I have purchased just 2 homes in my life. The 1st, in 1988, when there was a property boom and the second in 1996. The legal process was not that important to me. I just wanted to be in my new home. It is 23 years since I bought my last home and so much has changed.
It is impossible to mention here everything that needs to be done if you purchase a new home. I will not touch on surveys and mortgages for example but here is a snapshot of what happens if you fall in love with your dream property and your offer to purchase it is accepted.
The estate agent selling the property will forward a sales memorandum to your solicitor or conveyancer (solicitor) and to the solicitor acting for your seller. Your solicitor will have to verify your identity and check where your funds are coming from. Money laundering is a serious issue for solicitors and we need to know that the funds you are using are your hard earned monies and not the proceeds of a crime. Your solicitor will also need to check the identity of the seller’s solicitor and make sure that they in turn have checked that the seller has authority to sell the property. Identity theft has enabled persons to pretend they own a property when they do not and to try and sell the property to an honest buyer. You need to be very careful yourself that the person who you meet at the property is indeed the owner.
Once the identity checks have been carried out the seller’s solicitor will issue a contract pack to your solicitor. The type of contract pack will depend on the type of property you are purchasing but if for example you are purchasing a house it will comprise a contract, a copy of the official title from the Land Registry, a property information form completed by the seller and a fittings and contents form also completed by the seller. The contract is a legal document setting out the names of the seller and the buyer and the purchase price. The Land Registry title is an official copy of the Land Registry records showing the seller as the owner of the property and providing details of any rights or obligations that affect the property. For example rights of way. The obligations are called covenants and can include an obligation to maintain the boundary fences or not extend the property without consent. The property information form is divided into sections including boundaries, alterations to the property, disputes or complaints, guarantees and warranties. The seller is under a duty to divulge any information that he thinks a buyer should know but it is still up to you and your solicitor to make enquiries and carry out searches.
You need a solicitor who can do all of the above quickly and efficiently. At Dixon Stewart we take a pro- active approach. We know you want to be in your dream home. We do not want anyone to be waiting for us to carry out the next step unless there is a good reason. It is only when you and your solicitor are happy with the results of any enquiries and searches that you will be ready to exchange contracts. It is only then that the moving date is fixed (called the completion date). You are then free to book your removals, order new furniture and arrange your house warming party.
If you are thinking of moving home ask Dixon Stewart to assist you with your legal work. We know what is important and can help you achieve your dreams.
A law firm that has been offering expert legal help and advice to individuals and businesses in and around Christchurch and New Milton for more than forty years.