You’ve found your dream home and your mortgage offer has been accepted, but there’s still some crucial steps before you get the keys.
Appointing a conveyancing solicitor is a vital milestone in the house buying or selling journey – but what activity follows this? We’ve created a checklist to help prepare you and ensure you don’t miss anything out.
1. Find the best conveyancing solicitor
Watsons Solicitors are specialist property lawyers who arrange and finalise all the legal paperwork, Land Registry and local council searches, draft the contract and handle the exchange of monies.
Choose a conveyancing solicitor prior to receiving your mortgage offer to help relieve the pressures and stress involved in the process, as well as to give you time to pick the right one for you.
Ask your friends and family for recommendations and read reviews and ratings on third party sites as well as looking at their own website.
For example, find out why we are trusted conveyancing solicitor in Cheshire and Warrington.
2. Avoid gazumping
This is where the seller drops out or accepts a better offer, and this is not what you want after months of searching for your dream home! Ask for the listing to be removed from any websites and sort the required documents with your solicitor to streamline the process and help avoid this situation.
3. Lender checks
Once you have your Agreement in Principle (AIP), the lender will make sure it is happy to lend to you and on the property you want to buy. If they are satisfied, your AIP will convert to a full application.
Remember that a mortgage valuation is not the same as a survey. A survey will assess the condition of a property and anything that might be wrong with it. A conveyancing solicitor can then advise you on any problems or any further inspections which may be required.
5. Set a completion date
Agree a date with the seller for the keys to be handed over.
6. Organise removals
With a date to move in, you can now think about removing items from your home.
7. Transfer your deposit money
Transfer your deposit money to your conveyancing solicitor and sign a contract committing to buying the seller’s property.
Conveyancing fraud is one of the most common forms of cybercrime in the legal sector. Take steps to protect yourself, for example by confirming the law firm’s bank details in person or over the phone.
8. Exchange contracts
Your solicitor will now swap contracts with the seller’s solicitor. If you pull out after this stage, you forfeit your deposit.
9. Buildings insurance
You are legally bound to the property once you have exchanged contracts. It’s better to be safe than sorry so make sure that you have enough cover for a rebuild.
Your conveyancing solicitor will receive title deeds and proof the seller's bank no longer has a claim on the property. They will then send your payment to the seller’s solicitor. You have 14 days from completion to send the Stamp Office your transfer deed and pay stamp duty land tax.
11. Move in
Get the champagne ready! You have the keys and you can now move in.
12. Your new home
Your solicitor will now register your details with Land Registry.