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Buyers Guide

Things that can hold up your purchase – and what you can do

Things that can hold up your purchase

Buying a home can take some time, especially if complications crop up in the legal process. There’s no need to worry, though, because Adele Barker, Director of Conveyancing at Beaumont Legal – First Time Buyer’s Best Law Firm for Conveyancing in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 – has some tips to follow!

Top 3 things to remember…

Don’t panic!
Very few things in life are perfect. Your new home might be your dream and you might be in love with it, but remember, if you find something wrong – either before or after you move in – there’s no need to panic.

Trust your lawyer
Pick carefully and choose a lawyer you can trust. So long as you do your research and choose someone who has plenty of experience of properties like the one you’re buying (such as Beaumont Legal!), you should have confidence in them to handle any issues which crop up. Look at their credentials, choose wisely and trust your judgement.

Remember, if something crops up, it’s better to know before you buy
Most issues are straightforward and nothing to worry about but, if conveyancing highlights serious problems with the home, you want to know about them before parting with hundreds of thousands of pounds! You could find something you can use to reduce the price, or which makes you realise the home isn’t right for you. So long as you’ve picked a no-completion-no-fee solicitor, you won’t have to pay for the time spent on your case.

Four key areas and how to handle them…

Know your boundaries
If there’s a hedge, fence, or wall, you want to know who’s responsible for maintaining it. Is there a future potential cost for you, or is there shared access you share with a neighbour, such as a driveway? If so, whose responsibility is it to maintain and can you park there?

How you should approach it:
Keep an eye out for where the access routes and boundaries are when you view the home, and tell your lawyer about anything specific you want them to check. This way, you’ll be able to highlight any potential issues to your conveyancer before they start looking at the files. When you get the plans from your lawyer, check them carefully – you’ll know what’s actually there, because you’ve visited the property.

Find out what local issues there may be
You’ll know how close the home is to things like a station, shops or a school, but is it in a flood zone? Are there new building works planned nearby?

How you should approach it:
Property searches tell you the answer, and they’ll be required by your mortgage lender. Searches can highlight issues such as flooding, which could cost you thousands of pounds, or restrict your ability to get insurance. Your solicitor will ask you which local, environmental and planning searches you’d like, but your mortgage lender will insist you get some of them done. Have patience once they’re ordered – some authorities respond to requests the same day, while others take weeks – and go for a comprehensive package from the start – it’ll give you extra peace of mind.

Your Mortgage
Do you have a mortgage offer lined up? When does it expire? How long will your mortgage lender take to provide the money for your purchase?

How you should approach it:
Get a mortgage in principle before you find the home you want. If you have a mortgage offer in place, in theory, it means you should be able to move more quickly, so sellers like it.
Get as much flexibility in your mortgage offer as you can. There are many reasons a transaction can be delayed – more so, if you’re in a long chain – so the more flexibility they’ll give, the better.
The solicitor has to complete a series of requirements for your mortgage provider, for the lender’s security – they want to know that there won’t be any problems with the home you’re buying. In reality, what they’re looking for are the same things you should be looking for – so answer any questions they have as quick as you can.

Delays from other parties
Are your sellers dragging their heels? Why isn’t their lawyer replying? What’s happening further up the chain?

How you should approach it:
Any of the issues above could affect anyone in a chain, which can be frustrating.

Be helpful and flexible where you can and show understanding with the other side on things like a potential moving date and other factors such as offering to clear out the house. Ask your solicitor if there’s anything you or they can do to help and remember, as a first time buyer, you’re in the most comfortable position in the chain as the purchase of your dream home doesn’t depend on you selling another property. Be patient – you’ll get there in the end!


Adele Barker is Director of Conveyancing at Beaumont Legal – who won First Time Buyer’s Best Law Firm for Conveyancing Award in 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016. Beaumont Legal let you buy your first home without hanging around for the paperwork – you send and receive documents online, securely and instantly, to really speed up the whole legal process. You can start your conveyancing anywhere, anytime, on any device, by visiting, or by calling 0345 122 8080

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