- Once you have confirmed that you would like Garnett Wilson to act for you, we will send you our Purchase Information form to complete, sign (by hand) and return. You should sign and return this form as soon as possible so that we can open a file and begin progressing your matter for you. Once your file has been opened we will ask for an advance fee to be paid to us, and on receipt of that advance fee, we’ll need to arrange for your ID to be verified via the Thirdfort online app. An invitation will be sent to you via text to the Thirdfort app for you to complete your ID verification using your phone.
- Once we have details of your seller and their solicitors/conveyancer from your Estate Agent and the property particulars, we will write to them to confirm they have been formally instructed by your sellers, and to request the draft contract. The draft contract should arrive with a pack that includes information on the property’s title held at the Land Registry, the property information / fittings & contents forms completed by the seller and the energy performance certificate (EPC) for the property. If the property is leasehold, a copy of the lease will also be included.
- Many people buy houses in joint names and, as such, need to be aware of an important decision to be made in relation to joint ownership*. There are two ways that you can jointly own a property:- Joint tenants – this is where both parties have an equal interest in the property and if one of you dies the survivor automatically owns the property.- Tenants in common – you each own a specific share of the property and can leave that share by Will, in the event of your death.*Before you commit to buying the property your conveyancer will ask you your wishes regarding joint ownership.
- You need to let your conveyancer know from the outset if you are also selling a property and need the transactions to be tied together.
Legal Work prior to Contracting to Buy
- Your conveyancer will examine the draft contract documents and if necessary raise enquiries with the seller’s solicitor/conveyancer. You will be required to go through the standard forms that the seller has completed and let your conveyancer know if everything is as you expected.
- If the property that you are buying is leasehold, your conveyancer will send a standard Managing Agents Questionnaire to the seller’s solicitors/conveyancers which will in turn be sent on to relevant Landlord/Managing Agents/Residents Association.
- If you are taking out a mortgage, your conveyancer will receive a copy of the offer and go through the conditions.
- Your conveyancer will normally undertake legal work on behalf of your lender as well.
Signing your Contract
- Once answers to all of the enquiries have been returned, they will be examined by your conveyancer and if they are satisfactory, you will be invited in to sign the contract and any mortgage documents. You will need to make arrangements for the deposit to be transferred into Garnett Wilson’s Client Account so that it is cleared in time for an exchange. Or, a written report will be sent to you.
Exchange of Contracts
- Before exchange of contracts can take place, your lender (if you have one) will require you to have a Buildings Insurance policy in place.
- All the parties involved need to agree on a completion date.
- From the point at which contracts are exchanged you are legally bound to buy, and the seller is legally bound to sell. Should either party back out, the other will be entitled to claim compensation for losses arising.
- At the point that contracts are exchanged, your conveyancer will send your deposit to the seller’s solicitor/conveyancer. This acts as security for the seller in case you change your mind or for some reason are unable to pay the balance and complete the purchase. If that happens, the seller can keep your deposit, and may take you to court if the deposit is not enough compensation for breaking the contract. In the same way, if the seller exchanges contracts and then refuses to complete the sale, you could apply to the court for an order to force the seller to complete, or else get your deposit back and sue the seller for compensation. It is rare for a sale not to complete once contracts have been exchanged.
Between Exchange and completion
- Your conveyancer will draw up the transfer deed so that the property can be registered in your name as soon as possible after completion. Your conveyancer will also carry out some further searches of a technical nature.
- During this period you should receive a statement from your conveyancer showing all your expenses and giving you a final figure which you will need to make sure is cleared in to your conveyancer’s bank account before completion. If you are taking out a mortgage your conveyancer will draw down the loan amount in time for completion.
- Completion is normally set for around lunchtime on the specified day, although in practical terms completion takes place when the seller’s solicitor/conveyancer confirms that they have received all the money that is due. Once this has happened the seller should drop the keys off to the estate agent ready for you to collect.
- Your conveyancer will arrange for the title deeds to be registered in your name