Checklist for choosing a shared ownership solicitor
No move, No fee – Opt for a no move, no fee deal to as some property solicitors charge their conveyancing fees pro-rata – so you could be left facing a bill of a few hundred pounds if you or the seller pulls out close to completion.
A breakdown of fees – So you know exactly what your Shared Ownership solicitor will be charging for every aspect of the work. Initial low fees can dramatically increase with ‘disbursements’ such as, cost of transferring money, dealing with your mortgage company, and even filling in the Stamp Duty Land Tax return.
Provide you with a buyer’s/seller’s pack –explaining what they are doing on your behalf and the legalities of buying and selling.
Easily Contactable – Ensure you can contact your property solicitor by phone and/or email as you will probably never physically meet them and you want peace of mind.
Case tracking online – Another peace of mind point so you can check whether; documents have been sent/received, searches have been conducted, monies have been paid, details of enquiries.
How do I chose the right property solicitor through tsop?
tsop will ensure you get quotes from a number of solicitor firms for you to choose from.
Be wary of low prices for conveyancing fees
Simply choosing a property solicitor based on their conveyancing fees is a BAD idea as service can be compromised with low fees meaning if you are in a position where a fast sale is required you may risk losing the property if the solicitor doesn’t provide you with the best service. You generally get what you pay for with Shared Ownership solicitors. Fees as low as £100 + VAT would be a concern in how thorough they are compared to the more standard conveyancing fees of £500 + VAT. These are based on the conveyancing process alone i.e. fees quoted upfront don’t include; search fees, electronic transfer fees, dealing with your mortgage company, which will almost certainly be billed on top of the quoted price.
At what point do I need to instruct a solicitor when buying?
The main question from buyers that we get is at what point do they need to instruct a property solicitor. The standard procedure is as soon as your offer on a property is accepted, to instruct a property solicitor to act on your behalf. So it is recommended to at least have an idea of where you are going to look for a property solicitor. At tsop we have a panel of property solicitors that we go to with your specific requirements and then find the best one for you.
Property solicitor Duties Explained
Why do I need a property solicitor to Buy or Sell a Home?
In short yes, you cannot buy or sell a home without the specialist help of a solicitor.
There are numerous such as; a fixtures & fittings checklist (which details everything that will be removed and everything that will stay in the property to be included in the purchase), and the contract and documents detailing planning permissions and any guarantees connected to the property.
These are undertaken to ensure that the property is a legal purchase including; the title deeds to ensure the seller is in fact the legal owner and able to make the sale.
Searches on the property – searches highlight any factors which may have an impact on your property. Property solicitors generally use search agencies costing in the region of £200 which include;
Index Map Search – involves using the Land Registry records to search for an accurate location and plan of the property.
Local search – local authority info; previous planning applications made on the property, that if rejected, your property solicitor would inform you and this could influence your decision to proceed.
Chancel liability search – determines whether when purchased you will be liable to contribute to repair costs to the chancel (steeple) of a local church. You can request the seller to provide an indemnity policy for any liability cost in the future.
Environmental search – to determine if the property may have been constructed on or near land that is contaminated.
Water and drainage search – determine factors including; water quality, issues with drainage and any planning restrictions if mains water pipes are close by.
Liaise with mortgage company
Your mortgage lender will release a copy of your offer to your property solicitor and they will then inform the lender when you wish to complete the property transaction and release funds. The lender will then release these funds to your property solicitor who will ensure the seller’s property solicitor, receive the funds on completion.
Enquire about further information from the seller
Your property solicitor will request information relating to the property that hasn’t been answered by searches undertaken from the seller. These could be along the lines of any ongoing disputes with neighbours, liability for upkeep of boundary walls/shared areas and whether the property has ever been flooded.
Completion of (TR1) Transfer Deed
The (TR1) Transfer Deed is a Land Registry document that property solicitors prepare. The sole purpose of the document is that It transfers ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer which is required to be signed by both parties and witnessed by an independent adult.
Exchanging contracts and Completion
When property solicitors for the buyer and seller are satisfied with no outstanding enquiries or reasons not to proceed, your property solicitor will arrange the transfer the initial 10% deposit to the seller’s conveyance to exchange contracts. After this point if either party pulls out of the deal there will be financial penalties to pay. In order to complete on time on the completion day your property solicitor will be required to transfer funds to the seller’s Shared Ownership solicitor. Upon receipt the seller’s property solicitor released the keys to the property.