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Services / Residential Property / Buying or Selling a Home

Whatever property transaction you're undertaking, scroll down to find out how our conveyancing lawyers can help you.

Buying a House

Your property is likely to be your biggest asset and, more importantly, your home. It is essential that you are guided through your purchase by an experienced and helpful conveyancing lawyer.

How We Can Help

As the transaction progresses, we liaise with you at regular intervals, highlighting any potential issues or problems that may have been identified at an early stage.

We provide you with up-to-date reports on the search results and the legal title documents provided by the seller’s solicitor. We also work with your mortgage lender and estate agents.

Once we receive satisfactory search results and replies to any queries raised with the seller’s solicitor, we provide you with a comprehensive report, together with the contract for you to sign.

Following an exchange of contracts, we guide you towards the completion of your purchase. After this point, we will submit your Stamp Duty Land Tax Return and register your purchase at the Land Registry.

Selling a House

Once you have received an offer on your home, you need to appoint a property lawyer to draw up the contract and liaise with the buyer’s solicitor.

How We Can Help

To begin, we send you forms and questionnaires relating to the property. These are designed to minimise the enquiries raised by the buyer’s solicitors. It is important that these are completed as comprehensively as possible and returned to us together with any documentation requested. These form the basis of the “Contract Pack”, which we send to the buyer’s solicitor.

Once the buyer’s solicitor has completed their legal title investigation and is happy to proceed, contracts will be exchanged and a completion date fixed. We will liaise with the estate agent and any mortgage lender, arranging for any mortgage to be redeemed and the agent’s bill paid upon completion. Our costs will also be deducted from the sale proceeds, so you do not need to worry about paying us directly.

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Buying or Selling a Leasehold Property

When you buy a leasehold property, you will not own the property outright. The lease will set out various rules, regulations and covenants with which you must comply.

We can guide you through the terms of your lease. It is important that we check to see how many years remain on the term. Once there are 70 years or fewer remaining on the lease, the property can be difficult to mortgage. Where this is the case, we help you to negotiate a lease extension with the seller.

When you sell a leasehold property, a Leasehold Pack must be ordered at an early stage. This provides the buyer’s solicitor with the majority of the information they need. Information includes details of the service charge and ground rent invoices, three years’ worth of service charge accounts and insurance details. We can order the pack for you but you should budget up to £300. The quicker this can be obtained, the quicker the transaction can proceed.

If you are behind in paying the ground rent and/or service charge this will need to be paid up to date upon completion. We will deal with this out of the sale proceeds.

New Build Conveyancing

When you buy a new build property, it is often under construction. If this is the case, you are likely to be offered a completion date which is “on notice”. When this is offered, as soon as the property is structurally complete and has been signed off by Building Control, we are served with notice. This gives us approximately two weeks to complete the transaction. This is enough time for you and your lender to re-inspect the property and for you to liaise with the builder in respect of any “snagging” items. These will need to be put right by the developer. Please note that minor snagging cannot hold up a completion

If you have a related sale, it is important that the buyers of your property are aware that completion is to be “on notice”. If they, or the rest of the chain, are not prepared to wait for this date, you may have to move into rented accommodation until your new build is ready.

It is usual for developers to require a swift exchange of contracts (usually 28 days from receipt of contract papers). This will also affect any related sale, which will probably need to exchange at the same time. You need to ensure that your estate agent makes this clear to any buyers and liaises with the chain to achieve this. We will, of course, work with your buyer’s solicitor.

You will generally be provided with NHBC cover for 10 years, although smaller developers sometimes issue an Architect’s Certificate. Generally, this is not as comprehensive as NHBC and only covers the structure for approximately six years.

House developers are now, with the help of government initiatives, able to offer finance and ownership options such as Help to Buy and Shared Ownership Schemes. We can help you with these.

Download our Moving Home Fact Sheet for a useful guide to the whole process.

Transparency in Pricing

Please click the links below to view additional information about the costs and timescales for our Residential Property services, in line with the Solicitors Regulation Authority Transparency Rules.

Read more: Mythbusters Guide to Conveyancing

Download PDF:
Hatch Brenner Moving Home Fact Sheet
Download PDF:
SRA Transparency Purchase Of Freehold Residential
Download PDF:
SRA Transparency Purchase Of Leasehold Residential

Please contact one of the team to discuss your specific requirements.

‘Many thanks for all your efforts ... Whilst you weren’t able to take away all the pain and frustration of the sales process - I certainly felt we had an excellent team in our corner looking after our interests. Something that was particularly helpful at a very stressful time.’

‘I would also like to thank you for the work you carried out on the sale. Judging by the slings and arrows that at least two other solicitors in the sale / purchase chain received, I can safely say that we were in very good, friendly and professional hands. Many thanks.’

‘Having used Hatch Brenner on a number of occasions for property purchase and will issues, I would not think of using any other solicitors.’

If you would like further information about any service, call us on 01603 214220