By Philippa Rudd, a partner at Cozens-Hardy solicitors in Norwich
I am pleased to say that I have just agreed to buy my first property – hooray, I will soon be on the property ladder! However, I have a very nervous disposition and I think I won’t sleep until I am actually in my new home. Am I worrying unnecessarily?
Most of the transactions we handle in our office proceed smoothly from the day when the buyer’s offer is accepted to the completion day, when you receive the keys and can move in. But yes, there are a few things which could go wrong. Do you yet have your mortgage offer? This can be a stumbling block for buyers in today’s economic climate with lenders being very fussy before making a mortgage offer.
Yes, I have the mortgage already agreed in principle. What will happen next?
That is good news. You cannot exchange contracts until you have a satisfactory offer of finance. Your mortgage company will now need to value the property before making you an offer. There is the possibility of a problem with the valuation. The mortgage company’s surveyor may decide that the property is worth less than you are paying for it or he could find a problem with the house which needs further investigating.
Mortgage aside, what else should I be concerned about? What happens if the seller changes his mind?
There is always the danger that the seller will decide not to move after all, or he may lose the property he is buying, or he may get a higher offer for his property. There is always an element of uncertainty until exchange of contracts. Hopefully your solicitor will be fast and efficient so you move quickly to exchange when both you and the seller are committed.
What about the legal side?
Your solicitor will check the title deeds and apply for the usual searches. There is the possibility that there may be a defect in the title or an adverse search result, but most problems like that can be sorted out by an experienced solicitor.
*You can contact Philippa on 01603 625231.