I have obtained a mortgage agreement in principle and my offer on a property has been accepted what do I do now?

The next stage is to instruct a solicitor who is experienced with the legal process involved in transferring the ownership of a property from one person to another; known as conveyancing.

There are three main steps to the conveyancing process: 

  1. Pre-exchange of Contracts.
  2. Exchange of Contracts.
  3. Completion.
  1. Pre-exchange of Contracts

1.1 Your solicitor and the seller’s solicitor exchange details which include the agreed sale price, specific fittings to be included within the purchase price, title deeds and draft contract papers.

1.2 Your solicitor checks and negotiates the terms of the draft contract on your behalf.

1.3 Your solicitor applies for standard searches to be carried out. These are addressed to the Local Authority in order to check:

  • Upcoming changes to the locality that may affect the property.
  • If it is in a conservation area.

Your Solicitor may advise it necessary to carry out additional searches such as Water and Drainage, Chancel, Environmental searches.

1.4. Your solicitor addresses a number of standard enquiries to the seller’s solicitor such as:

  • Ongoing disputes over the property?
  • Boundary disputes? Who is responsible for specific fences, hedges etc.?
  • Is the property subject to a public footpath or right of way?
  • Are there any restrictive covenants?
  • If the property is Leasehold, is ground rent and service charge paid up to date and there are no arrears owing.

1.5 Your solicitor will send you a mortgage deed and approved contract to sign.

  1. Exchange of Contracts

2.1 Before your solicitor can exchange contracts on your behalf a completion date must be agreed between you and the seller. The completion date is the moving in date and usually takes up to two weeks from exchange to completion, however, it can also be done on the same day, known as simultaneous exchange and completion.

2.2 After contracts are exchanged, you are legally bound to purchase the property. A non-refundable deposit is paid to the seller and mortgage monies are requested to be received 1 day prior to the agreed completion date.

2.3 Your solicitor prepares a transfer document which is sent to be signed by the buyer. This deed transfers the property to the buyer from the seller and, once it is agreed, it must be signed by both parties.

2.4 Final searches and inquiries are carried out by your solicitor.

  1. Completion

3.1. On the date of completion, purchase monies are sent from your solicitor to the seller’s solicitor and the sale of the house is completed.

3.2 You receive the keys and may move in; the buyer must have vacated at a pre-arranged time. Welcome to your new home!

3.2 Your solicitor will deal with the remaining post completion formalities such as completing your Stamp Duty Land Tax Return Form and registering you as the new owner at the Land Registry.

If you are buying or selling a property and would like a conveyancing quote please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 8 3184345, alternatively email your details to enquiries@as-solicitors.com.

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