Frequently Asked Questions

As you might expect, we get asked certain questions frequently. We've collected them all together here, just in case there's one here that you're itching to ask. Simply click on the question to reveal the answer. Alternatively you can always give us a call and we'll be happy to help.

On average – 6 to 8 weeks but it depends upon whether there is a chain of transactions and how long the chain is. Many transactions proceed more quickly and some, more slowly!

If you are buying, you need to budget for legal fees and disbursements. You also need to budget for lender’s valuation fees and your own survey fee. If you are selling, you need to budget for estate agent’s fees and legal fees. In addition, if you are selling a leasehold property, we sometimes have to pay a fee on your behalf to obtain management information (for service charges etc.). Contact us with details of your property transaction and we'll be happy to provide a quote

If you are buying a property we will ask you to provide us with funds to cover the search fees which we will have to pay on your behalf.

If you are buying a property, it is “sold as seen”. It is up to you, as the buyer, to discover any physical or other defects by means of inspections and surveys. A mortgage valuation is not a survey – it merely ensures that the property is of sufficient value to protect your lender’s interest. We would recommend that you have at least a RICS Homebuyer’s Report prepared by a qualified surveyor. This will cost more than a mortgage valuation but it is advisable. A full structural survey should also be considered.

You should obtain a mortgage in principle from a number of lenders before you start to view properties. This will help you look for properties within your budget and will help speed up the process. Also a Seller is more likely to accept your offer if they know you already have a mortgage agreed in principle.

If you are selling and buying then usually you can use any deposit that you receive on a sale as part payment of your deposit on your purchase. If you are buying only, the contract provides that a 10% deposit should be handed over upon completion. However, reduced deposits are often negotiated and the amount depends upon how much mortgage you are obtaining to assist with your purchase.

If you are a seller and have a mortgage on your property, your deeds may be held with your lender. However most lenders no longer retain deeds and these may be held by the lawyers who acted for you when you purchased or they may have been returned to you by your lawyer or lender. If you are a buyer, we are happy to store any deeds in our storage facility or alternatively they can be returned to you following completion of registration of your title at the land registry. We do not make a charge for storage of deeds.

Yes. If you hold any documents of title or other documents such as planning consents, guarantees it would help to speed matters up if these are handed to us at the earliest opportunity. If your property has not yet been registered at the Land Registry we must have your deeds in our possession before being able to draft a contract.

This can be paid by direct bank transfer to your UK High Street Bank or Building Society account (for which there would be a bank transfer arrangement fee) or by way of a client account cheque. Cash payments will not be made. Where we account to you by cheque and unless you instruct to the contrary we will use ordinary post or if you live locally then you can collect your cheque from one of our offices.

We accept payment in cash of up to £500. We do not make nor accept any other payments in cash. Payments must be by cheque, Bankers Draft, or electronic transfer from a Bank or Building Society account in your name.

At present we are not able to accept credit or debit card payments.

No. Due to Money Laundering Regulations we cannot accept money from third parties in any circumstances. If we receive monies from a third party, they will be returned even if it causes a delay in completion.

If you are selling, these are deducted from the net sale proceeds of your property. If you are buying, our terms and conditions provide that we must be in receipt of cleared funds to cover the balance of the purchase price and our legal costs and disbursements prior to completion. We will let you have as much notice as possible of the amount required.

As from exchange of contracts unless the property is leasehold or you are taking insurance via your lender. If the property is a new build, the developer will usually insure the property up until completion.

Not usually. The Contract will usually stipulate that you only get the keys on the day of completion. If you want to have access to the property before that date, you need to negotiate special arrangements and ensure that you advise your lawyer of these arrangements to be sure that they are included in the terms of the contract, if appropriate.

No. The contract will provide that you must move out on the day of completion and clear the property of all your furniture and belongings. If you do not give "vacant possession" the buyer may sue you for any loss and inconvenience caused.

Generally, no. The key to the house that you are buying will not be released until the purchase monies have been handed over to the seller’s conveyancer. We will not receive that money until we have completed the sale of your property. So unless you want to obtain a bridging loan from a Bank to pay for the new house in advance, everyone has to move on the same day.

Not usually although sometimes you may be asked to sign documents at the very last minute. We deal with completion formalities on your behalf.

You should either hand them to the estate agent or us. They should not be given directly to the Buyer unless you have received specific confirmation from us that the sale has completed.

Usually the estate agent although if no agent is involved then the keys may be collected from the seller’s lawyer or the seller may hand them to you direct.

The doctrine of caveat emptor applies “let the buyer beware”. It is therefore up to you to make sure that everything at the property is in good working order before you commit to exchanging contracts.

Unless you have a prior alternative arrangement with your estate agent, we will pay their fees on your behalf out of the net sale proceeds of your property.

If you have a mortgage to assist with your purchase, some lenders require certain documents to be forwarded to them following completion. We are able to store any remaining documents in our storage facility. We do not make a charge for storing deeds.

When completion has taken place and any post-completion formalities are finalised.

Approximately 6 years for a sale file and 15 years for any other file. After that it will be securely destroyed.