My partner and I are planning to buy a house in Birkenhead and are in fact using a Birkenhead conveyancing practice. Within the past 48 hours our lawyer has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through in anticipation of exchanging contracts shortly. HSBC Bank have this evening contacted us to advise us that there is now an issue as our Birkenhead solicitor is not on their conveyancing panel. Is this a problem?
If you are buying a property requiring a mortgage it is normal for the purchasers' lawyers to also represent the purchaser's lender. In order to act for a bank or building society a law firm has to be on that lender's conveyancing panel. An application has to be made by the law firm to the lender to become a member of the lender's panel and there are increasingly strict criteria which the firm has to satisfy and indeed some lenders now require their panel members to be part of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Accreditation Scheme. Your property lawyer should contact your lender and see if they can apply for membership of their conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable they will instruct their own lawyers to represent them. You are not legally obliged to appoint a law firm on the lender’s conveyancing panel as you are at liberty to use your preferred Birkenhead lawyers, in which case your legal fees may increase, and it will likely delay the transaction as you have another set of people involved.
My son-in-law is purchasing a new build apartment in Birkenhead with a mortgage from Yorkshire BS. His lawyer has advised him of a delay in receiving the ‘Disclosure of Incentive Form’. This document is news to me - what is it and who needs sight of it?
The document is intended to provide information to the main parties engaged in the transaction. Therefore, it will be provided to your son’s lawyer who should be on the Yorkshire BS conveyancing panel as a standard part of the process, and to the surveyor when requested. The developer will be required to start the process by downloading the form and completing it. The form will therefore need to be available for the valuer at the time of his or her site visit. The form should be sent to the Yorkshire BS conveyancing panel solicitor as early as possible, in order to avoid any last minute delays, and no later than at exchange of contracts.
Finally the sale completed on my house in Birkenhead last July but the buyer keeps telephoning daily to moan that his conveyancer is waiting to hear from myconveyancer. What are the post completion sale legalities now that I have sold?
Following your sale your solicitor should send the transfer deeds and all of the paperwork to the buyer’s lawyers. Where appropriate, your lawyer must also confirm that the home loan has been repaid to the purchasers solicitors. There are no post completion formalities unique to conveyancing in Birkenhead.
How does conveyancing in Birkenhead differ for newly converted properties?
Most buyers of new build or newly converted property in Birkenhead approach us having been asked by the housebuilder to sign contracts and commit to the purchase even before the property is built. This is because house builders in Birkenhead typically buy the site, plan the estate and want to get the plots sold off as they are building the properties. Buyers, therefore, will have to exchange contracts without actually seeing the house they are buying. To reduce the chances of losing the property, buyers should instruct conveyancers as soon as the property is reserved and mortgage applications should be submitted quickly. Due to the fact that it could be several months and even years between exchange of contracts and completion, the mortgage offer may need to be extended. It would be wise to use a lawyer who specialises in new build conveyancing especially if they are accustomed to new build conveyancing in Birkenhead or who has acted in the same development.
I decided to have a survey completed on a house in Birkenhead before retaining solicitors. I have been told that there is a flying freehold aspect to the property. The surveyor advised that some banks tend not issue a mortgage on a flying freehold house.
It varies from the lender to lender. Lloyds has different instructions from Birmingham Midshires. Should you wish to telephone us we can check with the appropriate bank. If you lender is happy to lend one our lawyers can assist as they are accustomed to dealing with flying freeholds in Birkenhead. Conveyancing will be smoother if you use a solicitor in Birkenhead especially if they regularly deal with such properties in Birkenhead.
I have been pointed in your direction by numerous selling agents in Birkenhead to choose a property lawyer using your seach tool. Is there a financial advantage for Estate Agents to market your services ahead of another?
We don’t give any financial incentive for directing people our way. We thought it would be too underhand to pay a commission as home movers will think, ‘How come the agent getting a kickback? Why aren’t I getting any benefit too?’ We would prefer to grow our business on genuine recommendations.