Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

This is when a legal relationship is created between the Seller and Buyer, often referred to as the “point of no return” i.e. it is not easy to change your mind. Until such either party can withdrawn from the transaction with out penalty. Therefore we can only exchange contracts when we consider that the title of the property is satisfactory. It is reaching this point which takes the longest. However we cannot proceed at the expense of the necessary paperwork which must be in place and you will have to be patient. Prior to exchange of contracts either party may withdraw from the transaction without penalty. Following exchange a legal relationship has been created and parties who withdraw face severe financial penalties.

Completion means completion of the terms of the Contract .i.e. the day when the buyer pays for the property, the seller vacates the property and keys change hands. As this requires a bank transfer of fund this must be a working day e.g. not a Saturday or a Sunday.

We recommend a period of ten working days between exchange and completion otherwise this will incur additional work in trying to comply with a possibly unrealistic completion date for which we reserve the right to charge for. Similarly further charges may also be made for additional work following last minute cancellation of completion e.g. Rearranging completion; Returning mortgage funds; obtaining further redemption statements. This will be a minimum of £50. plus VAT per property.

The Buyer’s lawyer makes a number of enquiries regarding the legal title of the property to ensure that all the requirements of the Lender are met and to ensure that no problems will occur on a re-sale.

On completion. The exact time depends on when the property is vacated and the time the telegraphic transfer of money takes place – therefore, do not expect to receive the keys prior to 3pm on the day of completion!

Electronic Transfer of funds between Banks. This may take several hours to be processed by a Bank and is beyond our control.

We aim to keep clients informed of developments. Weekly updates should be adequate. Please note that contacting us on a daily basis or more frequently will increase the time taken to deal with your transaction. We give an estimate at the outset of the transaction. This is calculated on the basis of receiving a maximum of 8 emails/visits/telephone calls from or on behalf of you. Each additional email/telephone call/visit will be charged for at a rate of £75. plus VAT per hour or part thereof.

Do not hand over keys until we say it is safe to do so.

Usually from the Estate Agent or direct from the Seller. Make arrangements at least two or three days prior to completion.

Searches are submitted to find information about the property. A plan is required to submit searches. Results disclose information about the property which may materially affect the value of the property; make the property un-saleable; affect your willingness to proceed; etc.

Searches submitted as standard are Local Search and Coal Report. Please advise us in writing if additional searches are required and we shall inform you of the cost of the additional search (payment will be required from you to enable us to order the search).

Coal Report – reveals whether or not the property is built on a coal mining shaft and other information;

Local Search – reveals information held by the Council about the subject property being bought e.g. new roads, planning history. If you are concerned about possible development in the surrounding area you should make enquiries of the local planning authority.

We advise that the following additional further searches should be obtained –

Environmental Disclosure Report reveals information about historical land contamination and other information. We recommend that an Environmental Disclosure Search and Insurance for possible land “clean-up” costs.

Chancel Report – submitted to enquire if a property is required to contribute towards repairs to the chancel of the local parish church. Such liability is enforceable in the County Court, and can apply to properties falling within a Church of England parish which has a vicar or had a vicarage and has a church dating from the medieval period or earlier.

Flood Report – reveals information about flooding; flood risk assessment; coastal erosion etc

Drainage Search – reveals whether the property is connected to mains drainage and to the mains water supply;

If you require any of these additional searches (Environmental; Chancel; Flood; Drainage) you must state which you require in writing and supply a cheque payable to Alfred Ledger

If you are unable to produce a receipt in respect of the last demand for ground rent an allowance will be made on completion in respect of unpaid ground rent (maximum six years). In addition, absent landlord insurance may be required which will cost you a further, approximately, £75. to £100. Such monies will be deducted from the proceeds of sale. We recommend that you contact the ground rent collector (who may make a charge) and obtain a receipt. Our charges for obtaining a receipt on your behalf are £75. plus VAT.

The effect of such a policy though is purely to protect you against enforcement action being taken by the Local Authority in certain circumstances. It does not provide cover for any structural failing in the property. Cover can also be withdrawn with some policies in the event that enforcement action is taken consequent upon discovery of infringements as a result of inspections for new alterations. It must be remembered also that a prior approach to the Local Council may disqualify a subsequent application for insurance.

Yes – the property is sold as seen. We advise that you have a Home Buyers Survey and Valuation Report or building survey of the property carried out by a suitably qualified surveyor and have the services (e.g. Gas supply, electrical supply, drains and central heating system etc) inspected by qualified experts. We further recommend that prior to exchange of contracts that you obtain reports and estimates for any matters disclosed/revealed by your surveyor(s) or expert(s). Please supply a copy of the mortgage valuation and/or Building Survey as soon as possible.

Please bear in mind that trees can have an adverse effect on foundations and drainage systems. If trees are in close proximity to the property we advise that you should obtain the expert opinion of a Tree Surgeon/Structural Surveyor for advice regarding this.

Normally all outstanding points will have been dealt with and it will not be necessary to attend our offices on the day of completion.

Please contact your Building Society/Bank to enquire when and how much the first payment will be.

An average uncomplicated case may take eight weeks or longer from issue of contract documentation and issue of formal offer of mortgage. However, as no two properties are the same, this may vary from several weeks to several months. The current national average is 2 to 3 months if there is no chain. Please click here for details.

The number of houses in a chain will affect the time it takes. If you are buying a new build home, with a mortgage, it will typically take ten weeks.

This is arranged by negotiation between clients/estate agents/solicitors. However there is no point trying to arrange a completion date until all the lawyers in the chain have confirmed that they are in a position to proceed.

If you are having a mortgage, the lender may want to hold these as security for the loan. However some pre-registration deeds may not be required by the lender and you will asked to collect them from our office following completion. These may be required when you sell the property. Keep them safe.

After completion, not before.

As soon as practically possible following completion. Generally issued by cheque the one or two working day following completion.

Following amendments to the Council of Mortgage Lender’s Handbook in 1999 many of the properties in this area are no longer considered acceptable security for a mortgage e.g. Leasehold Properties and properties where the ground rent collector is absent. In such cases insurance may be required to proceed. The cost varies from approx. £50. upwards depending on the sale price and other variables. If this is required it will cost you approx. £50. to £150. and will be deducted from the proceeds of sale.

Briefly, when two or more people own property there are two ways the property may be held –

Joint Tenants – means that on death the remaining owner(s) will own the property. Also the property cannot be left to a third party under a will.

Tenants in Common – this means the owners can hold the property in equal or unequal shares and on the death of a co-owner his share will pass to his next of kin, or, under the provisions of any will he or she has made.

No, we advise you to consult a qualified accountant for advice regarding the possible tax consequences of a proposed transaction.

In some cases we may pay a referral fee to a mortgage broker or estate agent. We will tell you if we are paying a referral fee on your case.