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Residential Purchases

Buying a property can be a daunting process, but by giving regular and transparent updates, our team at FDR Law will help you feel at ease and ensure you understand the process from start to finish.

What does the process look like?

We provide access to an online portal so that information can be shared at the click of a button. Here, you can complete the initial paperwork at your own convenience which is then put directly back into our system to avoid unnecessary delays. Our clients also no longer need to visit our offices in person if they prefer not to, as the identity checks can all be carried out online, further speeding up the process.

If you need a mortgage, you can apply directly with a mortgage provider, or via a mortgage broker who will find a deal from a range of lenders. The process can be long, often with lots of evidence and paperwork to submit so it is recommended that you do this as early into the process as possible. Once the mortgage is approved, the mortgage lender will send a copy of the mortgage offer to your solicitor directly so that they can review the details for you.

Your solicitor will also keep a completion statement updated on the online portal so that you always have immediate access to it and can see where we are throughout the process. This ensures that our legal fees are crystal clear from the very outset, and you can clearly see the amount of money that will be due from you to complete the purchase. This will include the amount of money coming from any mortgage lender as well. Under anti-money laundering regulations, we will need to see evidence of where the money came from before we can accept it and your solicitor will explain what they require from you in your particular circumstance.

Once the seller’s solicitor provides the initial pack of papers, your solicitor will carry out searches. These give you important information about the legal status of the property, so you can decide if you’re completely happy with your purchase before you go ahead. You must have searches completed if you’re buying a property with a mortgage. However, it’s still advisable to get them done even if you don’t need a mortgage to buy. You may need different searches depending on the location of the property or the requirements of your mortgage lender and your solicitor will guide you through this, explaining everything clearly to you in plain English. The most commonly required searches are included in our estimate so there are no hidden costs.

Your solicitor will then carefully check the initial pack of papers which will contain a draft contract and the title deeds. They’ll clear up any queries you have with the seller’s solicitors and there may be follow-up enquiries to sort out too. This process can take some time and your solicitor will be in regular contact with you to explain the process along the way. Your solicitor will ask you to sign the documents, so that we can be prepared as much as possible in advance. However, you’re not committed to the purchase until all searches and enquiries are dealt with and you are entirely happy to go ahead.

When the contracts, searches and any mortgage offers are all in place, your solicitor will liaise with you and your estate agent so that all parties can agree a completion date. Once a date is agreed, and any deposit required is paid to us, the contracts can be exchanged so that the completion date is fixed. Until contracts have been exchanged, neither you nor the seller are legally bound to go through with the transaction. Just before the completion date, your solicitor will request the mortgage money from any lender and collect the rest of the money from you. This usually happens the day before completion at the latest.

On the day of completion, once all of the money is with us, we’ll send it to the seller’s solicitors by electronic bank transfer. It’s difficult to say how long the transfer will take as it’s under the control of the banks involved. The seller’s solicitor will phone us to confirm that it’s arrived, at which point the transaction is complete so the property legally belongs to you. Your solicitor will let you know that you can collect the keys.

Following completion your solicitor will deal with all of the post completion formalities for you including submitting any SDLT/LTT returns and paying any tax due, serving any required notices and registering you as the owner with the land registry.

It is difficult to predict how long the entire process will take as some matters are outside of our control, however at FDR Law we pride ourselves on taking a proactive approach and will work with you and your estate agents to achieve your desires timescales.

Get in touch to find out more

It is important that you choose the right solicitor for you so if you’d like a no obligation estimate of fees for selling your property, do not hesitate to get in touch.