kingsbourne housing

So, you’re thinking of buying your first home?

First of all, congratulations as it’s a massive step and a huge milestone in life.

Whether you’re doing this with a partner or buying a home on your own, there are lots of things you won’t know that you’ll require the support of a professional for.

There are plenty of steps to get through before you get your keys and start painting walls.

You may need the support of conveyancing solicitors in Manchester, so follow this comprehensive guide on how conveyancing works for first-time buyers.

What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring the ownership of a property from one party to another.

When you buy or sell a house, you’ll require the services of a conveyancing solicitor to complete the process so all legal ownership is transferred correctly and efficiently.

What does a conveyancing solicitor do?
A conveyancing solicitor works with you to ensure your house purchase goes through correctly.

They carry out a wide variety of tasks depending on whether you’re buying a house, selling one – or both.

The conveyancing solicitor ensures all paperwork and contracts are correct and signed.

They stay in touch with the other party’s solicitors to make sure all funds have been transferred correctly and then complete the process, ensuring you get your new keys.

When buying a house, a conveyancing solicitor will:

Check title deeds
Decide which property searches you require
Organise ownership transfer
Liaise with the seller’s solicitor
Check your mortgage offer
Agree on a completion date
Organise financial transfer

What should a first-time buyer do before hiring a conveyancing solicitor?
There are several things you must do before hiring the services of a conveyancing solicitor, and they are:

Check help-to-buy schemes – As a first-time buyer, you should know that there is financial support from the government to help you get on the property ladder.

This includes the help-to-buy scheme called a Lifetime ISA where you can increase your savings with a government bonus of 25%.

There’s also the shared ownership scheme, where you buy a percentage of the home while paying rent on the rest.

This can be beneficial if you’re a little short on the deposit for a full purchase.

Save for a deposit and sort finances – The big thing before buying a house is to get your finances in order. Ensure you have no sloppy spending for several months and keep your finances tight.

Save every penny you can to build up a deposit that can secure your first house purchase.

If you and your partner both commit to saving a specific amount each month, you can work out how long it will take to save what you need to apply for a mortgage.

Get a mortgage in principle – Before finding the house of your dreams, it’s a good idea to get a mortgage in principle.

If you have a mortgage already agreed, you’ll know exactly the amount of money you have to spend on a house, so you can search the market for what you can afford.

Having this agreement also proves to sellers that you’re a serious buyer, giving you a position of strength when it comes to negotiating the price of the house.

What is the process of conveyancing when buying your first home?
The conveyancing process can take anywhere from 10 to 24 weeks, depending on the situation.

This could include: whether or not there is a chain involved, if the property is a leasehold, if you’re using other funds to help you buy (like a gifted deposit), and delays from either the buyer or seller.

In the early stages of the process, and once you’ve agreed on a price with the seller, your conveyancer will check for proof of funds.

This will be much quicker with a mortgage in principle already agreed. From there, your solicitor will check to see which searches and surveys are required for the property.

These are done to try and uncover any potential issues with the property, including flood risks, water authority searches and other potential liabilities.

Once the searches have been completed and the mortgage has been agreed, the exchanging of the contracts can go ahead.

Your conveyancing solicitor will liaise with the seller’s solicitor to ensure both parties agree to the contracts and that they’re signed.

Remember to always read everything carefully and try to get any paperwork back to your solicitor quickly. This will help to speed up the process.

Once everything has been signed, your solicitor will arrange for the transfer of monies to the seller’s solicitor. When that is cleared, you can get the keys to your new property.

Your solicitor’s work is not quite done then, though.

While you’re moving all of your furniture in and unpacking boxes, your conveyancing solicitor will register the property in your name on the Land Registry.

They won’t pay any stamp duty tax, though, as first-time buyers currently aren’t required to pay it.

After everything has been signed off and completed, you’ll receive your bill from the solicitor.

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