Decide if you are going to have your own Homebuyers Report or Structural Survey carried out. If you are taking up a mortgage your lender will probably have your property inspected but this is not a full survey and it may be unsafe to rely on it.
If you are buying in joint names decide if you will do so ‘as joint tenants’ or ‘as tenants in common’. See our notes on Joint Ownership where we explain the difference.
Check that full building insurance arrangements are in place. You may insure your property privately or through your lender. You need to make insurance arrangements in good time because in many cases the policy must start when contracts are exchanged. If you are taking up a mortgage, we cannot complete your purchase for you without confirmation that insurance is in place.
Check that any new endowment or life policies are placed ‘on risk’ when contracts are exchanged.
Let us know if you paid a ‘holding deposit’ to the Estate Agent or developer so that we can make sure it is taken into account on completion.
Do your sums very carefully before you commit to anything and work out exactly how you will be able to give us cleared funds to enable us to complete on the completion date.
What we do for you is
- obtain the results of local search and other searches
- obtain confirmation of your mortgage offer
- satisfy ourselves that you will be buying a good title.
We will then report to you (either by letter or at a meeting) and will ask you to sign
- the Contract
- the Mortgage Deed
- the Transfer document
- the Stamp Duty Land Tax form.
We will also usually ask you for the deposit to be used on exchange of contracts. If you have a related sale, we will try to arrange that the deposit received from your buyers is used towards the deposit for your purchase.
We will then exchange contracts on your behalf; at this point you are contractually committed to the purchase and if you fail to compete you may be liable to forfeit the deposit you have paid and to pay damages
Before completion takes place we will report to your lender that you are buying a good title (so the property will be good security for your lender) and request the mortgage funds. Provided you have also given us cleared funds for any additional monies that are required, we will then complete your purchase, pay any Stamp Duty Land Tax and, finally, register you as the new owner at the Land Registry.