Q & A Your Property Purchase Newcastle upon Tyne – Ask Lorraine!
Lorraine Scott is our lead conveyancing solicitor.
In this article Lorraine answers a number of commonly asked questions about property purchases in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Q. When should we instruct you?
It’s always best to have a solicitor on board at a very early stage of your transaction. Look to have a solicitor appointed as soon as your offer has been accepted (at the latest). It doesn’t hurt to shop around as soon as you have made the decision to buy in Newcastle upon Tyne, so you’re ready when the seller accepts that offer!
Q. What happens now we have instructed you?
First things first, you will need to bring proof of identification and address into our offices. This is required to verify your identity and ensure we comply with what is called the Money Laundering Regulations, a very strict legislative requirement. Don’t worry if you can’t come to us, there are other things we can do to verify your identity.
Also, please do not forget to sign and return our terms of engagement.
Once we have this information, we can start the process.
We will then write to your sellers’ solicitors letting them know we are acting for you and ask them to send us the contract for sale. Hopefully we will receive the contract within a reasonable period of time.
Once we have the contract (and accompanying documents), we can then check the title to the property you are buying and raise any enquiries. At the same time (if you are happy for us to do so), we will also submit the searches. The results of the searches take around 2 weeks to come through.
The next key step is your mortgage offer, we need this to be able to proceed further. If we have the contracts, replies to any enquiries, your mortgage offer and the results of the searches, now would be a good time to arrange to come and see us to sign the papers and discuss progress!
Q. Do I need to visit your office?
No, not unless you want to. Each aspect of the process can be done remotely as documents can be scanned and emailed, or sent in the post. You can also speak to us on the phone. However, you may have to pay a small charge for your identity to be checked electronically, if you don’t meet us in person.
Q. How long should I expect it to take my conveyancing solicitor to conduct all of the legal work for our purchase in Newcastle upon Tyne?
This is a really difficult question to answer as this depends so many factors, some of which are outside of the control of your solicitor. However as rough guide, getting contracts exchanged can take anywhere from around a month up to three months. If you need a mortgage (and most people do), we will need your mortgage offer before being in a position to exchange contracts. The duration of these tasks can be affected by any number of things, such as the efficiency of the lawyers, how long the mortgage offer takes to come through and whether there is a chain (if so, how long is this?).
Q. What is the ‘fixtures and fittings’ form ?
This is essentially a list of contents giving you information as to what is staying or being taken by the sellers. Sometimes the sellers may offer some of the items to you for sale, eg freestanding fridge £150.As a general rule of thumb, fixtures are items fixed to the walls, ceilings or floors (for example, built-in kitchen units, light fittings, etc.), while fittings are those items which can be moved (such as carpets, rugs and curtains). The ‘fixtures and fittings’ form should also cover any plants that are going to be removed from the garden. If possible try to get this list agreed at an early stage, and if there are items you want to buy then try to get this agreed directly with the seller or ask the selling agents to negotiate with the seller on your behalf.
Q. I am concerned about flooding , are the conveyancing searches thorough enough?
We carry out flood-risk searches for your house in Newcastle upon Tyne as part of the standard bundle of conveyancing searches. Part of the data returned from the environmental search will be the historical information regarding flooding in the area of your planned property purchase. If the risk level is deemed significant, a far more thorough flood search can be ordered. Check with your insurers at an early stage that you can get buildings insurance in place (and the cost) if you are concerned.
Q. Is a mining search always necessary?
With properties in Newcastle upon Tyne, yes! The whole of the north east was an area greatly affected by mining and it is not unusual to receive an adverse mining search result, even with properties fairly central and in built up areas.
If you have a question about property purchases that we haven’t answered feel free to drop us an email to email@example.com or send us a message here and we will try to answer your question as best we can!
At Geoffrey Lurie Solicitors Newcastle upon Tyne, our speed-focused and proactive lawyers work hard at removing obstacles and accelerating the process without compromising on service. Give our friendly team a call on 0191 466 1444 and ask to speak to our practice manager Gail Howe (Gail@geoffreylurie.com) for your fixed-fee quote or contact us here.