Putting in an Offer
Putting in an Offer
I've Seen the Property. What do I do Next?
The first step in putting in an offer on your chosen property is to select your conveyancing lawyer who will act on your behalf during the house buying process. It is important to select a conveyancing solicitor who offers a transparent and low cost service such as Conveyancing Direct.
Our membership of the Law Society of Scotland ensures regulated standards of excellence and we can guarantee our clients complete consumer confidence as we adhere to high standards of practice.
Conveyancing Direct's dedicated client advisers provide our customers with a clear and concise terms of business setting out all costs involved in a comprehensive manner. This agreement details what we shall do as part of the conveyancing process and what the fixed fee will be for a straightforward transaction on easy-to-digest terms.
As a business we carry out an online identity check in compliance with Government money laundering regulations, we state this clearly to our clients as part of our terms of business agreement.
What Can I Expect From My Online Conveyancing Quote?
Clients have the ability to receive a free instant conveyancing quote by filling in our online form with just a few details. This tool is part of the transparent and low cost pricing policy that Conveyancing Direct is committed to offering our customers.
What can you expect?
What Conveyancing Direct's fee is
The VAT payable
Outlays the details of Government department charges, which we pay on your behalf
Every purchaser is required to pay registration dues which are the charges incurred from the Land Register to register your title and mortgage document in the public register. This is charged on a sliding scale - the more expensive the property the greater the registration dues.
If your property costs no more than £125,000 you do not pay Stamp Duty Land Tax
If the property is over £125,000 but less than £250,000 purchasers currently pay 1% of the full purchase price
For properties over £250,000 - £500,000 the cost is 3% of the full purchase price
For property purchases over £500,000 the cost is 4% of the full purchase price
*If your property is no more than £150,000 you may be exempt from Stamp Duty Land Tax in certain areas. Please contact us for further information or obtain and online conveyancing quotation to find out if your area is exempt.
Do I Need to Make an Appointment to See my Solicitor?
We realise that many of our customers are not able to take time off from work or their daily commitments to attend multiple appointments with their solicitor.
We are available between the hours of 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday (excluding national holidays) via phone and email we can deal with any enquiries and complete your conveyancing process remotely. All of our contact details are available here
We pride ourselves on our flexible and easy approach to conveyancing and our standards of communication with our customers. In all correspondence emails we clearly indicate the name, direct telephone number and email address with the person dealing with your case.
Conveyancing Direct ensure the highest standards of customer service and will accommodate our clients individual needs wherever appropriate.
What Details do Conveyancing Direct Require?
Simply fill in the online conveyancing quote form:
The next step is, one of our client advisors will contact you and lead you through the registration process. Our client advisor will formally intimate your interest in your chosen property with the selling agent. If a closing date has been set for offers on the property then please let us know as soon as possible.
If not we will find out and communicate with you the closing dates and if possible the number of other potential buyers interested in the property.
If required we can submit an offer immediately.
Do I Need a Mortgage?
A few lucky people do not need to borrow money to buy a property but most of us do. How much we need to borrow? How much can we afford to borrow? What is the most appropriate type of mortgage? These are all governed by regulations imposed by government and the various banks and building societies who offer hundreds of different mortgage products.
Lenders are now obliged to carry out greater checks on prospective borrowers' ability to pay back a mortgage so your length and type of employment, past or present major debt issues, family commitments and lifestyle costs can play a part in whether you qualify for a mortgage and the amount you can borrow.
A good mortgage advisor will explain all this to you and ensure that the mortgage product is right for your present circumstances. An important consideration is your future requirements, particularly if you do not view your purchase as your long term home.
If you already have a mortgage advisor or have set up an mortgage in principle with a lender simply tell them that Conveyancing Direct is acting as your solicitors and they will advise the lender to send the instructions to us.
Conveyancing Direct is on the panel of all major lenders.
If you have not made any definite mortgage arrangements Conveyancing Direct can help by referring you to an independent Mortgage Advisor who will search the market for the best products. Some mortgage products are not available to the direct public so it pays to speak to our independent Mortgage Advisor panel.
When Can I Have The House Surveyed?
As most properties now have a Home Report when marketed; most offers are submitted for a property with a condition: "Subject to the Home Report being acceptable to the Purchaser and his/her lender."
This means that if the seller indicates that your offer is acceptable the seller will not actively market the property to allow you to have the property approved by your lender. There is nothing legally binding in this part of the procedure but it is usually followed.
Some lenders will not accept Home Reports because the surveyor is not on their surveying panel or because the Home Report is over three months old. In this case you normally have to pay for a separate valuation report by your lender's approved surveyor. If the Home Report is out of date but the surveyor is on the lender's panel then the Seller will normally have the Home Report updated at his/her expense so that it will be accepted by your lender.
Although Home Reports are prepared and paid for on behalf of the Seller the survey element is prepared by a qualified chartered surveyor . If you proceed to purchase a property on the strength of his survey and you later find a significant defect in the property which the surveyor should have highlighted but didn't then you may have a claim for negligence against the surveyor.
Check with your broker or mortgage lender immediately after you know your offer is going to be accepted. If you are buying the property independently without a mortgage you may still want an independent surveyor to check the property. Surveys can normally be carried out within twenty four hours and a verbal report will be issued by the surveyor as soon as they have inspected the property.
Provided the verbal report does not highlight any major problems or the value is significantly lower than the price you made in the offer Conveyancing Direct will ask your permission to confirm: "subject to the Home report being acceptable to the Lender." Clause in the offer can be removed, or if there are issues thrown up by the survey any changes that you want to make to the price or conditions in the offer.
Occasionally the survey report may request further enquiry about a potential problem such as wood rot etc. In these cases a specialist report would be required to examine in detail the extent and cost of repair work. The situation inevitably holds up any deal on the property until such reports are obtained, considered and approved. In some cases the seller or buyer may pull out. Consideration of these enquiries may also add to our fee.
Is There More Than One Type of Survey?
Apart from the Home Report Valuation which is similar to the Home Buyer's Report in content, most purchasers will choose either a valuation report of a home buyer's survey.
The valuation report is required by your lender and obliges the surveyor to:
Visit the property
Indicate a market value
Indicate an insurance value
Indicate any potential problems which could affect the lender's loan funds to be invested in the property
As an example, the surveyor should point out:
If there have been alterations to it
The general condition of the property: its services or dampness problems
The surveyor will often ask the solicitors to check out the title deeds to confirm that the surveyor's assumptions are correct. Normally lenders and nor borrowers have a right to claim a surveyor for an error in a valuation report. Despite this most house purchasers take the risk of a valuation report given that their lender is usually investing more than they are in the property. The valuation report often costs less than a home buyer's report; the cost of a home buyers report is usually two to three times the amount of a valuation report.
The Home Buyer's Report is longer than the valuation report though arguably anything untoward in a homebuyer's report should also appear in a valuation report. The home buyer's reports major benefit is that is the house purchaser who instructs it and would normally have a claim against the surveyor for an error in the report. Whatever survey you choose be aware that they are by their nature superficial. A surveyor will not normally be allowed to make holes in walls or test any equipment.
For full details of the features of each type of report you should speak to the surveying firm you instruct.
What are Home Reports?
On the 1st of December 2008 the Scottish Government introduced a Home Report for most houses marketed from this date.
The Home Report which can run to sixty pages includes:
Energy efficiency report prepared by a chartered surveyor
Seller's questionnaire which indicates useful information on utility providers and past and possible changes which may affect the property.
Survey of the property by a chartered surveyor commissioned by the seller for use by the purchaser; the cost is covered by the seller
Most lenders accept them provided the surveyor undertaking the survey element is on the lender's panel of surveyors. Some lenders don't accept the report in which case a further survey is undertaken by the lender's preferred surveyor. The industry has decided that they are out of date after three months so they require to be refreshed, and in most cases the seller will meet that cost. There is no guarantee that the Home Report valuation will be the same as a separate one commissioned by the purchasers or their lender. Surveyors who have carried out a home report owe a duty of care to the seller or purchaser so if the surveyor is negligent then the seller or purchaser may have a claim against the surveyor.
What Goes in the Offer?
First of all these basic details are sure to be in your offer:
The date of entry (this is the date you wish to get your keys)
Any items to be included in the price (e.g. carpets or any other movable items)
The offer will also have to have various standard conditions:
Ensure your right to the property cannot be challenged
That there are no planning or road widening notices adversely affecting it
That is has public utility services
That the heating is working when you take over it
Any previous alterations to the property have necessary local authority or government consents
We shall normally impose a time limit for the offer to be adopted. It is becoming common practice to indicate in the offer whether your purchase is conditional on you selling your home at present or confirmation of a mortgage. Conveyancing Direct normally advises a client to allow at least six weeks from the date of offer to the date of entry. This is to allow time for the seller's solicitor to answer various observations Conveyancing Direct will raise, to allow your mortgage lender to have sufficient time to process your mortgage papers. Despite impressions given by some mortgage lenders don't believe assurances that the loan papers are available immediately you offer for a property.
Is my Offer Binding?
In Scotland an offer must be in writing and can be signed by Conveyancing Direct on your behalf. Your bid is only binding if the seller's solicitor sends us a simple written acceptance of the offer without any qualification. Nowadays this rarely happens due to the fact that offers have several conditions and the seller's solicitors try to minimise the warranties or guarantees which the seller has to give to a purchaser.
Consequently, the seller's solicitor will issue a qualified acceptance which qualifies many of the conditions in the original offer. You have to agree every qualification with the seller for the bargain to be binding which is confirmed in writing between the seller's and purchaser's solicitors. If not, you or the seller is free to walk away from the proposed contract. If your purchase is dependent on a mortgage and/or the binding contract for the sale of your existing house Conveyancing Direct strongly advises purchasing clients NOT to authorise a binding contract for a purchase until the written mortgage offer has been accepted by the client and/or there is a binding contract for the sale of the purchasing client's existing property.