It is a fact that e-conveyancing is now possible, and solicitors can handle most aspects of property conveyancing online (with the assistance of the phone, fax and post) without the necessity for a client to attend at their offices. The Land Registry can carry out most property transactions throughout the country entirely electronically. In addition, mortgage repossession solicitors can now act on your behalf to defend legal action by lenders without being physically situated in your location.
The purchase of property normally involves more complications than the sale of property. A major concern for the buyer is to ensure that the seller is really the legal owner of the property and has the legal right to sell that property. Furthermore, the buyer must be on the look out for stipulations and restrictions regarding the use of the property, imposed by the seller or by one of the previous owners that may be unacceptable. Much of the relevant documentation is now accessible through the internet and complete property conveyancing online is now an effective reality for the buyer and seller.
The buyers solicitor usually handles the transaction right from the very start and normally begins the detailed process of checking out the property. Many of the searches can now be automated and so far as the client is concerned property conveyancing online makes the transaction substantially more convenient. The first search usually carried out is with the Local Authority which will reveal important issues such as :
– who maintains the roads leading the house
– the existence or non-existence of an outstanding property improvement loan
– whether or not the property complies with planning control
– future plans of building public roads in the immediate vicinity
– whether or not the property is located in or near a conservation area
Prior to the signing and exchanging of contracts which commits both buyer and seller to completing the transaction, the solicitor must ensure that mortgage finance is in place when needed, and will put into effect other searches which depend on the property and its location and may also advise the buyer to hire the services of professional valuers and surveyors to make sure that the property is worth the asking price and is structurally sound. In addition to this, the solicitor may also advise further inquiries regarding drainage, mining and environment which may have serious consequences in the future and which may de-value the property or require a policy of insurance to protect the buyer against a worst case scenario. The buyer is also entitled to ask the seller to answer detailed written questions pertaining to issues such as disputes, boundaries, guarantees and fixtures. If the buyer is unhappy with the results of the enquiries made regarding the property and decides to withdraw from the transaction at any point before the contracts are exchanged, he may usually do so without incurring a penalty or any other charges.
The process is finalised by the exchange of contracts signed by both parties, after which the buyer is committed to complete the transaction. Two copies of the contract are made – one for the seller and one for the buyer and each party signs one copy of the contract which is then exchanged with the other parties signed copy. A 10% deposit is usually paid upon exchange of contracts however this figure can be negotiated to a higher or lesser percentage with the parties agreement. Upon exchange of contracts both parties are fully committed to the transaction and cannot usually withdraw without serious financial consequences. The sale is thereafter completed by the formal documentary transfer of the property the details of which are lodged with the Land Registry.
Buyers who borrow money secured against the property to facilitate purchase must be aware that failure to keep up payments may lead to mortgage repossession solicitors taking legal action on behalf of the lenders. However, mortgage repossession solicitors may also be instructed on behalf of borrowers to defend any legal action instigated by lenders.