Instructing a solicitor and finding a mortgage for a property to buy

Instructing A Solicitor

Once the sale has been agreed, solicitors will need to be instructed – usually, it’s helpful to instruct a solicitor before the offer is made so that we can get the Memorandum of Sale out to all parties as soon as the offer has been accepted. That way, we can get the ball rolling as quickly as possible. We are always happy recommend a really good local solicitors – one of the most important things that can make the sale move with ease is to ensure that all parties ‘are singing from the same hymn sheet’ and using an experienced local solicitor who knows the area that you're moving to and specialises in conveyancing.

Making A Mortgage Application

If you are purchasing with a mortgage, it is advisable for you to keep on top of it from the start Liaising with your mortgage advisor and make sure they have all the correct documents. A mortgage valuation will then be booked in and the surveyors will contact us with regard to accessing the property – this procedure is carried out on behalf of the mortgage company so they know that the property provides sufficient security for the loan. Once the report has been finalised, the mortgage offer will then be issued.

Arrange A Survey

Once your offer has been accepted it is important that you arrange a survey to be carried out on the property you are purchasing. There are various types of survey:

The first and most common is arranged by your lender once you submit your full mortgage application, often referred to as a Valuation Report. This is more of a confirmation on value to ensure the property is worth what you are paying, but may include some recommendation if they feel further reports are required.

In addition there are several types of survey available that you can arrange yourself:

• RICS condition report – basic ‘traffic light’ survey and the cheapest. It’s most suitable for new-build and conventional homes in good condition. No advice or valuation is provided in this survey.

• RICS homebuyer report – suitable for conventional properties in reasonable condition. This is a much more detailed survey, looking thoroughly inside and outside a property. It also includes a valuation.

• Building or structural survey - the most comprehensive survey and is often used for properties that may be in need of significant repair or may have potential problems such as structural movement.

We are happy to provide details of local surveyors if you would like to organise a more detailed survey of the property you are buying.

Paperwork, Initial Documents and Searches

Once solicitors are instructed, it is then important that all paperwork and documents are returned to them promptly. Your solicitor will require proof of identification for you and evidence of your deposit or funds.

Once the draft contracts are with the buyer’s solicitors, they will be reviewed and amended and initial enquiries will be raised. At this stage, the buyer’s solicitors will also order the local authority searches in order to check up on any potential concerns with the property such as a risk of flooding, future building plans, current planning issues, environmental concerns, mining etc. – these searches could take a few weeks to come back, so it is important the buyer makes sure their solicitor has ordered them at an early stage.

During this period there will be a lot of “back and forth” in terms of enquiries and waiting on documents. It is the period when a lack of communication can hurt the sale as it can cause progress to stall, so it is imperative for us to make sure that the lines of communication are wide open and that everything is being dealt with