It’s September, the kids are back at school, and thoughts are turning to… Christmas. Or maybe, where you will be spending Christmas.
For many people, the idea of being in your brand new ‘forever home’ to celebrate is very appealing and as Christmas still feels a long way off you might be feeling fairly relaxed about it. But in reality, it’s only 14 weeks away. If all goes smoothly, most sales and purchases should only take 6-8 weeks from beginning to end, but of course there are many factors that affect this and some estimates state that the national average is now more like 14-16 weeks.
So here’s some tips to try to ensure that you’re not living out of boxes on Christmas Eve:
- If you’re buying, make sure that you’ve got your mortgage application ready to go as soon as your offer is accepted. And pester your broker or lender to ensure that the valuation is booked in as soon as possible. The quicker the valuation is done, the quicker your mortgage offer will be issued, and this will give your solicitor time to deal with any conditions which your lender might have.
- A relatively recent change to the conveyancing process, under the Money Laundering Regulations, is the need for all solicitors to check the source of any funds being used to purchase property. Make sure you let your solicitor know as soon as possible where all your money is coming from – particularly if anyone else is helping you out with any gifts or loans. Any third party contributions need to be approved by your lender, and your solicitor will also need to carry out a number of checks on the contributor and also give the contributor an opportunity to take their own legal advice. Don’t be offended if your solicitor asks you to provide copies of several bank statements and asks about your savings or inheritance money – it’s not because they’re nosy, they just need to ensure that they’ve complied with all the regulations!
- If you’re selling, make sure you have all your paperwork in order – your buyer’s solicitor is going to want to have as much information about the property as possible. So you may as well get it together before being asked for it. You will need to complete a Property Information Form and Fittings & Contents Form – these can seem daunting if you’re not keen on filling out forms. If so, just ask your solicitor or one of their team to help you with it. The answers you give in this form may mean that you will need to provide copies of planning decisions, building regulations certificates or guarantees. Hand these over to your solicitor. If you can’t find them, let your solicitor know as soon as possible and they’ll be able to let you know what options are available.
- Make sure your estate agent has checked out the position of all parties in the chain – to check who needs to sell before they can buy and who is needing to get a mortgage offer, and also whether any other ‘links’ in the chain have already got underway. This might help you to make a decision on which offer to accept for your property. The longer the chain, and the more mortgage offers required, the more the process can get drawn out as everybody needs to get to the same position so that everyone can complete on the same day.
- Finally, try to be as flexible as possible when it comes to agreeing completion dates. It can be a logistical nightmare trying to find a date which suits everybody – the more flexible you can be the less stressful those last couple of weeks before exchange of contracts will be.
At Poole Alcock, we want you to move into your new home as much as you do. Call us today and we can get the wheels in motion.
Good luck, and Merry Christmas!