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10 steps to purchasing a house

10 Steps to Purchasing a House

  1. Your solicitor will provide you with a written estimate of their likely Costs in dealing with the purchase on your behalf. Check this and make sure you are happy. If you have any queries you should contact the solicitor to discuss the matter further.
  2. Your Costs Estimate will include a figure for "Stamp Duty" on the property you intend to buy. The purchase price will determine the amount you must pay for Stamp Duty to HMRC. At present, homebuyers will not have to pay stamp duty on properties costing £175,000 or less. The quote will also include a figure for registration of your ownership after completion.
  3. Upon receiving your formal instructions to act in the purchase, your solicitor will request the title deeds for the property you have chosen to buy from the Vendor's solicitor. The "Vendor" is the person(s) selling the property.
  4. You may require a mortgage in order to purchase the property. If so, you should try to ensure that the formal mortgage offer from the lender is in place as early as possible after you have agreed to purchase the property.
  5. If you do not require a mortgage to purchase the property and are using your own funds, it is strongly recommended that you instruct an independent surveyor to inspect the property and highlight any issues of concern to you. This would be in place of any survey a lender would instruct if you were seeking to purchase the property using a mortgage from a lender.
  6. When the mortgage application has been fully processed, your solicitor will receive a copy of their instructions to act from the lender. Usually at the same time as you receive a copy of your offer. There may be specific conditions in the offer that the solicitor must be able to comply with before completion. They may need to discuss these with you and seek to confirm that various details in the offer document (including loan amount etc) are correct.
  7. Upon receipt of the title deeds from the Vendor's solicitor, your solicitor will begin the process of inspecting the title deeds for problems to ensure that you receive "good title" to the property and that the title is sufficient for the lender to loan money against. Your solicitor will also inspect the various property certificates and searches received from the Vendor's solicitor. They should also receive an Energy Performance Certificate. They may need to raise queries with the Vendor's solicitor in relation to the documentation received, which could delay matters somewhat. This is necessary, however, to ensure that both you and the lender are fully protected. Your solicitor will also be able to give you a more precise indication of the registration fees for the property at this stage as they can now determine whether the property is registered in the Registry of Deeds NI or NI Land Registry.
  8. Your solicitor will also receive a completed Fixtures and Fittings list from the Vendor. They will send you a copy of this for your information. They may also send you a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate for your information.
  9. When the title deeds have been checked and deemed satisfactory and whenever your finance is fully in place, your solicitor will arrange for you to sign the Contract and insert a completion date that is suitable for you. The Contract may include some special conditions if necessary. The Contract shall then be released to the Vendor's solicitors, as your "Offer to Purchase", for them to arrange signature and acceptance of same by the Vendor. The Contract becomes binding upon all parties whenever an accepted copy of the Contract is received by your solicitor.
  10. On completion day the Vendor will usually vacate the property at around Noon and you will be given the keys for the premises by the estate agent or the Vendor if arranged. Your solicitor will now proceed to deal with Stamp Duty and registration formalities.

Enjoy your new Home!

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