Buying a property
Buying a property is an exciting prospect, but it can also be one of the most stressful things we face, so at Guardian Solicitors we aim to process your purchase as fast as possible to minimise both costs and worry.
Our promises to you
House buying can be a complex, detailed process, involving constant agreement between several parties, so Guardian Solicitors makes you the following promises:
Regular updates - we will keep in constant touch with you on all aspects of your house purchase. Communication is a key priority for us and, unlike some bigger law firms that fail to fully inform customers about progress, your allocated conveyancer from Guardian Solicitors will always be on call to answer your queries.
One-to-one attention - our emphasis on a personal service means you will deal with the same member of our staff throughout your house purchase/sale.
"We ensure that every step is taken, that you sign the correct paperwork and funds are released at the right time"
Competitive pricing structure – we keep to a pricing structure and, allied with our emphasis on a personal service, this has brought us a large number of repeat customers.
Simplify complex processes – you have to go through many small but important steps to buy a house. We ensure that every step is taken, that you sign the correct paperwork and funds are released at the right time. This saves you time and money and frees you to do other things such as arranging removals, repair work demanded by your mortgage lender, or building alterations before you move in.
Pre-empt problems – we undertake exhaustive checks and searches to spot and avoid potential pitfalls early on, such as unregistered paperwork, extra clauses entered in documents by previous owners, boundary and planning problems, and potential criminal behaviour by any party.
"We undertake exhaustive checks and searches to spot and avoid potential pitfalls early on"
Insure you against loss – we have professional indemnity insurance which covers you for any loss suffered during conveyancing. As a law firm, Guardian Solicitors is also regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which handles any complaints.
How does conveyancing work?
What’s next after you have found your ideal house, put in an offer and got it accepted by the seller? Answer: conveyancing. You can do this either by yourself or by approaching an experienced conveyancing firm, such as Guardian Solicitors, which will provide all the benefits listed above. If you delay getting a mortgage, it could slow down or even lose you the sale.
"If you delay getting a mortgage, it could slow down or even lose you the sale"
The process in England and Wales works as follows:
- We obtain your estate agent’s memorandum of sale, the draft contract and all other information relevant to the transaction.
- We draw up and assess all final contracts and carry out local authority searches to check for any problems or unpleasant surprises, such as future developments at the back of your garden, which can otherwise come to the fore once contracts are exchanged.
- We include all results of our enquiries and searches in a contract report that we send to you to approve before you agree to exchange contracts. (NB: once contracts are exchanged, the transaction becomes legally binding, and the contract becomes the “point of no return”).
- After exchange, we arrange for your mortgage funds to be available for the date of completion. We also put further enquiries to the seller’s solicitor and do any further searches.
- On completion day, when you acquire your new home, we ensure prompt payment of your mortgage funds to the seller’s solicitor and obtain documents to prove title to the property.
"We are always only a phone call away to answer any queries"
- We ensure the property is registered to you at HM Land Registry and deal with any relevant stamp duty payable. We also send you the deeds to your new home.
- Throughout your transaction, we answer any queries proposed by the estate agent’s and/or seller’s solicitors, with minimal stress to you. We are always only a phone call away to answer any queries.
For help and advice on buying a property, for a quote or to arrange an initial meeting, please call us at Guardian Solicitors on 0203 301 6600 or email info@GuardianSolicitors.co.uk
Guardian Solicitors, Hertfordshire and London
Selling a property
The key steps when selling a property in England and Wales are as follows:
- You instruct a solicitor/conveyancer (best done when you first choose your estate agent to avoid delays) but you should only get them to start work once you have agreed a sale price with your buyer.
- We locate your property’s deeds and prepare a draft contract to be sent to the buyer’s solicitors for approval.
"We can handle your sale and purchase to ensure both transactions are completed in quick succession"
- The buyer’s solicitors will raise several enquiries about your property and we will need more details to answer their queries.
- Once both parties are ready, we will exchange contracts with the buyer’s solicitors. We will then arrange for any mortgage of the property to be paid and answer any other queries from the buyer’s solicitor.
- On completion day, we will ensure funds due from the buyer’s solicitors are received, pay off any mortgages on the property and give the deeds to the buyer’s solicitor. We will then pay anything due to you, after deducting any estate agent’s commission.
We can handle your sale and purchase to ensure both transactions are completed in quick succession. For help and advice on any conveyancing problem or to arrange an initial meeting, please call us at Guardian Solicitors on 0203 301 6600 or email info@GuardianSolicitors.co.uk
Guardian Solicitors, Hertfordshire and London
What if I need to remortgage?
Timing can be vital when remortgaging a property. At Guardian Solicitors, we can act for you and your mortgage company to speed up your transaction, stress-free. We can send you funds on the same day you complete the transaction and deal with all enquiries posed by your mortgage provider. Please note that your new lender may request an up-to-date valuation of your home and the extra expense that requires.
"Timing can be vital when remortgaging a property"
Transfer of equity
Buying out another’s share in a property I own
Instructing solicitors is vital in a transfer of equity, as this will ensure the transfer is legally recognised. It ensures the owner selling their share will be released from any commitments or future payments on the property. The value of the share to be transferred is the difference between the outstanding mortgage and the current value of your home. This is known as equity.
An individual leasehold flat owner can persuade a landlord to provide a new lease that adds 90 years to the length of the lease and reduces ground rent to a minimal amount, subject to payment of an appropriate purchase price. We help you throughout this process.
Our conveyancing team has considerable experience in dealing with lease extensions, and we can offer comprehensive advice about the leasehold enfranchisement provisions.
Right to buy
If you own a leasehold property, you may be able to purchase the freehold. This means you can own the land on which your property is built, plus all the common parts owned jointly with the other leaseholders on your freehold land.
"Leasehold flat owners have a right to compel the freeholder to sell the freehold to them"
Once you own the freehold property, you will not need to extend your lease, which will save you money long-term. You may also make rules common to all occupants of the freehold.
Purchasing the freehold will make it easier to sell, as mortgage companies are often reluctant to provide a mortgage where a lease is due to expire within the next 75 years.
Leasehold flat owners have a right to compel the freeholder to sell the freehold to them. If 50% or more of the flat owners commit to this process and can negotiate a suitable purchase price, they can purchase the freehold through the formation of a company where they are all shareholders. Please call or email us for more information and a costs estimate in relation to formation of a company.