Do I need a solicitor?
The quick and easy answer is that you don’t. There is no legal imperative for you to employ a solicitor to handle the conveyancing when dealing with property. However, it would be rather unwise for you to carry out the work yourself because you probably won’t have the skills, knowledge and experience to perform many of the complex tasks, and you won’t possess the indemnity insurance that all solicitors are obliged to carry to protect clients in the event that something goes wrong.
You need to appoint a solicitor who is experienced, proactive and focused so that you have the best chance of completing your transaction as early as possible. You should also look for such a solicitor who also offers ‘No Completion, No Fee’ protection so that you will only be invoiced for the fees once your transaction has completed successfully.
Worried about the conveyancing process? Looking at a tight budget? Let Homeward Legal help you with our low fees without compromising our service values. Call us now on 0800 038 6699.
It seems that lithium soil contamination may be an issue in Wynyard. Please advise.
The risks posed by soil contamination to Wynyard inhabitants are usually low. Environment search results will factor contaminants, including metals and others such as chlorinated solvents.
Which particular conveyancing searches should my Wynyard conveyancing solicitor do for a Wynyard home?
Standard conveyancing protocol is to obtain these searches - Local Authority Search, Drainage and Water Search (CON29DW or personal) and Environmental as well as any specific local searches for instance Subsidence report.
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.
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.
Do I need to get a surveying expert to inspect this house purchase?
It is suggested that you order a property survey. A wide range of concerns have a negative impact on a property. These can include cracked roof tiles or flat roof leaks, and these will not be addressed by your conveyancing solicitor.
Can I change the purpose of use for a purchase as part of the conveyancing procedure?
Putting in a planning request to change the use of part or all of a property is a straightforward process and you can deal directly with the local authority, which authorises plans and requests. However, tying it in with a planned purchase of a property has its own problems, since you don’t yet formally own the property, and the length of time to get through the planning process (with no guarantee of success) will need to be factored into the purchase duration, which the seller may not agree to.
We would advise you to either buy the property and then put in the planning request after completion (or exchange at the very earliest), or buy a property that’s already fit for your purposes. Or you might be lucky to find a property that already has the relevant planning consents in place.
Can we check that the house we are buying is in a designated conservation area?
Buyers in Wynyard should be aware of several local conservation areas. A lawyer will discuss the relevant responsibilities you would be taking on by purchasing in a conservation area and offer more information for conservation areas in Wynyard.