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Your solicitor will carefully examine the draft contract from the Sellers solicitor as well as any supporting documents in readiness to raise enquiries. You will be sent a copy of the Property Information Form the seller has completed for your records and will be expected to go through this and get back to your solicitor with any queries or concerns. All enquiries will now be sent to the sellers solicitor.
Once any up front fees have been received, your solicitor will apply for searches. These searches cover aspects of the property and area which may not be obvious from carrying out a viewing or instructing a survey. A series of legal searches will also be applied for by your solicitor to ensure there are no other factors affecting the purchase.
These are searches carried out by the Local Authority, cost around £75 to £150 and take 1 to 6 weeks to complete. These searches cover any existing Rights of Way or proposed plans for new roads over the land, historic mine workings which may affect the property in the future, whether the area is affected by Radon gas and also confirms relevant planning permission and building regulations are in place.
Covered under the legal searches, these documents prove the sellers ownership and are obtained from the Land Registry. Both the Title Register and Title Plan are legally required to sell the property and the cost of these can vary depending on the solicitor used. In some instances, the property can be an Unregistered Title. This will be resolved by your solicitor but may mean a slight delay in the process.
This search is applied for through the a specialist provider and usually costs around £12. Parker Hall are happy to advise if you have any queries on the Flood Risk report
This search will confirm how you get your water (mains or a private/shared source) and if there are any public drains on the property which may affect extensions or building works. The water authority search will cost between £50 and £75. Occasionally, an additional flood report may be required
This is to ensure there are no potential medieval liabilities over the property meaning the vendor would be liable to pay towards parish church repairs. This a chargeable search which must be carried out. You may be advised to take out Chancel Repair Insurance by your solicitor as a safeguard. Due to a change in the law relating to Chancel Repairs, so now it is the responsibility of the Church to establish and lodge liability with the Land Registry.
Depending on the area there may be additional searches specific to the location the property is in. As mentioned above, these may include environmental searches relating to the history of the site or checks for radon gas emissions The Environmental and Mining Searches are compulsory when a mortgage lender is involved and solicitors will always recommend having these searches carried out.
Note: The above costings, timescales and figures are meant as guidelines only. To ensure an accurate cost on all the above seek the advice of your solicitor.