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Procedure for buying your first home

Posted on 20 March 2018 by Rachel Perry-Masterman

Procedure for buying your first home

Buying your first property can be a roller-coaster of emotions. You have saved hard for your deposit, possibly received confirmation of a mortgage in principle and now you have finally had an offer accepted on your dream home. You will feel excited but at the same time it can be stressful as is a brand new experience.

Rachel Perry-Masterman, provides simple steps on the purchasing procedure.

You should firstly instruct a conveyancer who will work on your behalf throughout the entire transaction. Try not to be persuaded to use the cheapest option, you should instruct someone who you feel happiest with, after all this may be your first experience of using a lawyer and therefore the process may at first appear daunting. Instructing someone who is patient, understanding and professional is key to your successful, happy purchase. 

A survey should be arranged as soon as possible so you are aware of any possible problems at the outset. Although it may appear to be your dream home, a qualified surveyor will highlight any issues that may affect your decision on whether you wish to proceed with the transaction. It is also advisable to review the ratings on the Energy Performance Certificate which is available from the Estate Agent. If this is a low rating, then heating the property will be expensive and making improvements will require additional funds as you may need to consider a new boiler or loft insulation. 

The usual searches that are obtained on a purchase are the Environmental, Drainage and Water and Local. Although there are other searches that may be required i.e. mining report, flood report but your conveyancer will advise accordingly. 

When you obtain a mortgage, the lender’s surveyor will carry out a valuation. This is to ensure the property’s value is sufficient to the amount of mortgage you have requested. Prior to exchange, you should ensure that appropriate buildings insurance is put in place that meets with your lender’s requirements. 

Your conveyancer will review the title and raise any enquiries with the sellers’ solicitors. Once all findings have been concluded, including searches, survey, mortgage offer and then the conveyancer will be in a position to report to you in full on your purchase.

This will include sending the legal documentation out for signing which includes a contract, transfer, SDLT form and mortgage deed. Before signing you should read through the detailed report on title and make sure you are content with all the information given. Signing at this stage does not commit you to the purchase. This only takes place when the contracts are formally exchanged.
It is important to work closely with your conveyancer throughout the transaction and maintain a continuous level of communication. It can take around 8-10 weeks for completion to take place depending on the chain involved third parties and individual circumstances. 

Once contracts have been exchanged it is a legally binding contract and your deposit will be paid. In the unlikely event that you are unable to proceed with the transaction you will lose the deposit and litigation actions could be taken against you. Similarly if the seller does not proceed, the deposit would be returned and you could take litigation action against them. 

The usual length of time between exchange and completion is between 7 and 28 days however will vary depending on the chain involved. 

Prior to completion, your conveyancer will provide you with a completion statement which will show the balance required to complete. The mortgage monies are sent direct to the conveyancer.

On the day of completion the purchase monies will be transferred to the sellers’ conveyancer. Once received, they will confirm completion and release the keys which are usually handed to the Estate Agents. You will be notified by your conveyancer with the good news and congratulations you are now a home owner. 

Pardoes Solicitors LLP offer a free no obligation quotation on all conveyancing transactions. Please feel free to contact a member of the residential team who will be happy to assist.

Posted in: Buying & Selling Your Home