Q&A with Claire Coffin on buying property

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Q&A with Claire Coffin on buying property

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Claire Coffin is a Conveyancing Solicitor at the Gilingham office of Rutters Solicitors. Claire is often asked similar questions by people buying property, below are the answers to some of the frequently asked questions. Call us now for a conveyancing quote if you are buying a property 01747 852377

How long will my transaction take if I am buying a property?
The average time is six to twelve weeks, but this can vary, depending on the length of the chain involved. If a buyer was purchasing an empty property and had the purchase monies available without the need for a mortgage the transaction could proceed more quickly, provided there are no other delaying factors. However, it could take longer than average if there is a long chain and the person at the end is waiting for a buyer to be able to proceed or there are outstanding enquiries or searches are delayed.

Are searches required and what is the cost?
We carry out searches to protect your interests and that of any lender on a purchase, to ensure that there are no adverse entries relating to the property. Matters such as outstanding notices, planning issues, road adoption etc would be revealed on the searches and the transaction would not proceed until any issues are resolved. If you are a cash buyer and not relying on mortgage finance then you may not wish to have any searches carried out at all, however we would always advise on having them as it is a comparably short outlay in relation to the purchase price.  The cost ranges from £300 – £500 depending on the county (in some London boroughs they can be higher)  and we ask for an initial payment at the start of the transaction to undertake them. The searches such as water, environmental and planning are usually completed within a matter of days however the local search can take anywhere between 1 – 4 weeks depending on the local authority.

Do I need a survey if I am buying?
If you are obtaining a mortgage, the lender will carry out an inspection to satisfy themselves that the property is acceptable for their security. A more detailed report can be carried out by a local surveyor for a fee ranging from £300 upwards depending on the level of survey required. This will give you important information about the physical condition of the property.

When should I hand in my notice if I am renting?
If you give notice to your landlord too early then you could run the risk of having nowhere to live, if you do this too late you could end up paying both rent and mortgage at the same time! We recommend that notice is not handed in until exchange of contracts have taken place at this stage all parties will have confirmed they have everything they need to enter into a legally binding contract for a fixed completion date.

When do I get the ‘deeds’?
There are no ‘deeds’ as such as most titles are held electronically with the Land Registry. If the property is unregistered an application would be made for first registration on completion of your purchase so that the property will have an electronic title. You should however keep a number of supporting documents for when you sell the property in the future.

If you have any further questions about buying a property then please contact Claire Coffin on 01747 822005. Claire is a Conveyancing Solicitor at Rutters Solicitors who have offices in Shaftesbury, Gillingham and Sturminster Newton. To find out more about our conveyancing team click here



This article was first published in the Gillingham and Shaftesbury News in July 2019.