Buying your first home is exciting, but the process can be daunting and it is important to have an experienced solicitor representing you.
At Lockings Solicitors, we have been representing first time buyers for many years. We know how important it is to you to have a smooth and successful transaction. If you ask us to act for you, we will make sure you have the guidance you need and that our advice to you is clear and comprehensive.
We always work proactively to avoid unnecessary delays. Because we have in-depth experience of all aspects of the conveyancing process, we know how to deal swiftly and effectively with difficulties, should they arise. We will stay in touch with you throughout, updating you on the progress of your purchase and answering any questions you may have.
If you would like to speak to us about buying your first property, please call us for a FREE initial chat on 01482 300 200, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York and deal with conveyancing in East Yorkshire and beyond.
As well as researching the area in which you want to live and deciding what sort of home you want to buy, there are some practical steps to take before you find somewhere to buy.
Firstly, you will need to draw up a budget, to include all of the expenses and fees, the amount of deposit you have and mortgage payments you can realistically afford. We can let you know exactly how much the conveyancing fees will be, to include the cost of searches, Stamp Duty and the Land Registry fee for registering your ownership of your new property. For more information on the costs of buying a home, download our free Conveyancing Fees Guide.
Once you know how much you can afford to borrow, you need to find a mortgage lender and start the mortgage application process. By securing a mortgage offer in principle, you will be ready to proceed once you find the right property and have an offer accepted. Having a mortgage offer in place will also demonstrate to the sellers that you are a serious buyer.
As a first time buyer, you are in a strong position. For sellers who are hoping to move quickly, it is a big advantage to have a buyer with no onward chain to slow the transaction down. This means that on occasion, buyers may be prepared to accept a slightly lower offer from a first time buyer than they would from a buyer in a chain in the hope that the sale will go through without delay.
You can ask a solicitor to represent you before you find a property to buy. Finding the best solicitors for first time buyers can be daunting as there is a wide choice. You should ensure that your chosen conveyancer has the depth of experience to be able to deal with problems should they arise and that they are approved by your mortgage lender.
If you ask us to deal with your conveyancing, we will let you have the details you need to give to the estate agent so that they can pass these on to your seller’s solicitor as soon as your offer is accepted.
We can also go ahead with the preliminary work that we need to do, to include verifying your identity, as required by law, opening a file and letting you have the initial forms for completion. We are approved by all major mortgage lenders, so you should also pass our details to your chosen lender so that they can send your mortgage offer to us.
We offer use of a secure online portal to our clients. If you prefer, your transaction could be dealt with by way of letter and email instead.
You are also advised to instruct a surveyor early on in the process as they may be busy and you could end up having to wait for their services. A survey is always recommended and you can choose the level of detail you want. If you will be buying a property that is more than 50 years old or is unusual in design or you wish to carry out major works or make additions, you may want to consider the most in-depth survey. For a more conventional property, a mid-level survey could be sufficient. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors provide more information on choosing the right level of survey on their website.
If your survey reveals problems that will need work to remedy, it is open to you to go back to the seller and make them aware of these and try to renegotiate the price to take the cost of the works into account. They are likely to encounter similar issues with any future buyer, so it may be in their interest to agree to a reduction.
Once you have had an offer accepted, the seller’s solicitor will send contract papers to your solicitor. If you choose us to represent you, we will go through the papers and raise initial enquiries. We will share the property information provided with you, as well as the fixtures and fittings list, so that you can see what will be staying at the property. We will also apply for searches.
You should advise your mortgage lender that you have found a property. They will arrange for their own valuation to be carried out and will send your mortgage offer to us.
Once we have all of the information we have asked for, we will report this to you and you can sign the contract. The contract does not become legally binding until we exchange it with the seller’s solicitor. You pay a deposit on exchange of contracts, usually of 10%, and the date for completion will be set.
We will then order your mortgage advance in readiness for the completion day and you can provide us with the balance of purchase money. We will also order the final searches. On the day of completion, we will send the purchase money to the seller’s solicitor who will notify the estate agent that the keys to your new home can be released to you.
For more information, download our free House Buying Checklist for First Time Buyers.
The length of time a conveyancing transaction takes often depends on the number of individuals in the chain. Delays could arise if someone is awaiting a mortgage offer or there is information outstanding. At times, some bodies such as mortgage lenders or local authorities may have a backlog of work which could cause a holdup.
At Lockings Solicitors we always deal with issues straightaway to avoid unnecessary delays. We use a private search company to obtain search results, which is faster, more reliable and more accurate than waiting for the local authority to provide these. We always work to complete transactions as quickly as possible and our experience means that even if a legal difficulty arises, we know how to manage it effectively so that delays are minimised. The average time taken for a conveyancing transaction is around eight to twelve weeks provided everybody in the chain is motivated, proactive and flexible. Unfortunately this is not always the case so be very wary of relying on average or usual times because every case is different and things are rarely completely plain sailing.
If you are thinking of buying your first home, we will be happy to hear from you.
Please call us for a FREE initial chat on 01482 300 200, email us at email@example.com or complete a Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York and deal with conveyancing in East Yorkshire and beyond.
If you are a customer of Lockings Solicitors and we have contracted with you online you may be entitled to use the EU Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Platform to assist in resolving any dispute with us. This service can be found at https://ec.europa.eu/odr.
Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Lockings Solicitors is a trading name of Lockings Legal Services Limited registered in England and Wales company registration number 09244568. Lockings Legal Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (Main Office SRA ID number 626081). A list of our directors is available for inspection at all our offices. Use the following link https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/standards-regulations/
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