Your solicitor & your property survey

There are 2 other very important things to think about when you’re purchasing a new property and that is that you have the legal side covered and you have done your due diligence on the property you’re buying.

A property solicitor and a property surveyor are both important professionals involved in the property buying or selling process, but they serve different purposes.

Your solicitor

Your solicitor & your property survey

Property Solicitor

Your solicitor is the legal expert who will help you legally purchase the property. A property solicitor, also known as a conveyancer, is a lawyer specializing in real estate transactions. They handle the legal aspects of buying or selling a property, ensuring everything goes smoothly and you’re protected.

What they do

They will typically perform the following checks on your behalf:

  • Handle the legal contracts
  • Give you legal advice
  • Carry out local council searches
  • Assist with the exchange of contracts
  • Deal with the land registry
  • Consult with the mortgage lender to ensure the mortgage funds are released and ready for completion
  • Transfer your deposit and mortgage funds on completion to confirm thereafter your ownership of the property

Why you need them

  • Peace of mind: They ensure a smooth legal process and identify potential problems before they become major issues.
  • Protection: They safeguard your interests and make sure you’re not buying a property with hidden problems.
  • Compliance: They ensure you comply with all legal requirements for buying or selling property.

There can be a huge difference in the level of service between solicitor A and solicitor B, so ensure you look for good reviews or recommendations from friends or mortgage brokers for solicitors as the lowest price/cheapest one you come across isn’t by any means the best option and it isn’t worth it long term to save a few quid on the solicitor to then have months of delays as that ultimately can cost you much more in the long run and worst case result in the sale falling through.

Property Surveyor

property surveyor

Your own surveyor that you individually instruct can perform enhanced checks on the property you’re about to purchase. 

Remember the banks either basic or AVM (Automated Valuation Model) is only there to give confidence to the bank on the loan to value declared and that the bank is highly likely to be able to sell the property, quickly, in the event you default on the mortgage payments. 

The lender valuation does not give you any significant information and you should take extra steps to be sure the property you’re buying has no hidden or unnoticed problems; as after completion, it is you who will have to pay to put any problems right as you’re now the owner. 

Why you need them

  • Informed Decisions: Knowing the property’s condition allows you to negotiate a better price or budget for repairs.
  • Avoid Hidden Costs: Uncovers potential problems that could lead to expensive repairs down the road.
  • Peace of mind: Provides valuable insight into the property’s condition, helping you make an informed decision.

There are 3 types of surveys available:

The basic valuation carried out by the lender/bank you’re progressing with we have already mentioned, so that leaves you with 2 further options. 

Homebuyers survey

  • An enhanced service that includes a more extensive roof space inspection and comments on underground drainage
  • Aims to identify any repair or restoration work which can be factored  into price negotiations
  • Provides a market valuation
  • Provides reinstatement costs for insurance purposes

Building survey 

  • A comprehensive visual inspection which includes a more thorough consideration of the roof space, grounds, floors and services
  • Aims to establish how the property is built, what materials are used and how these will perform in the future
  • Aims to outline the repair options, whilst expanding the consequences of not acting

Note that a building survey isn’t available when purchasing a flat so therefore a homebuyers report would be the only additional survey available. 

Speak to your mortgage broker about your concerns and they can arrange a quote for you for either of the above valuations, but ultimately it is your decision on which valuation you wish to perform; if any at all. 

Making Your Property Survey and Conveyancing Solicitor Journey Smooth

Property surveys: what are they and what are the different types?:

What does your conveyancing solicitor do?: