If anyone over the age of 17 is living at the property we need to know their names and date of birth. They will be included in the contract and also must sign to say they will vacate the property on completion.
To complete your purchase and if there is a balance due from you, we will require this to be what is known as cleared funds in our bank. If you are paying the balance by telegraphic transfer or CHAPS this will automatically come into our bank account and will be immediately cleared funds. If you are paying by a cheque we will require 7 working days to clear the funds.
Our bank details for a telegraphic transfer straight to our bank account are:
NatWest, 62 Fore Street, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8EX
Sort code: 60-21-36
Account name: Forrester Sylvester Mackett Client No 2 Account
If you use this method you must ask your bank to give your full names on the transfer information so our accounts department can easily recognise your payment.
This is the date set for moving and usually you will be given the keys at midday and the buyer’s solicitors will have paid over the purchase price to the seller’s solicitors less the deposit paid.
This is also called an agreement and describes what is being purchased by you, at what price and who is to sell. It also sets out terms in case of any dispute arising between you and the seller. A deposit of 10% is due on your purchase but need not always be paid on exchange. This will need to be agreed with your seller first. You must notify us if any details in the contract are wrong.
Deed of trust
Where necessary we will prepare a deed of trust setting out the rights of ownership where there is more than one owner with different shares in the property. The deed of trust deals with the equitable interest in the property where the owner’s legal interest may be different (e.g. where the owners are holding on trust for others). Your signature on this document will need witnessing by an independent adult witness. The owner’s signatures will need to be witnessed individually, this can be done by the same person.
The deposit is a payment (usually 10% of the purchase price) paid to the seller’s solicitors as a sign of good faith that the buyer is intending to purchase the property. Sometimes if the sale is in a chain of properties the deposit passes up the chain from the first time buyer at the beginning to the last seller at the top of the chain.
Exchange of contracts
Exchange of contracts means that both sides have signed the contract and the buyers and sellers solicitors have satisfied all outstanding information on both sides and contracts can be exchanged. The contracts are then sent to the respective solicitors, thereby ‘swapping’ contracts. The contracts are dated the same on each and a completion day is agreed. This will be the date that you move on and is not negotiable from this point. The transaction is binding from this point onwards and no party can withdraw from the transaction. Insurance on your property must commence from this day.
A freehold property is one that is not subject to any lease. You will be purchasing the title to the whole of the property and it is yours to own indefinitely.
Joint tenants or tenants in common
Joint tenants means that you have a right of survivorship. If one of you was to die the property would automatically transfer into the survivor’s name. Tenants in common means that if you or your partner dies the property will pass under your will or under the intestacy rules if you do not have a will. You can hold the property in equal or unequal shares (e.g. 50% each or 70% to 30%)
A leasehold property is one that is subject to a lease. Leases vary in length of term. If the property you are buying is leasehold but is not brand new, a transfer document transferring the property from the current owners to yourself will be created which itself is subject to the original lease. You will therefore be liable to take on all the covenants and terms of that lease. If the property you are purchasing is going to be subject to a new lease then a new lease will be created for the transaction which you will have to sign in the normal way. You will have to pay ground rent and a service charge every year to the landlord or management company.
If you are selling a leasehold property you will be transferring the lease to your new buyer. You will be liable to pay for any notice of assignment fees or deed of covenant fees. We will not know the cost of this until we receive answers to enquiries which we send to your managing agents.
We will report to you on your mortgage if you are taking one out. This report will set out what you are borrowing and if you are on a repayment or interest only mortgage.
After exchange and before completion you will need to sign the mortgage deed promising to repay the loan to your mortgage lender and we will need to contact your lender to ensure they release the funds to us in time to complete your purchase. This is done via a certificate of title.
Equity is the term for the difference between the sale price of your home and the mortgage you have on your home. Negative equity means that the mortgage you have on your property is more than the value you will be paid when selling your property. This means that on completion paying off your mortgage and the cost of selling your house are more than the actual sale price. We will require the balance between the mortgage plus costs and the sale price before completion.
We are required to carry out two searches before completion:
To check there is no bankruptcy or impending bankruptcy claims against you or your partner.
This search gives priority to you, or your lender if you are taking out a mortgage and it gives a 30 day priority period in which no other alterations can be made to the title to your property.
Property information forms
At the outset of your sale we will send to you what we refer to as protocol forms.
Property Information Form
This form asks questions generally about the property, e.g. disputes with neighbours, boundaries, drainage
Fittings and Contents Form
This form asks questions about what is or is not being included in your sale and what will be left at the property.
Leasehold Information Form (if your property is leasehold)
This form asks questions about the leasehold nature of your property, e.g. who your management company is.
These forms will be relied upon by your buyer so you must ensure the answers you give are correct to your knowledge.
If there is a mortgage on your property, we will request a redemption statement from your lender. This will show us exactly how much your lender is expecting us to pay to repay your mortgage. This will be sent to you for checking and if you think the amount shown is incorrect you must advise us or your lender immediately.
If you are repaying your mortgage before your fixed time is up you may be liable to a penalty.
On completion we will arrange to pay the lender from the proceeds of sale thereby redeeming your mortgage.
Following completion, the transfer of your property will need to be registered at the HM Land Registry. We will deal with this.
We will send off your transfer, any mortgage deed if you are having one and a Stamp Duty Land Transaction Certificate (to state whether or not there is stamp duty payable and if this has been paid) to the Land Registry. They will then register this transaction on the title document (the Title Information Document) to the property. It will state you are the proprietors and will also show any mortgage you may have on the property.
Before exchange of contracts we will write to you with our report on your purchase and any mortgage.
This document sets out everything about the property and will require your signature on the last page. We will not proceed to exchange without this signed document.
Once we have your instructions to proceed with your purchase we will need to collect money from you to pay for searches made on your behalf.
We will carry out a local search and if you ask a drainage search and an environmental search.
If you are taking out a mortgage, your lender may insist on searches direct with the local authority. These are more expensive than Personal Searches (see below).
Personal Searches are undertaken through a search agent and are around £100 cheaper than those done direct with the local authority.
You may decide you want a water and drainage search that confirms if the property is connected to mains drains and water and has a plan showing the routes of the pipes, an environmental search that identifies any past or present potential environmental risks for the property and/or a Know Your
Neighbour Search which is a search detailing any planning applications or situations of interest to you relating to your property.
Upon receiving draft contract documentation from your seller, we will raise enquiries upon these documents. Our enquiries will request information to fill any gaps in the documentation the seller has provided, e.g. guarantees, details regarding building works, copies of covenants and other title information on the property.
With shared equity, you will not own the property in conjunction with any other party (unlike shared ownership where you own a percentage of the property, say 75% and 25% is owned by a housing association or similar institution) but will be taking out more than one loan for the property. A mortgage and an ‘equity loan’. You will be the only person on the deeds. There is no co-owner. However, when the property is sold, you will have to repay the loans AND a proportion of any increase in equity of the property to the party making the ‘equity loan’.
Stamp duty form
This form deals with the payment of stamp duty. If there is no stamp duty due on your purchase we are still required to fill out and get you to sign this form to declare that no stamp duty is required.
On completion we submit the form to the Inland Revenue and they issue us with a certificate stating that no stamp duty was payable or that stamp duty has been paid. This certificate will be sent to the Land Registry along with your transfer document and mortgage deed if applicable.
This document confirms the details in the contract i.e. what is being purchased by you and at what price. Your signature on this document unlike the contract will need witnessing by an independent adult witness. If there are two of you buying, both your signatures will need to be witnessed individually, though this can be done by the same person.