

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Will the result of the local search give details of any development in the area?

No. The results of the local search will only reveal matters affecting the specific property searched.

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I have recently installed double glazing. Will I need to produce anything to the buyer?

Yes. Since the 1st April 2002 it is a requirement that building regulation approval is obtained or a certificate issued by a contractor under the Fenestration Scheme for Self Assessment (FENSA).

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Who arranges the completion date?

The completion date is agreed between the seller and buyer and all other sellers and buyers in the chain. We therefore strongly recommend that you do not make any definite commitment such as booking removals until contracts are exchanged. The completion date is usually one to two weeks after exchange of contracts to allow sufficient time for lenders to release mortgage money to solicitors.

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Do I have to go to your office for exchange of contracts or completion?

No. We will arrange to have all the documents signed in time before exchange of contracts and completion.

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Will I receive any documents following completion of my purchase?

Yes. Most lenders do not require title deeds and documents to be kept as security. The lender is protected by registration of the mortgage at the Land Registry. Most lenders will allow us to send you the pre-registration deeds and documents.

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