Although undoubtedly exciting, the legal aspects of buying a new build can be more complicated than for other types of property.
With the pressure of tight exchange deadlines imposed by developers, building regulations compliance and contracts which don’t necessarily reflect your requirements, it’s important to choose an expert conveyancer who can guide you through the process, acting in your best interest.
Expert conveyancing for your new build property purchase
At Home Property Lawyers our helpful and friendly conveyancers will support you, working with the estate agents, developers and the seller’s solicitors to ensure the purchase of your new build property proceeds as smoothly as possible.
Our experienced team are here to make sure that every stage is completed quickly and, with a dedicated and contactable conveyancer assigned to you from start to finish, you can be reassured that you will be kept fully informed throughout.
What should I consider before buying a new build property?
Purchasing a new build has many advantages. You are the first person to own the house or flat, enjoying the benefits of a brand new property, along with your specified fixtures and fittings.
However, new build properties also come with their own particular considerations which are worth noting before you commit to buy.
- The developer will often impose a deadline to exchange contracts within a certain timeframe, usually 28 days. At that point they may start to put the pressure on to exchange and may withdraw from the transaction, especially in a buoyant market, retaining any reservation fee you may have paid.
- The developer will have drafted a contract in a standard form and will be reluctant to agree any changes.
- If the property is yet to be built, you may be required to exchange contracts without a fixed completion date
- Additional checks will need to be carried out, such as
- Ensuring that planning permission & building regulations have been obtained for the construction of the property
- Checking the roads and drains have, or will be, publically maintained
- Confirming the new home warranty being provided to cover defects is in place
- Confirming adequate rights for access and use of services are in place
All of these steps are quite common and can be quickly arranged and completed by our experienced team of expert conveyancers.
What are the stages of a buying a new build property?
Although buying a new build property can be more complex than buying an existing property, the conveyancing procedure follows a fairly straightforward set of stages.
View the stages
- We will send you a pack of information and some forms to complete and return.
- You will be asked to provide money on account for third party expenses such as searches.
- You may be asked for evidence of your identity and your address if not provided by the estate agent.
- If your deposit is a gift, we will need proof of the gift, ID and address verification for the person giving the gift. You will need to tell your lender of any gift as soon as possible to avoid any issues later in the transaction.
- We will contact the seller’s solicitors to request:
When we receive the contract pack we will check the title and raise our initial enquiries with the seller’s solicitors.
- The contract
- Details of the title to the property
- Draft Transfer (TP1)
- Plot and site plans
- If not already provided to us, we will request searches such as:
- Local Authority Search
- Environmental Search
- Drainage Search
- Once we receive the results, we will review them and raise any further enquiries with the seller’s solicitors
- A property report will be prepared setting out key information relating to the property. We will send this to you with:
- A plan so we can ensure the boundaries of the property you are buying are correct
- A contract
- A Transfer Deed (TP1)
- Copy documents
Mortgage and money
- If you are obtaining a mortgage, your lender will send us a mortgage offer. Once received, we will review the offer and deal with any special conditions so that on completion we can get the mortgage funds from your lender
- If you are obtaining a Help-To-Buy Equity Loan we will deal with the paperwork and undertaking required. More details can be found here.
- If you have a Help-To-Buy ISA you will need to provide us with your closing statement at least three weeks before completion. You can get this from the bank or building Society managing your ISA. We will need this together with a signed First Time Buyer declaration to enable us to obtain the bonus. It is imperative that you provide this to us; any delay could result in the bonus being delayed. If we do not have this on completion you will lose the bonus as we are unable to utilise this after completion under the scheme rules. Further information can be found here.
- Once we and your lender (if applicable) are satisfied regarding enquiries and searches, we can start discussing completion dates with your seller’s solicitors (if the property is ready) and proceed to exchange of contracts. It is common with New Build properties for completion to be ‘on notice’ which effectively means that you will be told once the property is ready and then given a certain notice period within which to complete.
- In readiness for exchange of contracts we will require your deposit.
- We will carry out final searches before completion in case anything has changed. We will also request the funds from your lender (if applicable) and any balance funds from you. On the day of completion we will pay the purchase monies to the seller’s solicitors.
- On the day of completion, once the seller’s solicitors receive the funds, we can confirm completion and you can collect your keys.
- Following completion we will pay your stamp duty land tax to HMRC and we will deal with registration of your ownership and your lenders charge with the Land Registry.
Stamp Duty Land Tax exemption for first time buyers
If you are a first time buyer, you may be eligible for relief from stamp duty land tax. In 2017, relief from stamp duty land tax (SDLT) was introduced for first time buyers. The relief applies from 22 November 2017 to purchases of residential property for £500,000 or less, provided the purchaser intends to occupy the property as their only or main residence. More details can be found here.
Why might buying a new build property take longer?
Although the process of a buying a new build property is quite straightforward, occasionally there are things that can complicate and delay matters, for example:
- Problems with the title to the property such as errors on the plan, lack of necessary planning permission or building regulations.
- Unacceptable clauses in the contract.
- Problems with the New Build Warranty.
Should any of the above issues arise, it’s important that you have a conveyancer who will keep you informed and help find solutions to progress your purchase through to the exchange of contracts.
Choosing Home Property Lawyers for your new build purchase gives you:
- A friendly and caring expert conveyancer, assigned to you.
- Efficient and proactive service from a team of professionals.
- Helpful and responsive communication, keeping you informed throughout the purchase of your new build.