This is the date that ownership of the property passes from the
seller to the buyer.
The seller and buyer should agree a suitable date between them
and notify their solicitors. You should always bear in mind unforeseen
delays i.e searches not returned on time. Only when contracts are
exchanged and completion date is fixed can you virtually guarantee
a completion date will be met. Therefore we advise that firm commitments
to things like time off work or arranging removals should not be
made until you have a fixed date.
This is the legally bidding agreement between the buying and selling
parties. It sets out the main terms of what has been agreed such
as property, price and names in the party. Two copies of the contract
are drawn up and each party signs their own copy, meaning both parties
do not have to meet up to sign one contract. When both parties are
ready to commit the contracts will be exchanged and become legally
There is often confusion around the deposit with most people assuming
it is the part of the price the buyer is putting down themselves
(the difference between the mortgage amount and purchase price).
Rather it is the amount of money handed over to the sellers’
solicitor upon exchange of contract.
This can be anything up to 10% of the selling price and should
be negotiated in advance. You should be aware that if you pay a
reduced deposit and fail to complete through no fault of the seller,
you will be liable to make the deposit up to the full 10%. You could
also be liable to pay further compensation to the seller through
your failure to complete.
This is probably one of the most important moments in the house
buying process. The entire matter becomes legally binding, the seller
must sell, and the buyer must buy, at the price stated on the contract.
Before contracts are exchanged nothing is legally binding and either
party can walk away at any time.
This is the list of what in the property is included in the sale.
The form is completed by the seller and sent to all legal parties
and a copy sent to the buyer so everyone knows exactly w3hqat is
included in the sale.
This is a list of questions about the property, which are sent
to the local authority. It answers questions like, whether the council
maintains the road serving the property, and what planning applications
have there been against the property.
However it does not cover any planning applications made or in
progress against nearby properties.
This is a questionnaire about the property completed by the sellers.
It covers such items as guaranties, neighbours disputes and boundaries.
As a buyer, if you have any specific queries about the property
you should ask them now.
As a seller if there is a question you do not want to answer you
must discuss it with your legal representative. Failure to disclose
information could give the buyer grounds for legal action against
This is a tax paid by the buyer of a property valued at over £60,000.
If the property you are buying is £60,001 - £250,000
stamp duty is charged at 1% of the purchase price. £250,001
- £500,000 at 3%, and above £500,000 at 4%.
This is a report into the physical state of the property you are
looking to buy. Properties are “Sold as Seen” and it
is up to you as the buyer to discover any physical defects through
If you are buying a property by means of a mortgage then you will
be required to have a mortgage valuation undertaken. This is not
a survey but satisfies the lender that the value of the loan is
covered by the value of the property.
It is advised that you undertake a basic survey from a RICS qualified
surveyor. This may identify any basic faults and for older properties
a full structural survey is recommended. These surveys will cost
you money so shop around, but it is highly recommended you take
out the necessary surveys prior to exchanging contracts.