GET IT RIGHT FIRST TIME: Sarah is here to help first time buyers get to grips with the conveyancing process. This month, she urges readers to keep calm amid the Christmas craziness…
The countdown has begun. Christmas ads are competing for telly time, the streets are adorned with lights and everyone is scrabbling to tie up loose ends, so they can relax and enjoy the forthcoming festivities.
This includes clients who found their dream home in November – and even early December – who become desperate to complete their purchase and move in before the holidays begin.
Whilst this may sound ideal, the reality is somewhat different. The standard conveyancing transaction can take ten to 12 weeks and sometimes longer if there are complications. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind a realistic timescale and not get caught up in the seasonal stampede.
I agreed to buy a house in late October from a family who want to move before Christmas. I have no objection, but will this be possible?
You need to be aware that most factors dictating when the purchase of your new property takes place are actually out of your control and that of your solicitor.
Unfortunately, all house buyers are dependent on third parties putting certain items in place, such as your mortgage, and searches usually take at least 21 days to be processed by the local council.
Before you make plans to push for a December completion, consider the additional pressure you are putting on yourself and your family. In most cases, it is quite achievable when a matter has been ongoing as long as yours, but this is always a very busy month, simply because everyone wants to move before the year end.
It may be worth reflecting on just how important a Christmas completion is to you and whether, in fact, you’d be better off starting the new year in your new home. Trust me, moving in January will make the whole experience less stressful.
I’ve found a house I want to buy, but the owners are pushing me to commit to an eight-week completion. Should I agree to secure the sale?
When you find a property to purchase, you firstly need to make contact with a solicitor and any other third-party providing advice, such as a mortgage broker, to see if any required timescale is achievable. They will confirm whether they think the eight-week turnaround can be met, so you and the seller are not disappointed.
The completion date is the last step in a long and complex transaction and there are many other steps that must come first to ensure you receive a valid legal title for the property and you have the correct paperwork in place.
I’ve been told we’re likely to complete our house purchase just before Christmas. Are there any special arrangements I should make to account for the holiday?
If you are looking to move home this month, it would be wise to put your arrangements in place with regards to removals, etc. slightly earlier than normal, as there is a limited number of working days.
Many of the businesses involved in the process of moving home will be closed for an extended period over Christmas and the new year, so it pays to be organised well in advance.
If you are a first-time buyer with a question about moving home, our residential property expert, Sarah Gaunt, would love to hear from you. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org