Legal advice from Tim Jordan, Conveyancing Partner based at our offices in Stockton Heath provides guidance for First Time Buyers
Q: “I am hoping to buy my first house soon, do you have any advice?’
A: Congratulations, it’s an exciting but often daunting process buying your first property, here are some of our do’s and don’ts:
- Visit the property at least twice (if not more) before you commit to exchange contracts. Go at different times of the day to get a ‘feel’ for the area, you may find it quiet at weekends but busy during the week depending on its locality.
- Have a comprehensive survey done - they are worth the cost. Remember it is up to you as a buyer to discover any defects and not the seller to disclose them.
- Instruct a specialist property solicitor to act for you – conveyancing is complicated and is not a commoditised task, so it is worth spending a little bit more to get the job done properly.
- Make sure that you have full and appropriate searches. These are separate from the survey and are commissioned by your solicitor. They might reveal that the property is built on contaminated land or is susceptible to flooding for example – issues which won’t be apparent from inspection.
- Give yourself time for full due diligence to be carried out – if you try to rush it you may cut corners which could cost you later.
- Make any binding commitment without having your financial arrangements in place.
- Pick a lawyer at random from the internet, or recommended by the estate agent (who acts for the seller)
- Bid at an auction without first having the legal pack checked out by a solicitor – acceptance of your bid constitutes a binding contract
- Set an unrealistic timetable – it causes unnecessary stress
- Let your heart rule your head – this is probably one of the biggest investments of your life.