Is there a checklist for buyers or sellers helping to decide what’s most important?
The process of buying and selling is a complex one, so it’s helpful for your research to have checklists to ensure nothing is forgotten. There are several online resources with checklists for individual aspects of the moving process, including what to consider as a first-time buyer, help to buy schemes, removals, speeding up conveyancing and so on.
When it comes to deciding what you want for your new home to help you narrow down the choice of locations and types of property available, this is largely down to personal choice, so a standardised checklist might limit your requirements. You can talk to an estate agent about what you want as they will have the experience to narrow down your options. However, you need to consider the size of the property (number of rooms, bathroom facilities, bedrooms, etc.), size of garden, proximity to public transport links, noise, entertainment options (e.g. cinema, pub, eateries, etc.), access to off-road parking, schools, speed of broadband, and so on. Consider making a list of what the property must have and an associated wish list so that likely compromises can be made.
Do I have to be present at viewings?
No, you don’t. It used to be the case that estate agencies were happy to leave the homeowner to show prospective buyers around. However, this has now been dispensed with because they won’t necessarily have the property skills and experience of dealing with and selling to a buyer. Therefore, the preference is usually that you should not be present in the home at all, although this can obviously be difficult with infirmity, working from home, and childcare.
The best option is to discuss this with the estate agent when you appoint them, so that you are aware of their expectations for each viewing, and they will be able to work around you if you have to be present in the home. Whether you are present or not, you should still take care not to be too messy and tidy up as much as possible prior to the viewing appointment, so that good impressions are maintained.
Our fixed fees and the 'No Completion, No Fee' guarantee alongside our results-focused solicitors mean that Homeward Legal is your best choice for the conveyancing. Find out more on 0800 038 6699.
I am buying a period maisonette in one of the Hertford conservation area. How do we locate data on the state of repair of the Hertford conservation area?
English Heritage, a government body, now maintain details in relation to the state of conservation areas in addition to the trend of the area. Conservation areas in Hertford are nominated by the local East Hertfordshire planning authority, who police things like area development to the halting of poorly maintained public spaces.
For the purchase, my mortgage lender, we have chosen Aldermore - is there anything we need to consider?
Purchasers should be aware that, in some cases, lenders have limited the number of solicitors who can act for them. Homeward Legal can act for all large mortgage lenders so that you will not be required to pay your lender's legal costs.
What specific things do I need to look out for if I’m buying a house on the coast?
With worsening weather and floods now becoming increasingly commonplace, with the media remarking on it in depth, buying a property that has a likelihood of flooding is a difficult decision to make. Not only is there the issue of cleaning up if it does flood, but insurance premiums will be much higher (and perhaps even prohibitive).
For homes in coastal areas, there is also the problem of coastal erosion, where some properties have been seen to literally fall into the sea.
However, the good news is that picking a home in a coastal region doesn’t automatically mean that it’s going to be subject to flooding or that it’s eventually going to slip into the sea. The searches ordered by your conveyancing solicitor will identify the level of risk associated with the property and, based on this, your solicitor may recommend that you take out specialist reports (e.g. from Landmark or other organisations) to get a more in-depth description of the risks and options. These are in addition to the standard set and will be charged to you as a disbursement at cost.
Your surveyor will also be able to identify evidence of previous floods and other problems during their inspection and provide advice in their report. If the problems are considered sufficiently severe, the surveyor may also note the specifics for further investigation by your conveyancing solicitor.
I am purchasing a rectory in Buckland. Will we need a chancel search?
A property solicitor could advise that a chancel search is ordered, whichever parish where the property being bought is located. Chancel repair can be imposed on the current owners of a property where Parochial Church Councils have previously chosen not to do so, so it can be difficult to use this as a guide.
Should I organize a private purchase of items on the Fixtures and Fittings form?
This would be very unwise as the Fixtures and Fittings Form (TA10) forms part of the contract, and it lists all the items that the seller is planning to leave at the property with an agreed price for anything they want money for.
To try to organise a private sale outside of this clear and controlled process may result in difficulties later on in the process, which is precisely why this form is in place. If you want something to remain that’s not listed on the Fixtures and Fittings Form, raise a query through your solicitor so that negotiations may be formally carried out.
Worried about what your responsibilities are in the legal side of your move? Let Homeward Legal help with their experience and low fixed fees. Call our team now on 0800 038 6699.