Buying and Selling Your Home
Ratcliffe and Bibby Solicitors can attend to all of your Conveyancing needs, offering a fast and efficient yet personal service. Your home is likely one of the most valuable assets that you will ever own.
Many property transactions can appear to be daunting and complex; even if the parties at the outset promise that it is straight forward and there are “very few hurdles”.
We will assist you with the paperwork, explaining the full procedure of your house transaction in the clearest possible terms, using plain language your will understand.
Employing all the latest technology means that searches and reports can be requested on-line often meaning a faster service for the client. Communication by email makes it easy for us to act for clients anywhere in England and Wales, or even further afield. By phone, we do not have an automated telephone system, which means you always get through to speak to someone in connection with your work during office hours. All of our conveyancing team members are friendly, approachable, professional and efficient.
We appreciate that it can be a very exciting time, buying or selling, and we will look to give each client their own personal service, regardless of their experience within the property market already.
Our fees and your costs?
There are different fees to pay in different types of property transactions. We will be as clear as possible about our costs and other expenses to you from the outset. However, if information does change from the start of the transactions, further costs may need to be considered.
You can see a typical cost to your property transaction on our 'Price Transparency' page. However, for a detailed estimate, please contact us on one of the numbers below or alternatively fill in our online form and we will get back to you as soon as possible...
Carnforth: 01524 734 884
Morecambe: 01524 834 222
If you are purchasing a Leasehold flat then the complexities of Management Charges, Ground Rent, Service Charges and other commitments can be bewildering. Again, it is important that you understand your obligations. We can take you through the process so you understand exactly what Lease you are taking and the financial implications.
When selling a property, we believe speed is essential and our aim is to get your Buyer signed to the Contract as quickly as possible.
We will always try and make sure that things go as smoothly as possible but there can be traps which you might inadvertently fall into and which are outside our control so please watch out for the following:-
Fixtures and Fittings
You may be asked about Fixtures & Fittings. This is something you may want but be careful. That offer to sell the fridge at a knock down price may be because it will have cost the Vendor money to get rid of it. Only purchase items you really want. Remember, the Vendor has to give you vacant possession on completion and that means no rubbish. If you spot rubbish when you view the property please make sure that if you buy the house, the Vendor is told he will have to move it. Sometimes fixtures and fittings may not form part of the Contract and we cannot refuse to complete a matter because of an argument over fixtures and fittings.
Delivery of the keys
Please remember, keys are only released when the money is transferred. Money is transferred by the Bank transfer system and once a solicitor has parted with the money through the Bank system, he has no control over it. Banks can take time to transfer money especially at busy periods. If you can avoid a busy period for your move, e.g., a Thursday before Good Friday is always popular. If you do choose to move on a busy day, please remember that if a lot of other people are moving, the Bank system can be overburdened, and money arrives late which means keys are released late.
People who will not move out
Thankfully most people accommodate at moving time but you can get the odd person who seems to have no idea about how long it takes to pack. Contracts contain a deadline and if a person does not move out in time, that is to say, give vacant possession they are in breach of contracts and sanctions will follow so if you are a Vendor, watch out and make sure you start to pack early.
Exchange and completion on the same day
This probably causes more problems than anything else. A Contract is only binding when it is exchanged. When the Contract is formally exchanged, the completion date is written in. Solicitors do not like exchanging a Contract and completing on the same day. The idea of exchanging Contracts and writing a completion date in, is so that you can organise van, final reading of meters, etc, etc. If you exchange and complete on the same day there are obvious pitfalls. What if the other party has a last-minute change of mind and the Contract has not been exchanged? What if you have given a cheque to the solicitor and this has not cleared in time? Be warned, exchanging and completing on the same day can cause problems so try and organise your exchange and the completion taking place a week or 10 days later. It is always preferable to have a delay between exchange and completion.
No matter how many times we tell clients, there are always some who get caught out by Mortgage Conditions. You will be glad when your mortgage offer arrives on the doorstep but please note, the offer may be subject to a condition you cannot fulfil. Your solicitor will assume that you can, as mortgage offers are sent out simultaneously to you the client and the solicitor. If you cannot fulfil a condition on your mortgage offer, contact your solicitor straight away.
In this day and age we all have to comply with money laundering requirements so it is no use complaining about them. We will ask for identity which contains a photograph, ie a Passport or Driving Licence and also Utility Bills, this has to be provide so we can start work on the transaction and we cannot until you have provided the same. We may also require a letter from your employer. Please note, we cannot accept photocopies. You must ideally bring them into the office and allow us to make copies or use our online verification system to identify you. The best way of complying with money laundering requirements is to use our online verification system, as this will determine whether a document is valid and in date.
There is no standard answer to this as the length of time a transaction takes to come from instructions to completion will vary from case to case. The worst cases are those where there is a long chain of say six or seven properties when everybody has to firstly agree on a completion date, and all be ready to go. A normal straightforward transaction with no chain involved should take no more than eight weeks. We find that the biggest delay these days is not waiting for searches but waiting for a satisfactory mortgage offer. We will always try our best to keep the transaction moving along but no Solicitor can guarantee a completion date and you should be very cautious about booking removal vans or agreeing completion dates even on new build properties. Please remember that the date is not legally binding until the Contract is exchanged.
At Ratcliffe & Bibby we always try to transfer money first thing in the morning to make sure there are no delays but delays can occur. Normally, you would be able to collect your key early in the afternoon. The keys are normally released by the Estate Agent but an Estate Agent will only release a key if the Solicitor has confirmed they have received the funds. If there is no Estate Agent then separate arrangements need to be made and normally, these will be through the Solicitor who will release the key upon receipt of the money.
In this day and age all transactions have to be registered at the Land Registry, so all Deeds and documents are not as important as they were. However, they should still be preserved by you. We will send you all Deeds and documents following completion for you to look after. In very modern properties there may not in fact be any and you will simply receive confirmation from the Land Registry that your transaction has been completed. Most Banks and Building Societies want the original Mortgage that you have signed sent back to them. We will arrange to do this for you.