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Buyers FAQs

To make things easier for you, we’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions by our buyers. If you can’t find the answers you are looking for here, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

I want to buy a property in Manchester. Where do I begin?

Prior to searching for a property, you’ll need to work out how much the move is likely to cost and to determine what kind of mortgage deposit you can afford. After this, you can register yourself as a buyer so that we can let you know as soon as any suitable properties become available for sale.

I’ve found a property I love. What’s the next step?

You’ll need to agree the purchase price with the vendor (usually via an estate agent) and then apply for a mortgage (if required), as well as selecting a solicitor to act on your behalf during the legal purchase process.

What if I want to buy a property with another person?

A joint purchase should always be made with the expert advice of a solicitor, who will advise you on the two main options. The first is to become joint tenants, which means you will both jointly own the whole of the property. If one of you should die, the ownership will automatically pass to the other. The second option is to hold the property as tenants in common, which means each of you will own an agreed proportion of the property. Should one of you die, their proportion will pass to whoever is specified in the deceased’s will.

How long will it take to complete my purchase?

Every property purchase is different. It depends on a number of factors, such as whether you need to secure a mortgage, if the seller is still living in the property and whether the sale of your own property is going smoothly. As a rough indication though, it can take an average of 8 to 15 weeks to complete the purchase, once your offer has been accepted and solicitors are instructed.

How much will conveyancing cost?

Conveyancing is the legal transfer of the property you are buying from its previous owner to you. Prices will vary depending on your circumstances and requirements, but will normally include costs of performing searches, checking the land registry etc. Edward Carter can assist with providing a quotation from our conveyancing partners.

Do I need to pay Stamp Duty?

In the large majority of situations, when you buy a property in the UK over a certain price you have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).

Do I need a Survey?

A survey isn’t compulsory, but it is recommended so that you can see the current condition of the property and reduce the chance of any nasty surprises further down the line. There are three main types of surveys with varying costs. In addition, if you need a mortgage to buy the property, your mortgage lender will arrange a mortgage valuation that you will have to pay for in order to secure the mortgage. A basic mortgage valuation merely confirms that the property is worth what you are borrowing and will not give any great detail on the condition of the property.

When do I need to pay the deposit?

This is usually paid via your solicitor to the seller’s solicitor, before the exchange of contracts.

When will my mortgage lender release my funds?

Mortgage funds will be requested from the lender, by your solicitor. It usually takes around 4-5 working days for the lender to release the money. Your solicitor will take this time into account when advising you of the earliest possible completion date.

What are searches and who carries them out?

Searches in relation to your new home are carried out by your solicitor as part of the conveyancing process. These will likely include searches of Land Registry and Local Authority information. They will be checking for planning history and any potential developments around roads, drainage and mining near the property.

When do I sign the contract?

The seller’s solicitor will draft a contract once the sale has been agreed. Your solicitor will then check through this, confirm the details of the property and perform searches. At the same time, your mortgage lender will conduct a mortgage valuation and send a mortgage offer to you. When all of this is complete, you will be ready to sign the contract and agree the completion date.

When is the seller and buyer bound to the sale/purchase?

The sale is not legally binding until the exchange of signed contracts between the buyers and sellers’ solicitors.

How is the completion date chosen?

When both contracts have been signed, your solicitor will request the mortgage funds from your lender. Once these funds are released, then your solicitor and the seller’s solicitor will consult both parties and agree a completion date that is suitable for both of you.

How and when do I get the keys?

The keys can be released to you once the seller’s solicitor is in receipt of funds for the purchase and legal completion has occurred. Normally keys can be collected from the seller or estate agent after this time. You may have to be a little flexible if the seller was living at the property and is moving out on the day of completion.

What happens with my title deeds?

Your title deeds may be held by your mortgage lender or they may be held electronically by Land Registry. It will be your solicitor’s responsibility to obtain these and provide proof of ownership of the property. They will be transferred to you as part of the conveyancing process.

What will the seller leave in the property?

The seller is not required to leave any furniture or furnishings in the property, but may do so if it was a part of the sales negotiation process. A list of fixtures and fittings will be agreed between the solicitors, forming part of the contract, prior to it being signed and exchanged. The seller may offer additional items for your consideration or you might request certain items for inclusion, as part of the negotiation of the purchase price.

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