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How to be as prepared as possible during the home buying process

Ex-residential property conveyancer and founder of the Bold Legal Group, Rob Hailstone, shares his advice and tips...

My promise in my first blog was, in my second blog, to write about how home/property buyers could be as prepared as possible at the beginning of, and throughout, the home buying process. Here goes.

The following is a list of information and documentation that a buyer’s conveyancer would find helpful:

  • - The full address, postcode and (if applicable) property name
  • - The full names of all intended purchasers
  • - ID, passport, driving licence, etc
  • - All finance details (including loans and gifts)
  • - Information about any important dates or deadlines, i.e. new jobs, schools, holidays etc
  • - Details of the type of building the property is, i.e. a terraced house, detached property with land, or a flat etc
  • - Details of anything unusual about the property, recent building works, shared drives or pathways, flying freeholds, private drainage etc
  • - Lease and service charge details (if applicable)
  • - Details of what they might want to use the property for, if not 100% residential purposes

In some cases, they should also be prepared to give an account of the source of wealth and source of funds for the transaction, and be ready to back that up with suitable evidence. Background - source of funds could be bank statements etc, but source wealth can be more complicated, and often slows matters up, for example, 'savings' or 'inheritance' may not be sufficient without documentary evidence backing that up.

Also, in view of the recent Mischcon de Reya fraud case (and other recent fraud cases), it would be worth providing some background as to the seller. For example, has the buyer met them, do they live at the property?


A little bit about the author...

Rob Hailstone, an ex-residential property conveyancer with four decades of experience, formed the Bold Legal Group in 2010. With the implementation of the Legal Services Act 2007, a new SRA Handbook, CQS and many other issues to deal with, he realised that conveyancing law firms in particular would need an extra pair of ‘ears and eyes’ to make sure they were kept up to date with all important property related issues.

The BLG now has over 600 member firms of all shapes and sizes. As well as having a vibrant question and answer forum, BLG members are kept fully informed about all relevant conveyancing and property related issues, including SRA fraud alerts, Law Society Practice Notes, changes to Continual Professional Development, the recent SDLT changes, Land Registry initiatives, other consultations and the Governments current attempt at improving the home buying and selling process ‘A Better Deal’.

The BLG has recently launched an ongoing training system, BLGTraining, for its members.

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