Buying A Property
If you are interested in buy to let, purchasing residential or commercial property our skilled solicitors are able to guide you through the process easily and focus on putting your needs first.
At Lovell Chohan, we are leading experts in buying property in London and the South East, so can offer a swift, smooth and reliable conveyancing service to match your needs.
Step-by-step support to buy a property
We know that buying a property is one of the most stressful experiences most of us will encounter. Our step-by-step service allows us to keep you involved and helps run things smoothly from start to finish. That way, we do the hard work, while making sure any worries you have are addressed promptly and fully, making things much less stressful for you.
Fast, clear communication with our team
You will have a dedicated point of contact who will keep you updated and be available to answer your questions whenever you need them.
We are happy to work by email, over the phone and via video conferencing, making our residential conveyancing service as convenient and accessible as possible for you.
Independently accredited expertise
With many years of experience across our team, you can be confident that you and your property transaction are in safe hands. We are accredited by the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS), reflecting the high standards of our service.
Take the stress out of buying property
Our goal is to make buying a property straightforward and stress-free, while helping you to avoid any problems with your purchase, now or in the future.
Speak to our residential conveyancing solicitors today
Looking for a quick answer about buying a property? Please feel free to ask us a question.
Our specialist residential property conveyancing services for home buyers
Alongside our standard homebuyers’ conveyancing services, we offer specialist packages tailored to the precise needs of different types of buyers.
First Time Buyers conveyancing package
We offer a unique conveyancing package for all First Time Buyers that involves supporting you through the decision-making process and guiding you to the best possible outcome. This tailored approach gives you the knowledge and expertise you need to start climbing the property ladder with confidence.
Our dedicated conveyancing solicitors are able to prepare for a purchase even if you haven’t found the ideal property yet. This means that when the property is eventually found you are ready to secure your purchase. As a thank you for putting your trust in us, we even offer a discount on conveyancing fees.
New build property conveyancing
When purchasing a new build property, it is useful to know that the process is not the same as when you buy a normal house. Due to developers working from buying off plan this consequently means plots are sold almost immediately, even before the development is completed.
The competitive nature of the marketplace means there are waiting lists for properties, so to avoid disappointment it is useful to contact a solicitor months or even years before you plan to buy. This early planning ensures that the short four weeks you are given to reserve and then exchange contracts are all prepared for.
Contacting us early means we are able to represent you from the beginning whilst you prepare to move in.
Buy to let property conveyancing
If you are investing in buy to let property, we can advise on the various issues you need to consider, ensuring you can make the right deal for your investment goals and avoid the potential for future problems.
Our buy to let conveyancing solicitors can guide you through issues such as whether it is better to buy as an individual or through a limited company, the terms of buy to let mortgages (including the need for a minimum monthly rental income) and tax considerations (such as your potential future liability for Capital Gains Tax).
How buying a property works
Here is a brief explanation of what our efficient conveyancing solicitors will undertake when you purchase a property through us.
The pre-contract stage
The pre-contract stage is all the preparation needed before contracts are exchanged. The seller will send through documents that will consist of:
- A drafted contract
- The conclusion of property searches made
- The justification of legal ownership (i.e. proof that the seller genuinely holds the title to the property being sold)
Once these documents are received we will investigate further into property searches and make sure everything is in order.
Once these documents have been assessed, you will need to agree a mortgage offer before we are able to send the draft version of the contract to the seller.
The post-contract stage
The post-contract stage begins with the draft version of the purchase deed being sent over to the seller’s solicitor to be authorised.
Once this procedure is completed the purchase deed then needs to be signed by the seller and buyer. The seller will then work with their solicitors to figure out a price they will release their mortgage for. We will then take it upon ourselves to liaise with the mortgage lenders for the mortgage loan.
Once this is all completed and the money has been transferred to the solicitor of the seller, we can then finally have the deeds sent to us.
The post-completion stage
This last stage involves the seller’s solicitor confirming the release of their mortgage by providing the receipt as evidence.
We then receive money from you, so we are able to pay the stamp duty and land tax of the property. As well as this, we will assist you in registering your property to your name through the Land Registry, the final stage in the conveyancing process before you receive the keys to your new property.
At Lovell Chohan we understand that when people buy a property they are normally selling as well. We offer assistance for selling your prior property as well as purchasing a new one.
Have a question about buying a property?
If you have any concerns about the process of buying residential property, please feel free to ask us a question.
Buying a Property FAQs
We know that many people have questions about how buying property works, so the following are some of the most common questions we hear and the answers you need.
How long does it take to buy a property in the UK?
This will entirely depend on the circumstances, but in general most residential property purchases can be completed in around 6-12 weeks.
What costs are there for buying a property in the UK?
There are various costs to consider when buying UK property, including:
- The purchase price
- Mortgage fees
- Conveyancing fees
- Stamp Duty Land Tax
These costs will generally depend on the value of the property and any special issues that need to be accounted for.
What conveyancing checks do you carry out?
During the conveyancing process, your solicitor will arrange for a number of checks to be carried out on your behalf. Exactly what checks are needed will depend on the type of property and where it is located e.g. if you are in a former mining area, you might need a coal mining survey, but for many properties this will not be necessary.
Standard conveyancing checks recommended for most properties are:
Local authority checks – Covering local issues that may affect the property, such as planning applications, major road works, nearness of railway lines and whether the property is listed or in a conservation area.
Water and drainage search – Covering where local sewers run, whether there is a sewer running under the property, whether you are connected to the local sewers and where the water mains are.
Depending on the location of the property, your conveyancer may also recommend additional checks, such as:
Environmental searches – Where there are concerns about land contamination in the local area e.g. if there is a land fill site nearby.
Coal mining survey – If you are in a former coal mining area and there is a risk of subsidence to the property.
Commons registration – If the property borders common land or a village green.
Chancel repair liability search – If the property is near a church, the owner of the property could be legally obliged to contribute to the maintenance of the church. These costs can be very high, so this type of check is well worth carrying out where appropriate.
Do I need a property survey?
Whenever you buy a property, it is always a good idea to have a survey to see if there are any potential issues that could cost you money to fix after the sale is done. If any issues are uncovered, it can allow you to back out before you commit to the purchase or let you negotiate a better price to reflect the expected cost of fixing the issues.
There are several different types of property survey you can choose from and all should be carried out by a professional surveyor who will normally need to be a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). They vary in how thoroughly the property will be examined, with the more in-depth surveys being more expensive.
The common types of property surveys you can choose from are:
Condition Report – The least expensive and most basic type of report, this uses a traffic light system to indicate potential areas of concern but does not give specific advice on what should be done to address these issues.
Home Buyers Report – A more detailed report looking for major issues such as subsidence or damp. However, this type of survey is non-intrusive, meaning the surveyor will not move furniture, lift floorboards or in any other way look ‘beneath the surface’ of the property.
Building Survey – The most thorough and costly type of report, this involves a surveyor investigating the whole property, including under the floors, behind walls, above ceiling and in lofts. The report will involve specific advice on any repairs that need to be carried out, the likely costs involved and what might happen if these repairs are not made.
Home Condition Survey – Provided by the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) this looks at issues such as broadband speed, damp and property boundaries. This type of survey is normally carried out in addition to a more standard property survey.
When does the sale of a property become legally binding?
The sale becomes legally binding on both parties the moment contracts are exchanged. Up until this point, either party can pull out with no legal consequences.
If you were to try to pull out after exchange of contracts, you could lose your deposit and face legal action from the seller.
If the seller tries to pull out after exchange of contracts, you can take legal action to force them to complete the sale under the agreed terms.
How does stamp duty work?
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) (commonly referred to as ‘stamp duty’) is a tax on property sales paid by the purchaser.
Under the current rules, stamp duty is due on residential properties worth £125,000 or above, with the amount you have to pay depending on factors such as:
- The property value
- Whether the property is freehold or leasehold
- If you are a first time buyer
- Whether you will own two or more properties once the purchase is complete
- Whether the property will be your main residence
Do I need to be in the UK to buy property there?
No, there is no requirement to be a UK resident or located in the UK to buy property here. You will, however, need to sign the contracts in person. If you are located abroad, please get in touch and we will be happy to discuss how we can make the purchase work for you.
Who holds the title deeds to the property?
In most cases, the title deeds will be held by the lender who is financing the purchase.
How is buying leasehold property different to buying freehold?
When you buy a leasehold property, you are actually paying for the right to occupy the property for the period of time set out in the lease. If you are taking over an existing lease, you will be buying the time remaining on that lease.
As the owner of a leasehold, you will normally have to pay annual ‘ground rent’ and regular service charges to the freeholder or their property manager. These costs can be substantial, so it is important to make sure you are clear about these financial commitments before agreeing to purchase a leasehold property.
It’s also important to note that the value of the property will decrease the less time there is remaining on the lease, so this is an important consideration when buying a leasehold.
Speak to our residential conveyancing solicitors in London and South East England
For reliable, expert advice on buying property in London and the South East, please get in touch with our highly experienced conveyancing solicitors now.