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Ready? Steady? Go: How to Expedite your Property Transaction

The time it takes to reach completion after your offer has been accepted is between 8 to 10 weeks. People often move in times of financial and emotional distress arising out of divorce, death or simple disarray. If the property in question is to be sold without a hitch, conveyancers must operate efficiently to ensure a seamless transfer of ownership.

With this need for considered conveyancing in mind, we have drafted the most common pitfalls that buyers and vendors encounter during their respective transactions. Consider the following scenarios below to prepare yourself for your purchase or sale, and avoid the tell-tale signs of trouble:

Gazumping

Although we are reliably informed that you can gazump someone out of their last chocolate biscuit, the Oxford English Dictionary narrowly defines the verb ‘gazump’ as only “acting improperly in the sale of houses”. Such a precise definition indicates the difficulties gazumping poses to house buyers, as there is very little that can be done to avoid a vendor choosing to accept another, higher offer.

Crossedfingers

The ability for a vendor to renege prior to the exchange of contracts is incredibly disconcerting for first time buyers especially, but no buyers are immune from being gazumped. Larger sums of money are almost impossible to ignore, so the best strategy is to progress from offer to exchange as quickly as possible: Buyers ought to source solicitors and surveyors ASAP while sellers should assemble any relevant documentation that is already in their possession.

Surveys

A survey is designed to unearth potential issues with a property; a large number of issues – or a single case of Japanese Knotweed – are bound to dissuade prospective purchasers. Surveys shouldn’t be treated, however, as foregone conclusions. Homeowners should use the survey results to instigate a dialogue with buyers in order to determine the best way to progress the transaction.

Japanese Knotweed

Whether homeowners make repairs prior to completion or whether buyers are willing to accept the problem subject to a reduction in the purchase price; both are viable avenues that are worth exploring before dropping out of the process altogether. For homeowners, issues that have been picked up by one survey are more than likely to be picked up by another, and for purchasers (unless you are in the market of buying a new-build) a degree of wear and tear ought to be expected.

Mortgage Offers

Post-credit crunch, the ability to secure a mortgage is harder than ever before. In spite of the Help to Buy Scheme, many first time buyers are still falling at the Mortgage Market Review’s hurdles. The new ‘stress tests’ that seek to assess whether mortgagees will be able to cope if their interest rates take an unexpected turn, and the comprehensive analysis of their current and anticipated expenditure, have been particularly bothersome. To avoid disappointment to all parties, buyers are strongly recommended to line up their lending agreements in advance of making an offer.

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