Whether you are a first time buyer or purchasing a property with your partner for the first time, the terminology and process from finding a place you love till the day you get the keys can be a daunting and exhausting process. Getting the right solicitor to help you through the process is essential.

What does a Solicitor do?

A solicitor will help you buy your home by setting out all of the steps coherently to you. They will help you to resolve any legal issues that may occur.

What is Conveyancing?

This is a term that describes the legal transfer of the property from that of the seller to the purchaser. This can take several weeks or even months depending on if there is a chain in the sale.

What are Searches and Surveys?

Searches and surveys need to be carried out on a property before money exchanges hands. The searches will include details on any legal disputes, planning consents or permissions. A specialist surveyor will bring up any issues relating to the physical structure of the property you are buying for example if there is any damp. If any problems arise then this can affect the value of the property, and your solicitor will more than likely suggest a reduction in price.

What is Exchange of Contracts?

When you are ready to exchange contracts then the solicitor will confirm the agreement to buy and the seller’s agreement to sell. Either party can change their mind about purchasing or selling up till this point of exchange. At the point of exchange the contracts then become legally binding, so there’s no go back from this point! Your solicitor will then help you with the next and final step, which is of course, completion of the sale.

What does Completion Mean?

Completion occurs once the purchase money and any fees have been paid. The solicitor will then inform the mortgage broker that all of the necessary searches and investigations have been completed. Your solicitor will then transfer any monies to the seller and pay any other fees on your behalf. They will also make sure that your name is registered as the owner of the property at the Land Registry and help you with any preparation that may need to be done if stamp duty needs to be paid to HMRC. At the point of completion you can then move into your new home and celebrate in style with a bottle of champagne!

Why do I need a Solicitor for Buying a Home?

Using a qualified solicitor will ensure that everything that requires legal attention is dealt with properly. The experience that is required from a skilled conveyancer is essential for this process to run smoothly and efficiently. A mortgage lender will often require a professional conveyancer to carry out the process from beginning to end. It’s likely to be one of the most expensive purchases that you will make in your life, so getting it legal and right is extremely important.

By Harry Price

Harry Price lives with his wife and 3 dogs, in a small town by the sea.  He’s a writer and an artist, who uses his beautiful surroundings as inspiration for his work.