1. Your solicitor will need to get proof of your ID and may require some money on account to pay for items such as your local search. You must also complete your mortgage application as quickly as possible so that the survey or mortgage valuation can be instructed. The conveyancing process can take months, so it’s important to try and get a recommendation for a solicitor or conveyancer who can work quickly and efficiently.
2. The seller’s solicitor drafts the contract; the vendor will provide their title deed and from that a contract will be drawn up for your solicitor to examine and make enquires about things like the boundaries of the property, any disputes that have occurred (perhaps with neighbours), any alterations that have been made (such as extentions or loft conversions) and any other legal matters which could affect your decision to proceed with the purchase.
3. Your solicitor will perform searches of land registry and local authority information, checking for planning history, and any potential developments around roads, drainage and/or mining near the property.
4. You will receive your mortgage offer (if applicable) and will be asked to thoroughly check all the terms and conditions before signing to confirm acceptance. You will need to do this before you can exchange contracts. At this point it is worth looking at your insurance options to make sure that you are covered for your building and contents insurance as all insurance policies need to begin from the exchange of contracts date.
5. It’s time to sign your contract and agree your moving date for completion. At this point you should provide your solicitor with your deposit money for exchange of contracts and have all of your finance in place, so that the solicitor can arrange for it to be ready on completion day. It’s also a good idea to get your removals sorted now because you don’t want to be unprepared when moving day arrives.
6. Exchange of contracts is such an exciting time and we cannot wait to give you the call to notify you that it’s all happened. You are now legally bound to the purchase. All relevance insurance contracts should now be put into force and you will need to inform everyone who needs to know your new details, such as the utility companies, the bank, your employer and your Auntie Betty & Uncle Bob. If necessary, the Royal Mail can organise a mail redirection service for you.