Open Today: 9am - 6pm

10 May, 2024/ by Homeward Legal /Buyer, Sale & Purchase

When you are in the process of looking for your new home, there are so many things that you need to think of, over and above the practicalities of boxing up your old home and transferring it to the new one - finance, legalities, communication, and information-gathering to name but a few.

In addition, if you find a new home that matches your requirements, among the several sheafs of information that the estate agents will have furnished you with, and you fall in love it, you may be blinded to some of the basic issues that need to be established. While what your heart wants is important, you need to make room for your head to have its say to protect what is, after all, a significant financial investment for the next few years.

To assist with this process, Homeward Legal have compiled a short guide of things you might want to consider asking the estate agent or the seller (or both if you want to see if they respond with the same answer!) of the property you're keen on potentially buying.

This information has been gleaned from a number of expert sources: the HomeOwners Alliance (HOA), Your Move, Compare the Market and Halifax (although other firms that include conveyancers, building societies, estate agents, and others involved in the homebuying process, will all offer similar information to one level or another).

Why asking questions is key

As part of the eventual conveyancing process, your putative seller will fill in the requisite forms providing information and documentary evidence to support the responses they provide, but this is after you've been through the asking price/offer acceptance negotiations and initiated the buying process. So, it's worth thinking through some of the questions that will be of importance to you before then.

Some of the home's information is legally required to be present on the estate agent's particulars, but there is no harm couching questions to verify the position for your peace of mind.

The information you can pick up via this method will set you in a better position of understanding what the property is, issues with maintenance, the cost of its upkeep and so on. Armed with these details, you can even use it to enter in negotiations regarding the price, getting to agreement that is satisfactory to both you and the seller, and may even help speed up the process of the sale.

The list of questions

  • How long has the property been on the market?
  • Why are the sellers keen to put the property on the market?
  • How old is the property?
  • What is the freehold or leasehold position?
  • Are there any restrictive covenants that apply to the property?
  • Are there conservation area or listed building considerations?
  • How long has the property already been on the market?
  • Has the property's value changed significantly recently (and why, if so)?
  • Have there been any significant alterations to the property?
  • Are the sellers wanting to move quickly?
  • Have the sellers received any offers from other interested parties? 
  • What do the local amenities provide?
  • What are the plans for the local area?
  • What is the council tax monthly payment?
  • What are the average payments for utilities?
  • How effective are the broadband speeds and mobile phone signals?
  • What are the neighbours like?
  • What is the traffic like past the property?
  • What is included in the sale (fixtures and fittings)?
  • What is the effectiveness of the boiler and the heating system?
  • What is the water pressure like?
  • How is the central heating powered?
  • What is the EPC rating?
  • Which way does the property face?

The HOA also recommends asking questions directly of the seller rather than going via the estate agent as the responses from them may be filtered and give a slightly skewed picture of the property as a consequence.

Buyer beware

Finally, as with all transactions, caveat emptor - buyer beware. If you haven't seen the evidence of the responses to the questions or are concerned, be prepared to dig deeper. Or even, hard though it might be, be prepared to walk away from the prospect of buying the property.

And have no fear about entering into negotiations on the asking price if there is anything that arises from the answers you receive that you think might engender a cost for you further down the line.

Your appointed conveyancer will work through all the standard information in their searches and it's always wise to get a level of detail in a building survey ordered so that you know exactly what you are facing with any property.

But, ultimately, it's important to get the information you need as quickly as possible so that you can be comforted that your time is not being wasted.

Worried about the home-moving process? Need to get a legal representative who will work hard to get you to the completion date as soon as is practicable?

That's where Homeward Legal can really help with affordable but quality conveyancing services! They will start work on your planned purchase and/or sale as soon as you agree to the quotation and appoint them to represent you. 

Homeward Legal will also provide a quote that will not change - what you are quoted is what you pay for standard conveyancing process.

There are some unforeseen items that might arise during the purchase and/or sale, but the solicitor discusses these and their cost as they come up. 

In addition, to protect the homebuyer further, Homeward Legal operates a ‘no completion, no fee' promise, which ensures that, should the purchase or sale not go through as planned to completion status, no payment is required.

Call  to get your conveyancing quote started, or to discuss your concerns with your plans to move.

Or you can get a quick quote, using Homeward Legal's easy-to-use quote generator.

Share this news post:

More from this category