Bampton Law LLP - Solicitors and Notary Public

Bampton Law, Solicitors and Notary Public

Moving House - Buying

The system for buying a house (or flat or other property) has three stages:

Stage 1: Pre-contract

While you deal with preliminary matters like obtaining a mortgage and surveying the property, we conduct searches and ask the seller questions. How long this stage takes will depend on how ready you and your seller are, and on whether any complications come to light. Either party can pull out during this stage without any penalties or compensation.

Our Services

  • We review the draft contract, which is prepared by your seller’s solicitors, to identify any terms that might be a cause for concern
  • We send pre-contract enquiries to the seller’s solicitors. This is a comprehensive set of questions designed to identify any issues that might affect the purchase. If you inform me of particular matters you are concerned about, we include them as well
  • We send you a report explaining any issues that you need to be aware of
  • We initiate the necessary searches, including local authority, water and environmental
  • We obtain evidence from the seller’s solictor that the seller is the rightful owner of the property
  • If you are buying the house with somebody else, we help you decide between the two ownership options: joint tenancy and tenancy in common
  • We review the draft contract again in light of the results of the pre-contract enquiries and the searches, as well as your mortgage offer and the results of your survey of the property, and negotiate the terms if necessary. Apart from saving you time, doing it this way protects you from making any unintended commitments and ensures you have an experienced person fighting your corner if the seller’s team introduces any difficult requirements
  • We send you a further, detailed pre-contract report explaining any issues that you need to be aware of. This includes advising you on the terms of your mortgage and reporting any matters revealed by the searches
  • We send you the contract to sign
  • We forward your deposit, which is usually 10% of the purchase price†, to the seller’s solicitors
  • While this is going on we keep you informed regularly of progress, and immediately if any matters arise that could be a cause of concern

Stage 2: Exchange

Once the pre-contract work has been successfully dealt with, contracts are exchanged and a date is fixed for Stage 3. From this point onwards, both you and your seller are legally committed to the transaction.

Our Services

  • We conduct a Land Registry search to make sure that nothing that might affect your purchase has been registered since the contract was received
  • We conduct a bankruptcy search to ensure that your mortgage will not be affected by this issue
  • We handle the arrangements with your seller’s solicitors to make sure the exchange of contracts and the payment of the deposit are smooth, prompt and legally effective
  • We prepare the Land Tax form for you to sign
  • We prepare the transfer document that will register your ownership of the property
  • We prepare a final account advising you how much money will be due on completion
  • We obtain, and hold on your behalf, the mortgage funds from your lender
  • We hold on your behalf the balance of the purchase price
  • We send you in good time a checklist for all the matters you need to think about in planning for a smooth move (insurance, post redirection, council tax, TV licence, Register of Electors and so on)

Stage 3: Completion

You move in. Your seller will need to have finished everything by about 1.00 pm

Our Services

  • We pay the balance of the price, Land Registry fees and our own fee
  • We produce the Stamp Duty Land Tax form needed by the Inland Revenue and send it with your stamp duty
  • We register your new ownership of the property

Full details of our fees, our terms of trade and the whole buying process are in a letter that we will send if you contact us.

In addition to our fee you can expect to pay other costs, including:
Stamp Duty
Land Registry registration fee (Scale 1)
Local authority, environmental and bankruptcy search fees.

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