Buying, selling or remortgaging your home?
Buying or selling your home is probably the largest and most important private financial transaction that you will undertake in your life.
Unlike selling a car or other goods, which are exchanged for cash or a cheque, buying or selling a house in an agreement with another party, and more often than not, through a third party Estate Agent. There may be other considerations such as finance, insurance and mortgages to be decided and these may also require professional advice. With any financial agreement, there are legal issues involved. They can however be quite complicated and if not handled in your interests, could cost you a lot of money, time and heartache.
Who is best placed to handle the legal issues?
A solicitor is the only person properly trained to advise you on all aspects of the purchase and sale of property. Your solicitor acts in your interests only. He will be acting on your instructions, and will have no other interests in the transaction but to secure for the maximum benefit. He will also advise you of any other specialists such as insurance brokers and building societies who may need to be involved but only if necessary.
Buying a new home?
Make sure it is a sound house. How it looks is not enough to commit you to several thousands of pounds expenditure. The house which you are thinking of buying should be properly surveyed. The last thing you want to find in your new home is some unseen structural fault, rising damp, or dry rot in the floorboards. Your solicitor can arrange a survey for you and if the house is new, he can demand a National House Builders Guarantee from the Builder.
Is your house 'legal'?
Believe it or not there are many reasons why your new house may not be legal. Your solicitor will check that there was planning permission for the house and that it was built in accordance with that permission. He will also check that any later extensions or improvements were legally built. This is very important because planning and building authorities have statutory powers to insist on changes at your expense. He will also make sure that the actual sale to you is legal and that all necessary documents are compiled, stamped and registered.
Selling your Home?
You will need: From your estate agent;
- A sensible valuation so that you can get the best price.
- Advice on how and where to advertise.
From your solicitor;
- All legal details taken care of, including conveyancing (the transfer of property) and advice on the many small details which can ease of speed the selling of your house including settling details on house fixtures and rates.
Do I need a contract?
In a word: YES. There are unfortunately many things that can go wrong when selling your home. For instance:
- What if the buyers cannot sell their own house and cannot get the money?
- What if they change their mind at the last minute?
- What if there is a fire, or a break in after the agreement to sell?
There are many questions to be answered. The only way for you to be protected against possible misfortune is through a properly drawn up contract that provides for these possibilities.