While waiting for the seller’s solicitor to issue the contract, help things along by ensuring that your solicitor knows how you wish to communicate — for example, by email to your personal email address with hard copies to your office marked “private and confidential”.
The engagement letter would have asked you for a payment on account of search fees — pay this into your solicitor’s account to avoid delays.
That way, as soon as your solicitor is ready to proceed, the searches can be commissioned.
DO YOU NEED A SOLICITOR TO BUY A HOUSE?
As well as the contract for sale, your solicitor should receive from the seller’s solicitor copies of the title deeds and, in the case of a leasehold property, a copy of the lease plus protocol forms completed by the seller, comprising:
WHAT IS A PROPERTY SEARCH?
If you are a cash buyer, you are not subject to the requirements of a lender and so it is entirely up to you whether you have searches carried out. It is, however, prudent to do so.
Searches depend on the locality in which the property is situated and a solicitor should carry out searches appropriate to the property — for example, whether former industrial land is contaminated.
The usual searches that should be undertaken in every transaction are:
REPORT ON TITLE
Your solicitor will prepare the report on title once the replies to enquiries raised and search results are available.
It should explain to you the title to the property including obligations, restrictive covenants and rights — ie burdens to the property (such as rights of way) and benefits to the property.
Essentially, it pulls together in one place the information relevant to the property that your solicitor has collected to date.
Once your funding is in place and, in the case that you are getting a mortgage the offer has been issued and your solicitor has received mortgage instructions from your lender, provided you and your solicitor are happy with everything and your solicitor can satisfy any conditions in the mortgage offer, you can now prepare to exchange contracts.
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