Buying A Freehold or Leasehold Property

Fareham Wickham copy

The below is a guide to the Conveyancing process for buying a Freehold and Leasehold property. Please note that it is intended to be a very basic guide to the main stages of the process and is far from being a complete overview. The stages set out below are based on a standard residential transaction. Please note that the stages do not always follow the same sequence and are meant for information purposes only.



Once   you have found your dream home, an offer is accepted via estate agents (or   privately).  All parties will then   instruct solicitors. The estate agents (or if private the parties themselves)   send out the Memorandum of Sale to all parties concerned confirming the   agreed price and details of the buyer, seller and their respective   solicitors.  Both solicitors write to   each other to confirm their instructions.    The seller’s solicitor will apply for a copy of the Deeds, including   the lease, if the property is leasehold and these are obtained from the Land   Registry.  The seller’s solicitor will   send out to the seller various forms/questionnaires to complete, such as a   Fixtures Fittings and Contents form.    Once the seller’s solicitors have received the copy Deeds from the   Land Registry and completed forms/questionnaires from the Seller, they send   to the Buyer’s solicitor the ‘Contract Package’


Once   we receive the ‘Contract Package’ on behalf of the buyer, we will examine it   in great detail and if we have any legal or more general enquiries about the   property, we will raise them at this stage.    We will submit the local search and also submit any other required   searches, such as coal mining and environmental searches.  If the property is leasehold, additional   leasehold enquiries will also be sent to the seller’s solicitor to be   answered by the Landlord or their Agents.    Such enquiries are raised to make sure that any rent/service charge   arrears are paid by the seller on or before completion and that any current   disputes that the seller may have with the landlord are resolved before your   purchase completes.  The seller’s   solicitor will deal with any legal enquiries they are able to answer,   however, they may need to forward some enquiries to the seller to   answer.  We will then send a report to   our client, the buyer, on the property which includes a plan of the property   and a form indicating items to be included in the sale.  On behalf of the buyer, we will receive the   buyer’s mortgage offer and report to the buyer on the terms of the   offer.  We will also receive the search   results and report back to the buyer on any adverse entries which could be   problematic and could in the future have an adverse effect on the   property.


If we are satisfied with the   replies to any additional enquiries we have raised, we will arrange for the   buyer to sign the contract documents and request a deposit (if applicable)   from the buyer.


We must also make sure that:-

  •   the search results are clear
  •   the mortgage offer is received   (if required),
  •   Contract documentation has been   signed
  •   Deposit monies have been   received (if required) and we have cleared funds in our bank account
  •   If the above is in order we are   ready to exchange contracts and to see if the seller’s solicitor is ready to   agree a completion date.


Once both parties are ready to   exchange contact and a completion date has been agreed, completion can take place.  N.B.   both parties are now legally bound to buy and sell the property for the   agreed price on the agreed completion date.    On the completion date, the buyer’s   solicitor will send out the completion money by CHAPS to the seller’s   solicitor.  The money should be   received by the seller’s solicitor within an hour.  Once the purchase money is received by the   seller’s solicitor, the seller’s solicitor with authorise the release of the   keys to the buyers via the estate agents (or if a private sale, to the seller’s   direct).

The purchase is then complete.

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