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    • sameloop
    • By sameloop 13th Jul 17, 3:39 PM
    • 12Posts
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    sameloop
    How much and what type of info am I entitled to before buying a house?
    • #1
    • 13th Jul 17, 3:39 PM
    How much and what type of info am I entitled to before buying a house? 13th Jul 17 at 3:39 PM
    Hi. Bit of a long winded one, this, but here goes:

    So I have had my offer accepted on a flat. I'm a cash buyer (with no chain) and have provided proof of finances to the agent/seller. So that's all fine. Nothing else has happened yet. I haven't instructed a solicitor or booked a survey. No money has left my hands and I haven't signed anything.

    Now, the agent and seller are (obviously) trying to get things moving quickly i.e: getting me to part with my cash ASAP. I have decided to use the agents conveyancing solicitor, as their quote was near enough the average from others, and I felt that it would make things easier, as they have a good relationship with the agent.

    My first question would be - is that a stupid idea...?

    But my main question is related to my next point:

    I said that I will only proceed once I have full and official documentation regarding the length and terms of the lease, my liabilities within that lease (with regards to repairs, renewing it etc etc), information on any major works pending (it's a detached house with 2 flats - mine being the ground floor and I understand that I'm liable for half the costs of works to the main building e.g: the roof) and also insurance costs, freeholder information etc etc. I was unequivocal about how I wouldn't proceed unless I had all the details.

    So firstly, the agent sent me a scan of the lease from 1987 and nothing else. All this tells me is how long is left (160 years). Well, I looked at that and thought it was nothing like what I asked for, so I reiterated that I needed to see more information. I then recieved this from the agent:

    "...The freeholder forms have been sent to the freeholder. The form will include all of the below questions.

    As it stand the information I have been given are as follows.

    The insurance and works to the external building are of a 50/50 split.

    Currently no service charge is set up on the property as it is more of a cooperative.

    The sellers are being very proactive, they have filled out legal paperwork awaiting contact from a solicitor of yours to be in touch.

    The lease and charges are a point that can be discussed with the freeholder during the conveyancing period but as I am sure you can understand they wish for solicitors to be instructed by yourself so they know this is moving forward.

    The seller would like a swift sale but needs the assurance of solicitors instructed.


    The main highlight of that, to me, is the bit about the lease and charges being discussed during conveyancing - I mean, do I have to start the conveyancing before I get that info? I don't want to do that because I don't want to part with any money yet.

    Basically, what can I legally and rightfully demand to see before I set the wheels in motion?

    Are they just trying to shuffle me into buying and hoping I won't kick up a fuss?

    Sorry for the lengthy post, but I'm starting to get a bit overwhelmed with it all and need some help!

    Thanks for any help at all on this.

    Sam.
Page 1
    • Cheeky_Monkey
    • By Cheeky_Monkey 13th Jul 17, 3:46 PM
    • 1,343 Posts
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    Cheeky_Monkey
    • #2
    • 13th Jul 17, 3:46 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Jul 17, 3:46 PM
    I don't think you're in a position to 'demand' anything of the sort. If you're not even prepared to start the ball rolling then, as far as the vendors are concerned, you are likely to be a time waster who thinks that just because they're paying cash they can ride roughshod over people.

    To be honest, if I were the vendor, I would probably tell you to do one and remarket my property.
    • Surrey_EA
    • By Surrey_EA 13th Jul 17, 3:51 PM
    • 1,157 Posts
    • 1,355 Thanks
    Surrey_EA
    • #3
    • 13th Jul 17, 3:51 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Jul 17, 3:51 PM
    I have decided to use the agents conveyancing solicitor, as their quote was near enough the average from others, and I felt that it would make things easier, as they have a good relationship with the agent.

    My first question would be - is that a stupid idea...?
    Originally posted by sameloop
    Probably.
    You want your solicitor to be there to represents your interests in the purchase, not to be tied to the agent.
    Whether the solicitor has a good relationship with the agent or not is irrelevant, and unlikely to affect the transaction one way or another.


    The main highlight of that, to me, is the bit about the lease and charges being discussed during conveyancing - I mean, do I have to start the conveyancing before I get that info? I don't want to do that because I don't want to part with any money yet.

    Basically, what can I legally and rightfully demand to see before I set the wheels in motion?
    Originally posted by sameloop
    You can demand to see whatever you like. Whether your demands are met are a different matter.

    It doesn't sound in this case that there are likely to be many documents to produce anyway, as there is no service charge currently being paid.
    Are they just trying to shuffle me into buying and hoping I won't kick up a fuss?
    Originally posted by sameloop
    Probably more trying to shuffle you along to instruct a solicitor, as that's normally the first obvious sign of commitment on the part of the buyer.
    • sameloop
    • By sameloop 13th Jul 17, 4:08 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    sameloop
    • #4
    • 13th Jul 17, 4:08 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Jul 17, 4:08 PM
    Cheeky_Monkey

    Well, that is one aggressive reply - I don't think that's necessary. I'm not trying to 'ride roughshod' because I'm a cash buyer. Don't be silly. This is my first purchase and I'm trying to do it right and not end up regretting it. The agents actually have a bit of a reputation locally for being 'wide boys' (something I didn't mention), so I'm obviously being cautious.

    Surely if you were buying a house, you'd want to know the details before parting with a huge amount of money?

    My post was actually about seeing if I was being too demanding - I'm not some arsehole who gets a kick out of lording it over people. Quite the opposite. I'm a very reasonable person.

    I really want the place and am dead serious about buying it, believe me. I want to get things moving ASAP just as much as the seller.
    • sheff6107
    • By sheff6107 13th Jul 17, 4:08 PM
    • 439 Posts
    • 293 Thanks
    sheff6107
    • #5
    • 13th Jul 17, 4:08 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Jul 17, 4:08 PM
    You're doing it back to front. You employ a solicitor and they obtain all the required paperwork. This usually takes months and what you pay a solicitor for.

    You can't say "I will only proceed if you promise to send my solicitor (once I've appointed one) X, Y and Z."

    If it worked like that it would take a week to buy a house.

    All you have to do is employ a solicitor and relax. You pay the solicitor at the end of the process when it's done and dusted.

    You're not being too demanding, you are simply trying to do the work of your solicitor instead of letting them do it.

    "Surely if you were buying a house, you'd want to know the details before parting with a huge amount of money?"

    Your solicitor obtains these details for you. If they can't be provided the sale falls through. That's why it's advisable to pay your solicitor only in the event of completion (which costs a bit extra) so that you don't have to part with a huge amount of money.
    Last edited by sheff6107; 13-07-2017 at 4:13 PM.
    • comeandgo
    • By comeandgo 13th Jul 17, 4:11 PM
    • 1,847 Posts
    • 2,477 Thanks
    comeandgo
    • #6
    • 13th Jul 17, 4:11 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Jul 17, 4:11 PM
    Get a solicitor not attached to the seller or his agents. Purchasing a property needs proper legal advice.
    • sameloop
    • By sameloop 13th Jul 17, 4:13 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    sameloop
    • #7
    • 13th Jul 17, 4:13 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Jul 17, 4:13 PM
    Surrey_EA

    Thanks for the reply. As I said to Cheeky_Monkey, I'm trying to find out whether I'm asking for too much before committing to a solicitor - it seems that I am.

    Both your replies have been very useful, except obviously yours wasn't rude, so I thank you for that.

    Appreciate it, I really do.
    • Surrey_EA
    • By Surrey_EA 13th Jul 17, 4:13 PM
    • 1,157 Posts
    • 1,355 Thanks
    Surrey_EA
    • #8
    • 13th Jul 17, 4:13 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Jul 17, 4:13 PM

    Surely if you were buying a house, you'd want to know the details before parting with a huge amount of money?
    Originally posted by sameloop
    That's the reason you appoint a solicitor. To confirm that everything is in order before parting with a huge amount of money.

    Is it really wise to use the services of a solicitor connected to a 'wide boy' firm of EAs?
    • sameloop
    • By sameloop 13th Jul 17, 4:41 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    sameloop
    • #9
    • 13th Jul 17, 4:41 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Jul 17, 4:41 PM
    Exactly. Kind of what I suspected. So I have chosen an independent one who has a good reputation and told them to go ahead today.

    Thanks for your advice and opinions, it's really appreciated, believe me.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 13th Jul 17, 4:51 PM
    • 41,467 Posts
    • 47,845 Thanks
    G_M
    cheekey_monkey was not aggressive at all.

    He answered your question and added his view (which I agree with) that if he were the buyer he'd "tell you to do one and remarket."

    OK - he could have said 'withdraw from the sale' instead, but really, there's little difference.

    It's a public forum. Expect some forthright replies especially when your question talks of 'demands' etc.

    Can I politely suggest you pop down to your local library and borrow a book on property purchasing. It's free. Far better if you understand the process from the start.

    Oh, and yes, find your own, independant, solicitor.
    • sameloop
    • By sameloop 13th Jul 17, 4:59 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    sameloop
    Fair enough. But I think he mistook my lack of experience and knowledge for being a difficult buyer. I'm really not. Just a bit paranoid about jumping into something I might regret. His and others replies were, of course, very useful for putting me straight on the whole situation.

    I'll admit I do feel a bit stupid now. Anyway, let's hope it all works out. I've gone with a local solicitor with a good reputation who's a bit cheaper than the agents one.
    Last edited by sameloop; 13-07-2017 at 5:01 PM.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 13th Jul 17, 5:58 PM
    • 23,337 Posts
    • 88,953 Thanks
    Davesnave
    I'm really not. Just a bit paranoid about jumping into something I might regret.
    Originally posted by sameloop
    It could still be that you will spend money and then walk away from the sale, if you discover something you don't like.

    There's no guarantee that money won't be lost when entering into property sales or purchases, but that's just how it is when either party can withdraw without penalty until exchange of contracts.

    While some of us may have been angered in the past when purchasers have had a change of heart, just as many will have been relieved by having a similar ability.

    House purchase is a very large decision; one which warrants a good amount of homework before entering into it.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Lauralou79
    • By Lauralou79 13th Jul 17, 7:11 PM
    • 108 Posts
    • 81 Thanks
    Lauralou79
    I've just completed on a purchase (yay) and a lot of the advice on this board wether direct to myself or just generally reading the forums helped me a massive deal. A lot of people know their stuff!
    I really had little idea of the house buying process. But a lot of online research and reading helped loads.Good luck!
    • sameloop
    • By sameloop 14th Jul 17, 7:16 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    sameloop
    Thanks guys - appreciate it. I mean, of course I did some research. In fact, quite a bit, but sometimes you miss the important points in a sea of details. I really should have questioned this forum before I started anything, but then sometimes it's not until later that you realise what you actually needed to ask!

    So yeah, onwards and upwards.
    • anselld
    • By anselld 14th Jul 17, 7:28 AM
    • 5,319 Posts
    • 4,856 Thanks
    anselld
    Diss-instruct the agents Solicitor.
    Get a new Solicitor lined up (but tell them to await further instruction before proceeding).
    Obtain a copy of the lease for £7 from Land Registry.
    Then spend no money until the full chain is complete.
    • sameloop
    • By sameloop 14th Jul 17, 7:42 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    sameloop
    Well, I've got a new independent solicitor and have seen the lease (159 years left). Luckily I hadn't instructed the agents solicitor.
    • ThePants999
    • By ThePants999 14th Jul 17, 7:59 AM
    • 809 Posts
    • 939 Thanks
    ThePants999
    Nobody's been rude - Cheeky_Monkey was telling you how the vendors would likely perceive you. Speaking of which, bear in mind that a paranoid buyer with a "lack of experience and knowledge" WILL be seen as "difficult", even if you don't see yourself that way :-) We're not judging, just telling you that they will!
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 14th Jul 17, 8:46 AM
    • 30,000 Posts
    • 17,929 Thanks
    getmore4less
    I said that I will only proceed once I have full and official documentation regarding the length and terms of the lease, my liabilities within that lease (with regards to repairs, renewing it etc etc), information on any major works pending (it's a detached house with 2 flats - mine being the ground floor and I understand that I'm liable for half the costs of works to the main building e.g: the roof) and also insurance costs, freeholder information etc etc. I was unequivocal about how I wouldn't proceed unless I had all the details.
    You have created a lot more issued by choosing this place.

    get an independant solicitor to pull all the info together and review.

    You would make your life a lot simpler if you bought a proper freehold place, even then there is going to be a list of covenenants.
    • sameloop
    • By sameloop 14th Jul 17, 10:16 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    sameloop
    Nobody's been rude - Cheeky_Monkey was telling you how the vendors would likely perceive you. Speaking of which, bear in mind that a paranoid buyer with a "lack of experience and knowledge" WILL be seen as "difficult", even if you don't see yourself that way :-) We're not judging, just telling you that they will!
    Originally posted by ThePants999
    Well, yes, I do get that now. You live and learn. I can tell you I'm grateful for all the advice (even the more, shall we say, 'direct' stuff
    • sameloop
    • By sameloop 14th Jul 17, 10:19 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    sameloop
    You have created a lot more issued by choosing this place.

    get an independant solicitor to pull all the info together and review.

    You would make your life a lot simpler if you bought a proper freehold place, even then there is going to be a list of covenenants.
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    Fair enough, but, you know, sometimes a place is just 'right' and you have to take the inconvenience of such things. I have found that at least half or more that I've seen are leasehold, certainly in my price range and criteria.

    This flat just ticks too many boxes - I've seen plenty and none have come as close to fitting what I need.
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