First Time Buyer Legals Checklist

Checklist provided by

Organise your legal company prior to making an offer and remember - be patient and relax, you will get there!
Understand what legal fees you will be charged and what to check has been quoted.
Don’t just go with the legal firm recommended to you by an estate agent or mortgage broker. Shop around and find one that fits you best, asking what they provide that helps a first time buyer like yourself.
  Compare 3-5 legal firms – the right one can make the difference between you securing or losing your purchase, and being stressed or calm throughout the transaction.
  If buying a new build, a leasehold, or with a specialist deal such as Help to Buy, NewBuy or shared ownership, check your conveyancer is experienced in this area – smaller firms may not deal with cases like yours very often.
  Compare conveyancing quotes and make sure all legal companies give you the fees included in this calculation.
  Have your legal company’s details ready to give the agent when making an offer.
Make sure you have your proof of identity ready, eg driving licence or utility bill, but not mobile phone bill.
Write to the legal company with all of the questions you have about the property purchase, eg parking, payment of joint bills, shared garden access, issues with the property.
Carefully check the property information and fixtures and fitting forms to ensure what you think you are buying is correct.
If you have a survey on the property (and you should!), make sure you send a copy to the legal company.
Check your searches (water, drainage, mining etc).
Read your purchase contract.
Make sure your deposit is ready on time.
Exchange contracts.
Complete contract and collect the keys!


All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner OBE, author of Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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