Your Guide To Conveyancing. Conveyancing excellence as standard

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1 Your Guide To Conveyancing Conveyancing excellence as standard 1

2 At Robinson s Solicitors we appreciate that your home is potentially the single most expensive item you own and that any property transaction can be a stressful experience Robinson s Solicitors have a specialist team of solicitors dedicated to assist you with the property transaction to ensure that it progresses swiftly and stress free. Robinson s Solicitors have the expertise and specialism to deal with: A private property owner looking to sell, buy or remortgage; A Landlord or property developer looking to buy, sell or remortgage to enhance their portfolio; A land developer acquiring land to be built upon. Our key property conveyancing services include: A fast and efficient personal service Technology led systems Online communications Online conveyancing quotations Call back guarantee Same day appointment 2

3 So you ve found the perfect house to buy or accepted an offer on a house you re selling but what do you do next? You need to instruct a solicitor to do the legal work for you we call the legal work conveyancing. It is very important to instruct a firm of solicitors you have confidence in, that you know will make what can be a daunting and stressful time, a simple and straight forward process. Why choose us? We have solicitors with over 35 years experience in the business. We have NO hidden charges Our fees are completely transparent We explain the whole process from the outset You deal with the same staff each time you contact us Our offices are open from 9am until 5 pm Monday to Friday, you have access to a mobile telephone number out of office hours and we respond to s outside of our usual office hours even on Saturdays and Sundays Make sure you choose the best there is - choose Robinsons Solicitors. If you want to choose Robinsons Solicitors what should you do? Give you Estate Agent our contact details they will send us a Sales Memorandum Let us know you want to instruct us by , text or phone call or simply click the instruct us button on your instant free quote We ll do the rest Got a cheaper quote? You may also wish to treat conveyancing solicitors who are offering very cheap deals with caution - this can sometimes mean that they are dealing with a huge number of clients at any one time, thus slowing down their conveyancing services and ultimately impacting on the speed of the property transfer - all of which can end up costing you more money than you initially thought you could save by opting for a cheap conveyancing deal. Cheap conveyancing deals are sometimes loaded with hidden charges so the initial fee that you thought you signed up can be far removed from the final bill you pay on completion. Sometimes, when it comes to conveyancing, the old adage is true - you get what you pay for. Be rest assured we have quoted you for all the charges that we can possibly foresee at this stage. 3

4 Testimonials You are bound to think that we would blow our own trumpet. Don t take our word for it here is what some of our clients say about us: "I would recommend Matthew to anyone. He provided us with a fast, efficient and professional service throughout the connected sale and purchase of our properties." - Mr. P from Blackpool "I got a fixed fee quote for selling my house and buying another property and I paid exactly what was quoted. The quote was cheaper than others that I got and I was worried the service would not be up to much. I was pleasantly surprised with the price and service." - Miss. J from Fleetwood We purchased an investment property for the first time through auction. We only had 28 days in which to complete the legal process. This seemed a very short period of time by Matthew helped us through to completion very quickly and efficiently. We hope to buy another property at auction soon and will have no hesitation in asking you to do the conveyancing. Mr & Mrs P - Conveyancing Blackpool I had already got a quote from another firm of solicitors and my estate agent recommended that I obtain a second comparative quote from Matthew for the sale of my rental property. I was concerned that your quote was cheaper and that there would be hidden charges at the end or I would receive a second rate service. I am pleased to say there were no nasty surprises and the service was first rate. Mr & Mrs W - Conveyancing Blackpool 4

5 Become a Platinum Client Club member today and receive the following benefits: Ask us how to become a Platinum Club Member and our *terms and conditions which apply now:- By Phone: By text: By 5

6 Frequently Asked Questions How long will this take? This depends on a number of factors including: The number of parties in the chain Somebody in the chain does not want to proceed as quickly as the others. The complexity of the transaction eg. it will take longer if the property is leasehold The searches or enquiries reveal something unexpected A standard freehold purchase will normally take 4-6 weeks but if title problems arise or there is a long chain it could take longer. When should I book removals? It is best to avoid booking your removals until after contracts have been exchanged. At that time removal arrangements can be confirmed to the company. Before exchange the moving date is not definite and you may incur extra charges should the date have to be changed. Can I complete on a Saturday? No. The electronic banking system only works Monday- Fridays. In addition most law firms do not work on a Saturday. Therefore your completion has to take place between Monday-Friday. How much deposit will I have to pay? The deposit will depend upon the mortgage. If you are borrowing less than 90% then you will usually pay 10% but if you are borrowing more than 90% the seller may be willing to accept a lower deposit. If you are getting a mortgage to help you buy your property your lender will have obtained a valuation survey on the property. Unless you instructed them to carry out a homebuyer s or structural report at the same time the survey carried out was purely for your lender s needs and will not give you any details about the state and condition of the property. There may be defects or faults in the property which are not revealed by the inspection carried out by the lender s valuer, or there may be things missing from or things not accurate in the report. These do not matter to the lender but may matter to you. You will not be able to rely on what was said in the valuation, nor take any action against the lender or the valuer who carried out the report for the lender. We would always recommend you obtain your own report before you go ahead with the purchase. 6

7 When should I cancel my direct debits to my existing mortgage lender? You should not cancel direct debits until you have been advised by us that completion of the sale has taken place. If you have made any overpayment the lender will refund this to you following completion. What should I do with the keys to my existing property? They should be left with the estate agents. They will only release the keys to the buyer once completion has taken place. If there are no estate agents you should arrange to give the buyer the keys direct. Please do not hand the keys over until you have received confirmation that we have received the purchase monies. How do I get the keys to my new property? Please make your own arrangements with the estate agents as they will normally hold the keys. If there are no estate agents you should arrange to collect the keys from the seller. I am selling to a member of my family. Do we still need to instruct solicitors? Yes, you will still need the services of a conveyancing professional. What is an Energy Performance Certificate? These give buyers and sellers A-G ratings for their home s energy efficiency to help cut carbon emissions and fuel bills and are designed to help homeowners reduce the environmental impact of their homes. 7

8 Purchasing a property? Follow our step-by-step process to purchasing A property We send our client care letters to you for you to sign and return. We apply for the local and water searches. We contact the sellers solicitors and request a Contract and Office Copy Entries As soon as the searches, the contract and your mortgage offer have been received these are carefully reviewed We make an appointment with you to explain everything. You sign the contract & mortgage offer. We arrange a date for Exchange of contracts and completion. We exchange contracts. We complete some final Land Registry searches We complete. The house is yours! We register the house in your name at the Land Registry. We write to you so confirm your house is in your name. 8

9 Selling a property? Follow our step-by-step process to selling a property You sign and return our client care letters. We ask you to send us your house deeds. We draft the sale contract and apply for Office Copy Entries. We send the Contract and Office Copy entries to the purchaser s solicitors and answer any queries they may have. We arrange a date for exchange and completion. We exchange contracts. We obtain a redemption figure from your mortgage company. We complete. We re-pay your mortgage balance and the estate agents fees. We transfer the final balance of the sale money to you. 9

10 Guide To Jointly Held Property Property held in joint names can be held in one of two ways. Beneficial Joint Tenants This is where the joint owners are all equally entitled to the property. When one of the owners dies, that person s interest in the property passes automatically to the surviving owner(s). If, therefore, there are two joint owners and one of them dies, the other becomes solely entitled to the property. A Joint Tenant cannot deal with his/her share of the property in a Will - it cannot pass to anyone other than the surviving owners. Do not be confused by the term tenant this has nothing to do with tenants in the ordinary meaning of the word. Beneficial Tenants Tenants in Common In Common Under this arrangement the property is held by the joint owners in specific proportions, which may or may not be equal. There might for example, be two owners each owning a half interest in the property, or three owners having a 20%, 40% and 40 % share respectively. If one of the joint owners dies that person s interest does NOT pass automatically to the surviving joint owners, but would form part of his/her estate and will pass according to that person s Will or under the rules of intestacy. A joint owner could, therefore, make a Will leaving his/her share to the other owner(s) or leaving it to someone else altogether. When the property is held in this way, it is essential to have a Declaration of Trust either in the deeds or separately which states the proportions owned by each of the joint owners. Other Factors to Consider It is necessary when purchasing a property in joint names to decide whether the property should be owned as Joint Tenants or as Tenants in Common. This decision need not be permanent as it is possible to change from one form of ownership to the other. Please note that severing a joint tenancy (i.e. converting to tenants in common) can be done without the consent of the joint owner(s). One person can instigate it and the other(s) do not have to agree for it to be effective. If the joint owners are not entitled to equal proportions of the value of the property then they should not hold the property as Joint Tenants, unless they wish to become entitled to equal proportions. If the joint owners do not wish their interest to pass automatically on their death to the other joint owner(s) they should not hold as Joint Tenants, but as Tenants in Common. There may be personal and/or tax reasons for this. 10

11 Glossary of words and phrases we use. We try our very best not to use words or phrases that you may not understand. Here we set out a few of those words and phrases we use if we ever use a word or phrase you are not familiar with tell us. Chain: This is the sequence of buyers and sellers most people who sell their property are also buying at the same time. Therefore there can be a chain of a number of sellers, which depend on each other for the sale and purchase of their new properties. For example, if one buyer or seller drops out, the chain may collapse, whereby the paperwork for the properties within the chain is delayed or cancelled. Chain Free: This is when the owner of the property does not need to sell the property in order to buy another; therefore it is offered as chain free. Completion Date: The date when the transaction (either the sale or purchase of a property) is completed, i.e. the date you become the owner. Completion Statement: A statement from the solicitor which details all the figures/costs associated with your sale or purchase. It lets you know how much money we need from you to purchase the property or how much money you will receive when the house is sold. Conditions of Sale: The terms by which the buyer and seller agree to sell/buy the property. The Law Society sets standard conditions. The lawyer sets special conditions. The conditions of sale form the basis for the Contract. Contract: The legally binding agreement specifying details of the house sale or house purchase. The contract legally commits both the buyer and the seller to the transaction. The house seller' s conveyancing lawyer draws up two copies of the same contract and each party signs their own copy. When both parties are ready to legally commit, the two contracts are exchanged. Conveyancer: The property lawyer who manages all of the matters arising from the sale of a house or the purchase of a house. Can be a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer. Conveyance or Transfer: The legally binding document that transfers the rights, burdens and the benefit of the land. Council for Licensed Conveyancers: A regulatory body for conveyancing with whom all conveyancers should be registered. Deeds: Legal title document which provides historical information about the property. Deposit: The amount paid to exchange contracts which is only refundable in exceptional circumstances. Contracts provide for 10% of the purchase/sale price but can often be negotiated to a lower level. Disbursements: Out-of-pocket expenses paid by the solicitor/licensed conveyancer on the buyer' s behalf, such as stamp duty, land registry charges and search fees. Easement: A right given to the house owner over an adjoining property (e.g. right of way). 11

12 EPC: Energy performance certificate- part of a home information pack. Equity: This is what you actually own the difference between the market value of your property and the amount of the loan you still owe to your lender. Exchange of Contract: The point that both parties are committed to the transaction. Fixtures and Fittings: A list of the items at the property, which are either included or excluded from the agreed price. Flexible Mortgage: Mortgages that are flexible in terms of how you pay the loan back. Freehold: One of the two current tenures of land recognised by English law. This recognises the whole of the land not just a building. FSA: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is an independent body concerned with consumer protection in the financial market. Gazumping: When the house seller accepts a higher price offer from another house buyer after the initial offer has been accepted. Indemnity Insurance: An insurance taken out by conveyancing firms to cover losses to clients arising from errors or fraud in dealing with their matters. Land Registry Fees: Fees paid by your conveyancing lawyer on the buyer' s behalf to register the ownership of property with the Land Registry. Land Registry: A government office that stores records of land ownership and any charges on the property, like a mortgage. Leasehold: The second level tenure/ownership of land recognised by English law. This is over a term of years and not unlimited. There will be a Landlord who will own the freehold. This usually relates to a flat or apartment. Licensed Conveyancer: A licensed conveyancer is a specialist property lawyer, someone who is trained and qualified in all aspects of the law dealing with property. Licensed conveyancers are sufficient to secure adequate protection for consumers and that the conveyancing services provided by such persons are provided both economically and efficiently. Mortgage Deed: The legal agreement that gives the lender a legal right to property. Mortgage Fees: Normally charged by your financial advisor, for acting on behalf of your bank or building society. Redemption Fee: An Early Repayment Charge which can be charged by your existing mortgage lender if you pay off your mortgage early or you move to a different mortgage. Redemption Figure: The sum that will be paid to your mortgage company to pay off the mortgage. We usually obtain one of these when you are selling your home. By paying the redemption figure the mortgage company will remove the charge on your property. 12

13 Searches: A method of checking matters that may affect the value of the property. The only obligatory one before exchange is a Local Authority Search which covers items such as road maintenance and planning applications. The search covers the property not the surrounding area. It is best practice to do a number of other searches depending on where your house is. For example it might be best practice to do an Environmental search, a Flood Search, a Mining Search, a Chancel Check search and so on. We only quote for doing a Local Search and Water Search. Stamp Duty: A government tax payable by every home buyer when purchasing a property over 125,000. The stamp duty rate is: ,000 0% 125, ,000 1% 250, ,000 3% 500,001-1 million 4% Over 1 million - 2 million 5% Over 2 million 7% Over 2 million bought by corporate bodies 15% Survey: A report produced by a building surveyor for the purpose of determining the value of the property and if it is structurally sound. Subject to Contract: A provisional agreement between the house buyer and the house seller that is not legally binding. Transfer Document: The final document that transfers the property from the house seller to the house buyer. Valuation Survey: A survey to allow a property value to be determined for mortgage purposes. This is not to be confused with a structural survey. 13

14 Notes 14

15 We Are Here To Help If you have any further questions please feel free to get in touch with us by whatever means you prefer: Robinsons Robinsons Solicitors Beckett House 17 Sovereign Court Wyrefields Poulton FY6 8JX Robinson s Solicitors is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA No:

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