Can I agree a sale price without involving an estate agent or solicitor?
This depends on whether you have signed up with an estate agent and what agreement is already in place. While it might seem unfair if you’ve found a buyer outside of the estate agency process and you’re expected to still pay the agent their fees on sale, you should be very careful about stepping outside the agreed terms and conditions since this is legally binding and you may face penalties as a result. Therefore, if you want to follow this course, it’s worth checking the details with a solicitor to ensure you’re following the letter of the law.
If you’re not with an agent, you can publicise your house details with a number of publications and online sites (some are free, others require a fee), but you’ll need to do all the legwork and administration. For a legal standpoint, you don’t need to appoint a solicitor to perform the conveyancing, but it would be an unwise option to pursue as you will probably have neither the training or experience in some its complexities, and you won’t have the protective indemnity insurance in the event of a problem arising with your work.
If we are buying in Nine Elms, do you recommend that I get a chancel search?
Chancel repair liability can require Nine Elms home owners to contribute towards the cost of upkeep of a church in the area. Some names or words such as 'glebe' give an indication of a property's history, and thus whether chancel liability may apply.
Would getting a property survey be required when buying a property?
We firmly recommend that the majority of purchasers in Nine Elms order an inspection if you are planning to buy in Nine Elms. There are many defects that will impact a property, which will not be covered by the legal work, for example severe weathering.
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.
Which local authority looks after Nine Elms?
Nine Elms is located in Wandsworth Council, The Town Hall, Wandsworth, High Street, London, SW18 2PU phone: 020 8871 6000
I plan to buy a church rectory in Ickenham. Will a chancel search be important?
Your Nine Elms conveyancing solicitor is likely to recommend a chancel search. In older areas of Nine Elms, chancel repair has the potential to be imposed on the current owners of a building where church councils may have spared previous owners or tenants. For property in the parish of Ickenham, it is not safe to rely on the historical behaviour of the parish council alone as a guide.
Why is it silly to buy a leasehold with less than 99 years to run?
In large part, if a leasehold drops below 90 years, it’s because mortgage companies will not be willing to lend money to purchase the leasehold. They will almost certainly have a stipulation on the length of the leasehold as part of their criteria for lending.
Most buyers are very aware of this and the trend is for an insistence of the sellers to provide an extension back up to the 99-year or 125-year thresholds before considering its purchase. Otherwise, even if you can finance it, eventually you’ll have to consider the legal cost of extending the lease yourself.