Engaging the right solicitor when buying your home is an investment that will pay dividends.
Many people don’t understand the legal process and see solicitors fees and 3rd party costs as expensive and unnecessary.
However, a new house is one of the most expensive items you will purchase and a significant asset. Compared to the actual cost of buying a house, the legal costs are relatively small, but hugely important in protecting your rights over the property.
Proper, solid legal advice will give you peace of mind that you have bought a good marketable title which can be sold on easily should you ever decide.
Your solicitor will step you through the legal process of transferring ownership of the property from the seller to you and will check that the sale of the property is legal – that the person who is selling the property owns it and has the right to sell it, and that nobody else could claim to own it.
Your solicitor will request and review the deeds related to the transaction (these are often requested from a financial institution if a mortgage is held over the property. Access to the deeds can take time). The solicitor will carry out various searches and investigations into the property and if anything out of the ordinary is found, they will advise you as to the actions open to you.
Property related issues and compliance with sellers obligations will be resolved before ‘exchanging contracts’, a binding agreement for the purchase between you and the seller.
Your solicitor will take all steps to complete your purchase including transferring the funds, paying for searches, stamp duty and other items, and will register you as the owner and the mortgage provider as the lender at the Land Registry.
Engaging the wrong solicitor and seeing the implications of cutting corners, can only show itself when a person goes on to sell their property years down the line or the property is inherited. This can lead to headaches and lengthy protracted applications to the Property Registration Authority to try and resolve the problems.
Examples of problems
- Property bought without legal title;
- Property sold with forged deeds;
- Finding out that your property is actually located on a neighbour’s folio;
- Property bought which is not in compliance with planning permission;
- Finding an un-discharged mortgage from the previous owner.