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Residential Conveyancing.

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Residential Property Services

Buying and selling a house is one of the biggest investments most people will ever make, and it can be stressful. This is why Goldsmiths Solicitors are here to provide expert advice and guidance that you need to ensure your move is as easy and stress free as possible. 

01. Buying & Selling a house

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02. Remortgaging

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03. Transfer or Ownership

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Buying and selling a house is one of the biggest investments most people will ever make, and it can be stressful. This is why Goldsmiths Solicitors are here to provide expert advice and guidance that you need to ensure your move is as easy and stress free as possible.

Goldsmiths Solicitors we will ensure, that you understand the conveyancing process and that you are kept fully up to date with your transaction so that your move is as easy and stress free as possible.

Goldsmiths Solicitors can also assist in the re-mortgage process of a property.

Below is a brief procedure of the re-mortgage process which is carried out at Goldsmiths Solicitors.:

  • Obtaining the Title Deeds / Land Registry documents/ Redemption Statement from your current lender
  • Checking the legal Title
  • If Leasehold, making appropriate enquiries with the superior landlord and managing agent, including to ensure there are no arrears of service charges / ground rent, and ascertaining if notices need to be served on the landlord/ managing agent.
  • Carrying out searches/ arranging “no search” indemnity insurance
  • Obtaining the mortgage offer and checking terms etc
  • If title is clear, sending a report (known as a Certificate of Title) to the lender requesting mortgage funds (usually several days before anticipated completion)
  • Completion of the Re-mortgage; redeeming any current mortgage and accounting to borrower for balance
  • Registration at the Land Registry

A transfer of equity is when someone is added or removed from the title deeds such as a, sole owner adding their son or daughter or a separating couple.

Goldsmiths Solicitors are also able to carry out the legal formalities involved in transferring a property as a gift; transfer subject to a mortgage (in which case the mortgage lender will have to provide it’s consent to the transfer); and transfer property which is the subject of matrimonial proceedings.

If there is a mortgage on the property you will need to obtain consent from the mortgage company.

residential property services

We cater for a range of additional property services

Selling and Buying a property at an auction follows a different process to the one briefly explained under our Buying or selling a house subheading. There is no process of exchanging contracts in your own time after a careful examination of the paperwork – the parties are legally bound when the hammer falls – whether or not enquiries have been made. The deposit (and any auctioneer’s fee) is payable by the Buyer on the day, and the completion date is often agreed to take place 28 days later.

We at Goldsmiths can prepare a legal pack and provide to the auctioneers in readiness for the auction. The auctioneer will usually have a legal pack (consisting of the title deeds, searches, any other information relevant to the property) available, and these are often available online. We at Goldsmiths can prepare a legal pack and provide to the auctioneers in readiness for the auction. If you are buying any enquiries or checks should be carried out well before the date of the auction.

The Auctioneer’s conditions of sale will not be the same as the Law Society’s Standard Conditions of Sale, and you should be aware of the small print in the sale contract. There will often be an obligation to make additional payments over and above the price you may have agreed to pay for the property – eg costs of searches, land registry documents, sellers costs and costs for preparing the transfer.

Similar to what was set out above, Solicitors do not make any enquiries as to the state of repair of the property. That is the job of the Surveyor. If you want to bid for a property at an auction, you should consult a surveyor well in advance.

If the successful bidder is unable to complete for any reason – including that the bidder is unable to raise the balance of the funds/ problems or defective title / unable to secure a mortgage, the bidder will forfeit the deposit and may face further legal action if the seller is unable to sell at the same price in the future.

When purchasing a new-build property, buyers are regularly faced with exchanging contracts and committing to the purchase before the property is built.

A buyer may purchase a property before construction has begun, or maybe later in the construction process, but often only the show-home will have been seen.  At Goldsmiths we have a specialist team dedicated to new build, supporting our clients through every step of the buying process.

The majority of house builders give the buyer only 4 weeks from reserving the property in which to achieve an exchange of contracts, and it is imperative that this time-scale imposed by the house builder is adhered to, otherwise you may be at risk of losing your reservation fee and house.

At Goldsmiths Solicitors we pride ourselves on the service we offer to new home buyers.  We understand the tight deadlines involved and are able to guide a buyer through each stage of the process using plain English. We will always go the extra mile to make sure that we achieve a successful outcome for our clients, and we are committed to:-

  • Achieving builders’ exchange deadlines
  • Personal contact throughout
  • Liaising regularly with the on-site sales teams
  • Advice in plain English, no legal jargon

There are 4 stages when buying a new build property:

  1. reservation
  2. conveyancing
  3. exchange of contracts
  4. completion

Once you’ve found a property to buy you will have to complete a reservation form setting out the price agreed, incentives offered (if any) and the date by which contracts must be exchanged. At the time of reservation you will be asked to pay a reservation fee (usually between £500 – £1,000) which you may lose if contracts are not exchanged within the agreed timescale.

The builder’s solicitor will provide us with a contract pack, following which the required legal searches will be requested – these include a Environmental search, drainage search, local search and a mining report depending on the location of the property you’re buying.

If you require a mortgage to fund your purchase, you’ll need to have this in place (together with your deposit) and we’ll need to receive a copy of your mortgage offer prior to contracts being exchanged.

Once plans have been approved, all enquiries responded to and satisfactory search results received, you will be asked to pay your deposit so that contracts can be exchanged. At this point you will be legally-bound to purchase the property. 

It’s unusual to be given a fixed date for completion when buying a new build home. At the time you complete a reservation form you will be given an estimated date on which the property will be ready. Depending on the timescale of the development, you may receive a revised date for completion after contracts have been exchanged. 

When the house is ready for occupation the builder will serve a notice which then formalises the date on which you will be expected to complete. The period of time between this notice and your completion date will have been agreed when contracts were exchanged.

During this period we’ll ask you to pay any final balance including legal fees, disbursements and stamp duty. We’ll also request your mortgage funds from your lender (if applicable). Prior to completion the builder will usually give you a demonstration of your new home, allowing you to inspect the property before moving in.

The Consumer Code for Home Builders sets out the mandatory requirements that all home builders must meet – you can obtain a copy at http://www.consumercode.co.uk/

We at Goldsmiths Solicitors have a vast of experience in Right to Buy conveyancing. Right to Buy allows you to buy a council property from the Local Authority or Housing Association which owns the property. The property is bought at a discount.

The right to buy process

You instruct Goldsmiths Solicitors and we write to the Housing Authority for the appropriate documents.

If you are having a mortgage you will need searches. Lenders always require local and drainage searches. Mining searches may also be required depending on where the property is based.

Upon receiving the appropriate documents, we at Goldsmiths go through the Title documents and we send you the plans of the property. We will check that the property has sufficient rights, for instance, to the nearest public road. We also send you a Report on the title.

Completion will only take place once we have received the following:

  • We have a mortgage offer,
  • We have satisfactory replies to searches,
  • The housing Authority have dealt with our enquires.

Please note the /Local Authority/Housing Authority always completes on a Monday.

Although RTB conveyancing is fairly straight forward, there are certain things that you need to be aware of.

Repayment of Discount

You buy under a discount and all or part this has to be repaid if you sell within 5 years of buying. This is on a sliding scale, essentially 20% per year.

Right to Buy back within 10 years

If you sell within 10 years of purchase you have to offer to sell it to your former Landlord (the Housing Authority) or another social Landlord. This is known as the right of pre-emption. If bought back it must be at the then market value. If there is no agreement to price the district valuer will value the property. You must check this with your solicitor prior to completion as these conditions may change.

Service and repair changes (if a lease)

In most cases if you are buying a Local Authority/ Housing Association flat (a lease) then you will have to pay service charges. The Local Authority/Housing Association will normally insure the flat (building insurance only) under a Block Policy and you pay your part of the insurance. There will generally be charges for repair and maintenance of the block of which the flat is part of. Normally (not always) you will receive a full list of projected expenses and an estimate for 5 years. If you do not receive these, you should ask for that information. WARNING. Sometimes repair charges on blocks of flats bought under Right to Buy are very high. Not only will this involve you in a lot of expense, but it could affect your ability to sell the property.

Solar panels (only in a minority of cases of properties)

As a result of the relatively generous subsidiaries paid towards solar panels some Housing Authorities placed solar panels on the rooves of their houses (flats are generally not affected.) The Housing Authority will wish to retain control of the panels. They will require you to lease (let) the solar panels back to them. The letting will be over a considerable number of years (normally 20 years.) The home owner has the benefit of free electricity from the panels. The Housing Authority receives the Feed in Tariff (FIT) payment received for electricity supplied to the grid. You must seek advice on the effectiveness and suitability of the solar panels prior to completion.

 

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