House Sale & Purchase

First-Time Buyers – Top Tips……

11 MAR 2019

Buying a house is regularly listed as one of the most stressful life experiences. Being a First-Time Buyer with very little or no-experience of the process involved will only increase that stress level further.

As a First-Time Buyer, there are several things which you could do to alleviate the stress of buying a home …

Raising the Finance

Even before your offer is accepted on a property be sure to have your finances in place.

Mortgage – There can be a significant delay between being told that a mortgage is available and the documents being made available to your solicitor. The mortgage offer will not be issued until the Survey is carried out and unfortunately it can be the case that the lender is not willing to lend either some or all of the money once the property has been inspected. It is therefore essential to make your mortgage arrangements as early as possible and to provide all payments and information requested by your financial advisor as quickly as you can.

Gifts from Family Members – We have found that First-Time Buyers are increasingly reliant on a gift of cash, for all or part of the deposit, from family to help them get onto the property ladder. If you are buying a property with the assistance of a gift, then you need to alert your mortgage advisor and your Solicitor as early as possible as legal checks have to be carried out before the transaction can proceed. Providing this information early in the transaction will help avoid unnecessary delays.

Government Schemes – There are a number of Government Schemes, such as the Help to Buy Equity Loan and Help to Buy ISA, available to First-Time Buyers to help them finance their property.  If you are considering making use of the government’s Help to Buy scheme to purchase a property, then seeking early legal advice from a solicitor with knowledge and experience in this area will ensure that all issues are dealt with as quickly as possible. If you have saved using a Help to Buy ISA make sure you tell your solicitor at the outset of the transaction as the steps that need to be taken to request the additional contribution from the government can take time.

Instructing a Solicitor

Make sure that your solicitor is skilled and experienced in property law and instruct them as soon as possible in relation to your transaction.

Your Solicitor will need to investigate all of the legal documents relating to the property to check if there any onerous burdens which could affect your enjoyment of the property.

How long the investigations could take depend on many factors, most significantly how quickly the information required from the sellers solicitors is received. By instruction your solicitor and providing all of the documents they require as early as possible in the transaction you can prevent avoidable delays.

Getting your Keys

It is only when “exchange of contract” has taken place that your Solicitor can confirm a fixed date for you to collect the keys to your new property. Exchange of Contract is a method used by your Solicitor to bind you into a legal agreement to purchase the property, from the Seller. Your Solicitor will not exchange contracts until they are satisfied with their investigation of the property.

How long a transaction takes depends on many factors the majority of which are not within the immediate control of your Solicitor. You should not make commitments such as booking removals, arranging delivery of furniture and internet connections or giving your Landlord notice to terminate your rental agreement until your Solicitor confirms that either contracts have been exchanged or a firm and reliable date has been agreed for the purchase to complete.  Whatever conversations may take place with the seller and any estate agent only your solicitor can you tell you when the purchase is going to complete. If you make commitments prior to exchange of contracts, you could lose non-refundable deposits and spend a lot of time rescheduling and making rearrangements.

The experienced property team at BBP Solicitors have many years of experience in all property matters and  are knowledgeable on all areas related to property. They can provide guidance and help to reduce the stress of your first step onto the property ladder.

Call us today on 01524 401010 or email us [email protected]


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