New Build Property Conveyancing and the Process

It is common knowledge that there is a significant shortfall of Housing (especially Affordable Housing) in England and Wales. The Government’s solution to this problem (though debatable) has been in more recent years, to encourage House Builders (both small and larger PLC’s) to bring to market large scale New Build Property Schemes which has naturally increased the number of New Build Property Transactions our Panel Solicitors have instructed on.

With a view to assisting all our prospective buyers or individuals who are considering purchasing a New Build Property, we have outlined the usual process that must be followed in almost all New Build Property conveyancing matters.

Please contact our New Build Conveyancing Team on 0203 375 2187 should you have any questions or require advice prior to reserving you property.

Although the result of purchasing a property in most cases is the same; be it you are looking to buy an existing property using a traditional Estate Agent or a New Build Property directly from a Developer; the conveyancing process itself varies significantly. Although most buyers become complacent with the ‘property’ given it is brand-new, there are a set of unique challenges that affect the Conveyancing Process given the number of variables, which must be carefully assessed and resolved where necessary by an Experienced New Build Conveyancing Solicitor.

Finances with a New Build Property Purchase

As with any transaction, this is one of the Key Factors to consider, however more so with a New Build Property Conveyancing matter. Since it is not unusual for the property you are considering to be fit for occupation, months into the future; and most Mortgage Lenders’ only issuing offers which are valid for 6 months – your mortgage broker should carefully consider which Lender they appoint on your behalf. There are some Mortgage Lenders’ who offer New Build Specific Mortgages, for instance Skipton Building Society who we have noted offer products that expire within 12 months. We are however unable to comment on whether products such as these are suitable for ones’ individual requirements or circumstances as we are not financial advisors and therefore professional advice from a Financial Advisor is always recommended.

On reservation of your New Build Property

Assuming you are confident having consulted your Mortgage Broker or Financial Advisor that you are able to secure Mortgage Funding on your proposed property, it is now time to reserve your plot. What this in effect means is that you are now making a financial commitment (anywhere between £250.00-£5000.00) so that the Developers will no longer market this particular property  on the proviso that contracts are exchanged within a prescribed time period (usually 28 days). This is the point in time where you should instruct a Conveyancing Solicitor as the clock in effect starts ticking from now.

Which Conveyancing Solicitor should you use?

As we have briefly touched earlier on this note, New Build Conveyancing is far more complicated than purchasing a traditional, currently occupied property as various factors such as defective leases, defective and onerous covenants, planning and building regulation compliance etc need to be considered and addressed. This is one of the reasons why legal costs associated with New Build Conveyancing are more expensive than a similar transaction, purchasing an existing property.

Since the contract, when prepared, is almost always in favour of the Developer, a good Conveyancer will be able to negotiate favourable terms on behalf of the buyer (or at least level the playing field). Contractual negotiations include deposit protection, how the deposits will be held and utilised by the developer between exchange and completion etc.

You will also find that the Developers, their Solicitors and Sales Team will be posing a lot of pressure on you as the buyer to effect the Exchange of Contracts as soon as possible. Given that most developers have one or two recommended Panel Solicitors, it is sometimes possible that these Solicitors have pre-arranged/pre-agreed bundles of Contract Reports etc which, although perfectly legal, act as blanket templates which might not detail plot specific issues that affect you. It is therefore always advisable and recommended that you use an independent solicitor who will look at these contract documents with fresh eyes. After all, you are free to instruct any firm you choose to as stipulated by the SRA guidelines and Developers cannot make the sale of their property, conditional on the basis of using their recommended Solicitor.

Contact our team of expert New Build Conveyancing Solicitors who are well versed in transactions concluding in 28 days or less on 0203 375 2187.

 

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