Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
Have you found a property you wish to make an offer on yet please?
Well it is something i am looking at but I am not sure how the legal process works
So can you address my questions please ?
Thanks. the first step is to find property you are willing to make an offer upon and to have that offer accepted. In England and Wales, any offer you make is made subject to contract and therefore you are free to withdraw or change your mind about any aspect before contracts are exchanged. it is possible to ask a solicitor to look at a property before you make an offer but it would be unusual to do so simply because there is no particular need because of any problem is found, you can simple change of mind at any point before exchange of contracts
the normal position with therefore be you find property and agree a price by making an offer and having your offer accepted and then you instruct a solicitor to carry out searches at the local authority and other sources as well as checking the title deeds and raising appropriate enquiries and obtaining standard property disclosure questionnaires from the seller
The solicitor would normally require a payment on account for searches in the order of £200-£300 usually, but would not usually expect his fees to be paid until completion
any money you pay to the solicitors held on his solicitors client account which is a separate account to his business account and is tightly regulated and should the transaction not proceed for any reason, any money you have paid will be returned to you less any abortive solicitor's costs and expenses incurred to that date
once a solicitor has reported to you and you are happy with all the aspects of the property, you would pay the solicitor deposit which is usually 10% to exchange contracts and agree a date for completion which is when the balance is paid over and the date you obtain the keys
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
For stamp duty, when do we pay for that and do we pay that through our solicitors ?
You would be asked to pay this after contracts have been exchanged but before completion as payment needs to be made to HM RC on completion (strictly within 30 days of completion but the solicitor will require it before completion if there is a mortgage involved.)
before completion ?
of what ? the exchange of contracts ?
for clarity, there are three stages to a property purchase: 1) pre exchange (this is when your solicitor investigates the title carries out such as reports to you and during which period you are free to change of mind at any point; 2) exchange of contracts - once this is done, you cannot change of mind and the completion date is agreed between you and the seller and normally a 10% deposit is paid 3) completion - this is the date that you receive the keys and make the balance of payment for the property including all fees and stamp duty
stamp duty and other fees would usually be required before the completion date but after exchange of contracts
A pleasure. Is there anything else I can help you with?
No thatshould be it
If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me. Otherwise best of luck with your property search.
If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though.
ok thanks again