Lesley Price FCILEx of CGM Hampshire Limited breaks down the homebuying process into simple steps so you know what to expect from the process
Choose your Solicitor
Once you have submitted your offer or reserved your plot then you will be asked to choose a solicitor. Prices and service styles can vary. Some will offer a more traditional face-to-face service and some will be online-based so make sure you shop around and find the right fit and price for you.
Instructions and Identity Verification
Your chosen solicitor will send you an initial pack which you will need to fill out and return and you will be asked to make a payment on account for searches. You will need to provide them with identity documentation and information as to where the money you are using to buy the property is coming from.
Make sure all buyers and anyone gifting you money has current photographic ID such as an in-date passport or photocard driving licence and that you have original paper copies of bank statements or utility bills that are under three months old.
Memorandum of Sale/Reservation Agreement
The estate agent, developer or housing association will send a Memorandum of Sale with details of the property, any terms or deadlines that have been agreed and their solicitor’s contact details. This should be sent to both you and your solicitor so they can contact the seller’s solicitor and confirm they are acting for you.
Contracts and Property Information
The seller’s solicitor will send your solicitor a Contract Pack which will include a draft version of the contract and seller’s information forms. In the legal pack there will be a plan of the property so your solicitor can order your searches.
These are legal questions your solicitor will raise about the property. You can also then let them know if you have any specific questions to raise. Remember, your solicitor will not have visited the property so don’t assume they may spot things you noticed during your viewing. Make a list on any questions you have and pass these to your solicitor as they can check these against the information the seller has provided
Your lender will send you a copy of your offer and a separate copy to your solicitor which will set out your mortgage terms and any matters they want your solicitor to confirm. The offer will usually have conditions in it which your legal adviser will need to check against the legal paperwork and source of funds information you have supplied to make sure these can be complied with.
Bear in mind that if anyone is giving you a gift then they will have to provide identity documents and proof of where those funds came from to. So, make sure when you look to start your purchase they are available to sign any forms they need to and happy to provide their statements and ID.
When all the above has been done, your solicitor then sends you an overall report on your property. This will include anything they feel you will need to know about the property before proceeding.
If you are happy with the report, all your questions have been answered, all signed documents are in and your deposit has been received, your solicitor will do a final file review to make sure they are ready to exchange contracts.
When all the above steps are satisfied your solicitor can formally exchange contracts.
If you are currently in rented accommodation be mindful of your notice period. You should never give notice until contracts are exchanged and your moving date is fixed.
This is the final stage and the day that you will receive the keys and move into your new home.
For specialist new build and shared ownership purchase advice email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website c-g-m.co.uk