Please click the questions below to find out more from our Frequently Asked Questions section.
In usual circumstances, the conveyancing process would take between 8-10 weeks from instruction to completion. Due to extenuating circumstances including the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the very busy housing market currently nationwide, this is now taking between 12-16 weeks typically. Delays can come down to: Length of the chain involved, mortgage application taking longer than normal to process, searches taking extra time, searches or enquiries revealing something unexpected, someone holding up the chain as they are not wanting to proceed as quickly as others or mortgage offer issues with unforeseen conditions.
We will always contact you as soon as possible via your preferred method (telephone, email or post) if we have any update on your transaction. If we have news about your case or we need any further information from you, rest assured we will make contact with you and explain what we need from you to proceed.
The stamp duty/land tax estimate will be given in your initial quote, this will usually confirm the normal rate tax. On receiving your initial paperwork this can be adjusted once we are aware of your personal circumstances. Please kindly note, we are not tax advisors and we are not insured to provide tax advice, queries should be addressed with your financial advisor or accountant. If you require further help or advice, you can contact the stamp duty / land tax offices directly, they can offer you a 'Consideration' which will confirm how much tax you are liable to pay. Please note the stamp duty and land tax holiday will expire for properties up to £500,000 on the 30th June 2021 and for properties up to £250,000 on 30th September 2021. Houses not completed before this stage will be liable for the full stamp duty and land transaction tax amount. We are given the same information by the government as the rest of the country, so we will not have any further information at this stage in respect of any changes to this.
ONE of the following photographic ID: a Valid Passport, a Valid UK Driving Licence or a valid HM Forces identity card with the signatory's photograph.
TWO proof of address (valid from the past three months, excluding annual Council Tax Bill) from either: a Valid UK Driving Licence (if not used for photo ID), a Utility Bill, a Council Tax Bill, a Bank Statement or a Mortgage Statement.
Please visit one offices with your ID to have your original documentation copied and certified by our reception team, we are open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. If you are not able to visit any of our offices, please arrange to visit a solicitors local to you, to have your ID certified by a solicitor.
We can receive your paperwork in three ways: Visit your closest branch where our reception team will be happy to help you, post them to one our offices (all of our addresses can be found in the ‘Contact’ tab above), or scan and email these to firstname.lastname@example.org, where they will be forwarded to your allocated Conveyancer.
Your fee to cover disbursements will be detailed in your initial letter from us, and is required at the start of the transaction. This can be paid by bank transfer, over the phone with our accounts team, or by cheque and our bank details are available on request.
The remaining sum due (including deposit moneys and further fees and disbursements) will be taken on exchange of contracts which will be discussed with you by your conveyancer. Please always check our bank details before making a payment.
The searches as standard are the environmental, water and local authority. Depending on your location other searches may be required too (such as mining, limestone or chancel). Searches usually take approximately 2-4 weeks and we submit them once we are in receipt of the contract pack from the seller's solicitor. However, in the current circumstances we are experiencing delays in the usual timescale for the results being issued - these can be up to 6-8 weeks from point of order. These are non-refundable should you decide not to proceed with the transaction. We instruct searches usually after receipt of draft contract from the other side, payment from yourself and return of your welcome pack information.
Provided you have not been misled/mis sold you will be liable for any problems that you discover after exchange of contracts with your new property. If you are obtaining a mortgage, a surveyor will usually inspect the property on behalf of the lender. Although the report will give you an indication as to whether he thinks the property is worth, you will probably not be able to rely on it if things go wrong. For an extra fee you will usually be able to arrange for a more detailed "Home Buyers Report". This can be relied upon by you so if at a later date you find a problem that is not mentioned in the report you will have some redress against the valuer. It might be possible, when making initial contact with your mortgage company, for them to arrange for their surveyor to carry out a House Buyers Report or full survey so that only one surveyor need be engaged. If the property is quite old and you are particularly concerned about its condition you can obtain a full structural survey report which is even more detailed. Your mortgagee or the person arranging the mortgage for you should advise you as to the type of valuations and surveys available. Kindly note, as a firm of conveyancers, we are not insured to comment on the results of your survey or to offer opinion - any queries or concerns should be taken up with your surveyor directly.
Once the buyer and the seller (and any others in the chain) have finalised the legal work, signed their respective contracts and a completion date has been agreed, the solicitors will exchange contracts. The date and time of exchange are recorded by both conveyancers and it is at that point that the contracts become legally binding. Both parties need to be certain on exchange that you will be in a position to complete on the date agreed. If you decide you do not want to move after exchange of contracts, or you fail to complete for any reason, you can be sued for breach of contract by other parties in the chain. Any deposit you may have paid on exchange of contracts will be forfeited by the seller if you fail to complete a purchase after contracts have been exchanged.
You should book removals after the exchange of contracts; this is because the moving date is not always set in stone and is changeable during the process. You may end up losing money if the date unexpectedly changed, so it is best to wait until after the exchange.
Completion is when the money is transferred from one side solicitor to the other side’s solicitor and it is when you can get your keys and move into your new home. You must fully vacate your sale property on completion. On the day of completion, we will call you to advise you when your sale has completed/when can collect your keys. There is never a guaranteed time for this as it is dependent on monies reaching respective banks, however this does tend to occur early to mid-afternoon.
All sale proceeds are issued by cheque within 2-5 days following completion. All cheques are posted out 1st Class to you, alternatively you can arrange to collect your cheque from one of our offices.
Please note it is not this firm’s policy to issue sale proceeds via bank transfer. Solicitors are very common targets for Cyber Crime, and our aim is to avoid any risks, in order to get your money to you as safely as possible.
Your Conveyancer will ask you to close your ISA 2-3 weeks before exchange and completion, it is the responsibility of each client to arrange the closure with their bank and send the closing statement to the team as soon as possible. The team will require the closing statement 7 working days prior to completion, as the scheme will require sufficient notice for the bonus monies to be requested. During the transaction your team will ask you to complete a declaration, which should be returned with the closing statement.
Our aim is to give an excellent service to all of our clients, however if there is anything that you are unhappy with and you are still not satisfied after discussing your concerns with your Conveyancer, our complaints department is dealt with by Director, Rachel Dyson. Please email Ms Dyson directly on email@example.com or write to Rachel Dyson at 56-62 Borough Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 2JH. Your complaint will be dealt with as soon as possible.
Freers Askew Bunting Solicitors, 19/25 Baker Street, Middlesbrough, TS1 2LF
Freers Askew Bunting Solicitors, 56-62 Borough Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 2JH
Freers Askew Bunting Solicitors, The Buck, 4 Market Place, Guisborough, TS14 6HF