How do I guard against getting gazumped?
Gazumping occurs when a owner accepts a buyer's offer and then rejects it in favour of another purchaser's offer. This rejection may occur weeks, or even months, into a property purchase. Although gazumping is less common in a declining market, there will always be a chance. The first step in reducing the chance that gazumping will effect you is to instruct your conveyancing solicitor as soon as possible.
How does a Help to Buy scheme work for me?
This government-sponsored scheme aims to assist homebuyers with three ways of purchasing a property:
- Help to Buy ISA - if you are a first-time buyer and don’t own any other property (anywhere in the world), and you don’t have another cash ISA opened in the same tax year, when you buy your first home, the solicitor will apply for the government bonus on your behalf when closure of your Home to Buy ISA used to buy the property is confirmed.
- Help to Buy: Equity Loan - if you have no other property and are buying a newly-built home, the government will provide 20% of the cost of the house (up to a maximum of £600,000), leaving you with the saved 5% deposit and a 75% mortgage to cover the remainder. This is open to current homeowners and first-time buyers, and the home cannot be sublet nor can it be used in a part-exchange deal.
- Help to Buy: Shared Ownership - if your household earns less than £80,000, you could be eligible for this scheme, which allows you to buy between 25% and 75% of the home’s value, while the government pays the remainder on which you would then pay rent.
(information retrieved from HM Government’s Help to Buy website on 16 April 2019).
Contact the Money Advice Service, the government’s Help to Buy website, or your local ‘Help to Buy’ agent for more information.
What searches will a lawyer in Allendale conduct when carrying out the conveyancing for a Allendale house?
The common procedure is to get these searches - Local Authority (personal or official), Drainage Search (Con29DW) and Environment Search as well as any specific searches such as British Waterways.
My agent has named a solicitors firm who they generally use. Will it be cheaper to instruct this solicitor?
If you choose a solicitor referred through this route, you the agent can persuade a slow solicitor to work faster. However, if they are paid a referral fee, it may be the case that the agent recommends the firm which pays to the largest referral fee, not the law firm with the best reputation.
If I want to build an extension or do other works once I move in, can I get a builder to visit to give me a quote?
There is nothing stopping you trying to organise this, so long as you set a date and time that’s acceptable to the vendor (or via their estate agent if they are unable to be there) and try to establish how long the process will take, so that this can be booked in.
This becomes particularly critical following a surveyor’s inspection where remedial works are identified and recommended. You can use the quote from the builder as a renegotiation tool on the asking price, if the work required is going to be particularly costly. If you decide to go down this route, it must be done before exchange of contracts (where you’re committing to the sale price) and you should inform your solicitor if you’ve had private discussions and agreements with the vendor over price for inclusion in the terms of the contract.