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All In The Detail

Facts to consider:

If you use a lender or bank to help buy your property brings its own unique set of rules that you must be aware of. The first thing you must be aware of is that your appointed lawyers most probably also act for your bank. Is this an issue? Well it can in many cases complicate matters, for instance - Your bank or lender will ask your lawyer to confirm many areas. Despite the fact that your bank or lender has stated that they will provide funding, they ask your lawyer to ensure other details before sending the funds. For example, but not exclusive….

(1) If your financial situation changes

(2) If the purchase price changes

(3) If any party to the purchase changes

(4) If you have deviated from any of your agreements or circumstances that you discussed with your bank 6. If ALL the paperwork for the property is in place (no exceptions) 7. If ALL the searches have been completed and are all ok. 8. Your identity has been confirmed. 9. And finally and possibility that all the conditions of the loan including all the conditions of the Council of Mortgage Lenders Handbook(CML) have been adhered to.....


1. Known Defects:

“Will the seller need to fix the defects in the Home Report?…”

This is a simple one. If the defect(s) are disclosed in a home report they have been taken into account in the value in the home report.. . . IF it's a real issue which would cause an issue with the availability for any purchaser to get a mortgage, i.e. If the defect stops the buyer getting a mortgage the answer would be to put pressure on the seller to fix. Yet there are many issues which are not serious and as such were probably taken into account when the valuation was made so in this case NO. The true answer is to ask your lawyer.


2. Defects Not Noticed:

“Will the seller need to disclose ALL defects and problems to the buyer?”

In Scotland the rules are different to England or Wales where the situation is completeley different. In England & Wales disclosure is expected. In Scotland it's buyer beware and so the buyer needs to do their own checks and to be honest appoint a property expert. This is set out in the Scottish legal process were the sellers solicitors lets the purchasing lawyer do their own checks. If the purchasers miss an issue and the sellers solicitors then disclose the problem it could be construed as prejudicing their client. It must always be noted that lawyers are not allowed to tell lies to each other so anything you tell your lawyer he is duty bound to tell your lender or other lawyer if asked/or requested. So be careful! The buyer beware process is akin to buying a second hand car you buy what you see 'worts and all'. It's your choice what you disclose and I guess it depends on your own views. If the buyer lawyer is doing their job they should cover all the essential property checks anyway. The buyers lawyer realy should know what questions to ask and how to ask them! The simple answer is no, so do your homework.


3. Why Appoint A Lawyer Early?:

“What is the benefit of appointing a solicitor before starting to look for a property?”

Always be prepared. It takes time to find the correct property and if you are prepared and ready you can act fast to get that property. This may even help you get a better price.


Other Buyers:

“…your lawyer should always be independent…”

Its unavoidable, you will come across other people trying to buy similar houses as you and for that matter other people trying to get you to pay more. Always remember to keep your ‘cards close’. Remember that your lawyers can always do the hard negotiations to help diffuse any awkward face to face conflicts. Its easy to avoid the pointed questions by having to ‘think about things’. Its nice to be helpful but always remember that everyone has their own motives. Your success at getting your ideal price tends not to be one others will promote, even the friendly estate agent has his own presures, he may even represent another property buyers! Contact a good property lawyer before starting to talk to an estate agent. Unfortunately many people will have a chat with an estate agent to start with, worse still they may even use the Lawyer that the estate agent points them towards! A good lawyer is your best ally, your lawyer should always be independent from others (especially the estate agent). Lawyers are ment to be independent for a reason. Ask yourself who may have control if the estate agent sends the lawyer 10 clients a week, some may say that they have a certain commercial sway.


3 Easy Steps to Buy or Sell property