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Instruct Your Solicitor

 
The first thing you need to get back to your solicitor by return is your Purchase Questionnaire and your proof of ID and address. After this your solicitor needs the following from you and the seller in order to complete their title check:

  • Property Searches
  • Mortgage Offer (if applicable)
  • Property Survey (if applicable)
  • Contracts from seller
  • Leasehold Management Pack (if leasehold)
The average time to complete the whole process depends on the chain. Some new builds need to be completed in 28 days, whereas some leasehold purchases can take up to 12 weeks. Unless there are specific factors you should estimate 6 to 8 weeks for a standard freehold or 8 to 12 weeks for a leasehold, however these may vary faster or slower depending on the chain (remember your solicitor is only one part of the chain).

 
Step 1 To-Do List
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No Sale No fee | Fixed Fee Quote | Friendly Service
 
 
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Who are you buying from? Are they buying another property? You're told the chain is closed, but what does that mean?

The position of your seller has the greatest influence to the speed of your purchase. Here's why:

  • Probate Sale the executors of the deceased need to apply to get grant of probate. This can take months to receive. Read more here about probate sales.
  • Seller in Care Home it'll take longer for them to complete their property forms and sign their documents. You may also find the seller has a relative step in with a power of attorney.
  • Seller is a landlord is the property tenanted? if so when did they hand in their notice to move out. You can only exchange after they have left and tenants on an AST have 2 months to leave the property and may look to delay leaving if they haven't found somewhere to go. Plus you need to do an inspection after they've left to ensure the property is still in a good condition.
  • Seller is a buying another property have they had their offer accepted and if so is that seller any of the above examples, or are they buying another property? You need to know the chain is complete to be sure you know all parties will progress at the same pace.
  • Seller is breaking the chain this rarely happens and often the seller finds a property to buy and links into the same transaction.

Andrew Boast FMAAT MIC is co-founder of SAM Conveyancing.