Property Buying Guide | Cooke & Co

Comprehensive Property Buying FAQs

Welcome to Cooke & Co's detailed FAQ section. Here you'll find extensive information to guide you through the property buying process. Click on a question to reveal the answer.

The property transaction timeline can vary greatly, influenced by factors like the chain complexity, mortgage approval processes, and legal checks. On average, a straightforward transaction might complete within 6-8 weeks from when the offer is accepted and solicitors are instructed. It's crucial to wait for the solicitor's confirmation before making any significant plans related to the move.
Legal fees for property transactions can vary widely based on the firm and the specifics of the property. It's essential to obtain a comprehensive quote upfront, which should detail all expected costs, including conveyancing fees, search fees, and any additional legal costs. Online conveyancers may offer lower rates, but local solicitors might provide more personalised service, potentially leading to a smoother transaction. Always factor in additional outlays such as stamp duty and registration fees, which are standard but can vary over time.
While the lender's mortgage valuation assesses the property's value for loan security purposes but doesn't detail the property's condition. For a more thorough assessment, consider a Homebuyer's report or a full structural survey, especially for older properties. These surveys can uncover potential issues, allowing you to renegotiate the price or request repairs before completion.
The deposit, typically 10% of the purchase price, is payable to the seller's solicitor shortly after contracts are exchanged. This exchange signifies a formal commitment from both parties, and from this point, pulling out would result in significant financial penalties. Your solicitor will guide you through this process, ensuring all necessary checks are completed before you commit.
The completion date is agreed upon by all parties after contracts are exchanged and all legal and financial conditions are satisfied. On completion day, the remaining balance of the purchase price is transferred to the seller's solicitor, and you can collect the keys to your new home, typically from the estate agent. It's customary for the seller to vacate the property by midday, with keys available soon after. Ensure all utilities are set up in your name and consider sending a change of address notification to avoid missing important correspondence.
After completion, your solicitor will handle the registration of the property in your name, which involves submitting the title deeds to the Land Registry. If you have a mortgage, the deeds will be held by your lender as security until the loan is fully repaid. It's important to understand the terms of your mortgage agreement, particularly regarding overpayments, underpayments, and early repayment charges.