There is a lot to learn and remember when looking to buy a house. Our new article can help you understand eight important points in the process.

Buying a house is one of the most significant investments that most people make in their lifetime. Whether you are a first-time buyer or an experienced property investor, the process of buying a house can be daunting and complex. In addition to finding the perfect home, there are numerous legal considerations that you need to keep in mind when purchasing a property, but that is where your solicitor comes in. As experts in conveyancing, we know the property market inside out and the processes involved in buying your dream property.

If you are buying a house in England and Wales, there are several important legal aspects that must happen to ensure a smooth and successful transaction. In this article, we will outline eight crucial legal issues that we will assist you with to help you navigate the process with confidence.

1 – Conveyancing

Conveyancing is the name of the legal process of transferring the ownership of a property. You should engage with a solicitor to handle the legal aspects of the transaction, as it can be complex, and there are procedures that need to be followed.

2 – Property searches

We will carry out a range of searches to check if there are any potential issues with the property which could affect your use or enjoyment of the property. These could identify, for example, whether the property is listed, subject to a tree preservation order or whether there are highways or planning decisions that could affect the property.  Once these searches have taken place, we will report back to you about any issues they found, or if there is any cause for concern.  Please be aware that these are not the same as a survey and so they do not look at physical aspects of the property.  We would always recommend you to contact a Surveyor to arrange a survey.

3 – Stamp duty land tax (SDLT)

SDLT is a tax that you need to pay when you buy a property over a certain price. The rules and rates for SDLT vary depending on the value of the property and other factors. 

4 – Exchange of contracts

We will have negotiated the terms of the contract with the seller. Exchange is the point at which both you and the seller become legally committed to buying and selling the property. We will explain the terms of the contract to you and the implications of the exchange prior to this happening.

5 – Completion

At completion, the purchase price, taking into account any deposit paid at exchange of contracts, is paid to the seller and the buyer becomes the owner of the property. We will tell you when this has happened and you will be able to collect the keys from the estate agent.

6 – Property ownership

There are two main types of property ownership in England and Wales: freehold and leasehold. We will be able to advise you based on the title documents supplied whether the property you are buying is owned on a freehold or leasehold basis. We will explain the implications of this to you as well as the difference between the two and any obligations that you might have to fulfil if you buy the property.

7 – Mortgage

If you need to take out a mortgage, it is important to understand the terms and conditions of the mortgage agreement. Your mortgage advisors will help protect your interests and offer the best financial options for you and we will work closely with them to ensure that your mortgage can proceed smoothly. 

8 – Property insurance

It is important to arrange adequate insurance coverage for the property, both before and after completion. We will help you to identify what types of insurance you might need and when you might need them.