For those who read my BLOG What does “Sale Agreed” mean? and who often wonder exactly what are the solicitors doing holding up the purchase from thereafter, there are a number of steps to be completed by the solicitors before you can move into your house; summarized below:
MORTGAGE DRAWDOWN AND OTHER PRE-COMPLETION MATTERS
In the period between Contracts and Completion the Loan Offer and Mortgage documents will usually have been signed and will be returned to the Bank in order to requisition the Loan payment. This is often a very busy time for the Purchaser as they will be obliged to organise house insurance, life insurance and other matters, which are normally conditions of their Loan Offer. Very often borrowers will be obliged to go for medical check-ups before they will be given life insurance. This can often add significant delays to the process and can delay Completion, so you should attend to the life insurance policy as soon as possible.
During this period we, as your Solicitor, will be busy on your behalf drawing up formal documents (including the Deed of Transfer), making final Title Searches*, providing an Undertaking to the Lenders (to deliver Title Deeds registered in your name after completion of the transaction), obtaining the Loan proceeds and any other funds needed from you for completion; and preparing our Statement of Account for you. It should be noted that Title Searches* are required in order to ensure that the Sellers are not bankrupt or that no Judgements have been registered against them or the property which would prevent the Purchaser obtaining good legal title to the property in sale. Equally, if you are getting a Mortgage, the Lender will require us to conduct Judgement and Bankruptcy Searches against you, the Purchaser, to ensure that there is nothing that will prevent the Bank getting a First Legal Charge over the property. Therefore, if there are any Judgments registered against you it is very important that you inform us of this immediately, so that we can take action as soon as possible to alleviate the problem.
Before completion, the Solicitor acting for the Purchaser arranges for the balance purchase money to be sent to the Seller’s solicitor. Whereas in the past this was done by sending a letter in the post with a Banker’s Draft: so that it was received by the Seller’s solicitor by the Completion date, nowadays the funds are generally transferred by Credit Transfer between the Solicitors` Banks. It is therefore very important that you also are in a position to transfer funds to your Solicitor`s Bank Account. In other words, don’t arrive at your Solicitor`s office on the day of Completion with a cheque (which would require Bank Clearance) thinking you can get possession that day!
Once the Seller’s Solicitors have received the balance purchase money, Completion usually takes place when the Purchaser’s solicitor receives the Title documents which will have been forwarded by the Seller’s Solicitor, and the Purchaser’s solicitor is satisfied with the Title Searches and any explanations that have been furnished by the Seller’s Solicitors in respect of those Title Searches. Remember that at this point in time your solicitor has a duty, not only to protect your position, but also to ensure that he can comply with his obligation to your Bank to provide proper Title in accordance with his Undertaking. Please therefore bear this in mind at the time of Completion, where it might occur to you that your Solicitor is being “over-cautious”!
Once the transaction has been formally completed the Seller`s Solicitor arranges for his client, or the person holding the keys (usually an Estate Agent), to release them to the Purchaser.
Getting the keys!!
This is always a fabulous day for every purchaser. We appreciate this, and generally we can ensure that it all occurs without any hitches. Sometimes however there is a problem: for reasons beyond our control.
Bear with us, while we get it sorted out. We will move Heaven and Earth to get you moving!
This BLOG is part of our Guide to Buying your House (see Link below), which contains many helpful tips on making this process easier for the House Purchaser.
To learn more, both from a Seller`s perspective and from a Purchaser`s perspective, of the issues involved download our FREE Guides:
Guide to selling your House
Guide to purchasing your House:
For further information on Property Sales and Purchases you should contact:
Morgan McManus Solicitors