Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Braidwater has teamed up with MKB Law to bring you some tips to make the conveyancing process run more smoothly. Emma Smyth, a solicitor with MKB Law, has been kept busy during the past year as many people rush to buy a new home in advance of the 31 March 2021 deadline to qualify for the revised rates on Stamp Duty.

Here is her advice: 

  • Engage with your solicitor early – If possible, see your solicitor once you have your mortgage offer and all queries have been dealt with between the parties, to sign the contracts.
  • Allow time – If possible, release the contracts to the developer’s solicitor in good time before the estimated completion date.

  • Expect the unexpected – Be mindful that although there is an estimated completion date in the Building Agreement, this an estimated date and can be pushed out if there is a delay on the developer’s end. Common reasons for delay can include the weather – which may impact upon the build schedule and availability of sub-contractors and materials. A developer does not want to delay completion deliberately, they want the property completed as much as you want the keys to your dream home!

  • Seek an agreement – Agree the final account with the developer as early on in the process as possible. A final account will detail the list price of the property less any deposit already paid plus any extras or upgrades.

  • Bank smart – If you have a Help to Buy ISA, make sure you close your account about 2 weeks before completion. The formal closing statement for a Help to Buy ISA which your solicitor will require for requesting the Government bonus can often take between 5-7 working days, depending on the lender, to be issued. 

  • Check closure requirements – In relation to buyer’s who have a Lifetime ISA, you should check at the earliest opportunity with your specific provider what their requirements are in relation to closure of the account and how much notice they require to issue the funds and bonus.

  • Early advance – Ask your conveyancing solicitor if possible, to request your mortgage advance for the day before completion. You will be charged interest from the date the funds are released. 
  • Act early – Ask your conveyancing solicitor if possible, for the completion statement about a week before completion, to enable the timely transfer of funds by you required to complete the purchase.
  • Final documents – Developers can also make the process run smoothly on the day by ensuring that all the final closing documents have been furnished to the purchaser’s solicitor:-
  1. Energy Performance Certificate.
  2. 10 year warranty documentation.
  3. Gas safety certificate for all gas appliances (if applicable). 
  4. Written confirmation that the Property has passed the final inspection by the Building Control Department of the Local Council.
  • Snag lists – You are required to complete the purchase even though there may be minor items outstanding which would not inhibit your use or enjoyment of the property. The developer is required to deal with any snagging within a reasonable period following completion. 

Remote Conveyancing
MKB Law also offers the option of remote conveyancing which facilitates video meetings via Microsoft Teams and other popular video conferencing platforms. 

More information
For more information regarding how the process of remote conveyancing operates, please contact Emma Smyth at MKB Law on 028 9024 2450 or by email at es@mkblaw.co.uk