Prepare to buy or sell

Julie Crowder Barr - Associate Legal Executive at Spire Solicitors LLP

Julie Crowder Barr

Julie Crowder-Barr, Associate at Spire Solicitors LLP, discusses things you should consider to help make the buying or selling process smoother.

Buying or selling a house can often be quite daunting. Being prepared is half the battle and more often than not, can help to avoid delays along the way. Before you put your property on the market or start looking for a property, it is important to consider the following in order to make the process smoother.

1) Get budget and mortgage ready. As a first step you will need to go through your finances and ensure you have a clear idea on how much you can afford to spend on moving. Before looking at properties, you should establish a realistic purchase price after taking into account any hidden costs such as stamp duty, removal costs, and solicitor and estate agency fees. For your mortgage, you may wish to use a mortgage advisor who will be able to assess the level of repayments you can afford and look at a range of mortgage products to best suit your needs. Alternatively you can go straight to a lender and apply for a mortgage.

2) If you have a property to sell you will need to choose a local estate agency to sell your property. It is also advisable to start getting solicitor quotes as they will handle all the legal aspects of buying or selling a property for you. The service you receive can make a huge difference as to how easy or difficult you find the process.

3) If you have any old papers relating to renovations or upgrading of your property, it is advisable to keep these in a safe place. Any work involving gas or electricity should have been carried out by someone who is suitably qualified and they should certify the work has been carried out in accordance with applicable regulations. Internal modifications may need building regulations consent and, when the work is complete; you will need a certificate confirming that those regulations have been satisfied, together with any planning permission, if it was also required.

By having the right paperwork and certificates in place, you should be able to avoid any problems and delays along the sale process.

4) Whilst most properties are now registered electronically at Land Registry, it is advisable to keep any old deeds, if you have them, as they may contain information that does not appear in the Land Registry records, for example any rights or covenants.

This is an initial guide for things to consider when moving house. If you would like to discuss any points in this article further, please contact Spire Solicitors LLP on 01603 677077 for all your legal needs.