INFORMATION FOR PURCHASERS
Do I need to arrange a mortgage first?
You have to know that the finance you need will be available. Building
Societies and banks are keen to lend and clients with good income
and no adverse credit or other adverse points should have no difficulty. Ask
the mortgage specialist to advise.
Who should I see to arrange a mortgage?
You are free to use any mortgage specialist you choose, but choose
carefully! It’s very important
that the mortgage finance is available when needed, so you need
to use someone reliable to advise you on the best mortgages available
at the time and ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Who do you recommend for mortgage advice?
The same firm that we use to arrange our own mortgages -
Investment Services (Aberdeen) Ltd, 7-15 Albert Street,
Aberdeen, telephone 01224 657000, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I note interest myself?
Sometimes selling agents may accept “personal” noted
interests but usually they will only treat it as a definite noted
interest if it is noted by your solicitor. When a solicitor
notes interest for a client, he can sometimes find out information that will be useful.
What is noting interest mean?
It involves no legal commitment. It
is simply a way of asking the selling agents to treat your interest
as a serious one and a way for selling agents to gauge whether
and when to fix a closing time for offers.
If I note interest will I have a chance to submit an offer?
Usually, but not always! If there are several noted interests,
selling agents will normally recommend a closing time when everyone
has a chance to offer. But sometimes a seller will accept
a good offer rather than go to a closing time.
If there are other noted interests, can I offer or must I wait for a closing time?
You can offer. Sometimes a seller will accept an offer rather
than take the chance on what may happen at a closing time.
What if there are no other noted interests?
That’s the ideal situation. If
the property is just on the market, move quickly and you might
be able to have your offer accepted without having to compete
Do I need to pay for a valuation before offering?
No. Most properties will now have Home Reports which include a “single survey”.
How is an offer made?
writing and signed by your solicitor on your behalf. -
often faxed to the selling agents for an immediate response.
How will I know how much to offer
It’s our job to advise you on this. We have access
to the ASPC database which has the most up to date information
on virtually every property sold in the Aberdeen area. Surprisingly
often, our clients “win” the closing time by a small
How quickly will I receive an answer?
It varies, but we often submit offers with a time limit requiring
verbal acceptance on the same day, or within 24 hours, and written
acceptance to follow. Verbal acceptances are not legally
binding but usually when verbal acceptance is given it’s
confirmed in writing without problem.
What information is needed for the offer?
- who the offer is by (e.g. sole or joint names)
- the figure offered
- whether part of the price is “apportioned on moveables” (this
can save stamp duty land tax – see below*)
- the date the purchaser
would like to complete i.e. settle the purchase price and receive
the keys and the deeds.
- what’s included e.g. carpets, curtains,
appliances etc - is it all as stated in the sale particulars
- whether the offer is subject to survey
- the time limit for acceptance
What else does the offer contain?
Legal conditions to be met by the seller regarding the property,
title, planning, services etc
If I submit an offer is it binding immediately?
have to be ready to be legally committed. If a written
acceptance is received immediately the contract is legally binding. But
that’s unusual. Usually the offer is subject to survey
or the written acceptance deletes or amends some of the conditions
of offer. There are usually several letters to and from the purchasing
and selling solicitors before the final acceptance is issued and
What are missives?
The written offer,
and the final acceptance.
What is meant by concluded or completed missives?
When the final acceptance has been received the missives are concluded
(or completed which sounds more positive!) and the contract is legally binding.
What type of survey or valuation do I need?
If you and your mortgage company accept the Home Report you may not wish any further survey, but you are not obliged to accept it and you or your mortgage company may require a further survey. You can ask us to include a condition about that in the offer or any acceptance prior to final written acceptance.
What happens after completion of missives?
You progress the mortgage arrangements with the lender or the
mortgage specialist and we progress the conveyancing.
What happens to the mortgage funds?
They come direct to us from the lender and you pay your deposit
and the expenses to us so that we have cleared funds in good time
for the settlement date (entry date).
How is the purchase price paid on the date of entry?
By solicitors’ cheque, usually handed
over in exchange for the keys, titles etc - but sometimes by direct bank transfer.
Will I have stamp duty land tax (SDLT) to pay?
If you are a first time buyer and the purchase price does not exceed £250,000 you may qualify for complete exemption from SDLT. If you are not a first time buyer and the purchase price is £125k or less no SDLT is payable. If it is higher than £125k, stamp duty at 1% is payable on the whole price (e.g. if the price is £150k the stamp duty is £1,500) If the purchase price is over £250k SDLT is payable at 3% - on the whole price and if the purchase price is over £500k SDLT is payable at 4%.”
What is stamp duty?
Simply a tax payable to the government. The buyer pays it, not the seller.
Can anything be done to avoid or reduce stamp duty?
Usually not, but sometimes “apportionment” does
the trick! SDLT is not payable on “moveables”. e.g.
the purchase price is £127k including carpets, curtains and
kitchen appliances worth £2k. The offer should state that
the price for the house if £125k and for moveables £2k. That
way the seller still receives £127k but the figure which
goes in the title deed is £125k and no stamp duty is payable – it’s
perfectly legitimate provided the amount apportioned is not excessive! The
same can apply at the next SDLT threshold (£250k). If
a purchase price is £255k and the offer apportions say £6k
on moveables the stamp duty will be 1% of £249k i.e. £2,490
instead of 3% of £255k i.e. £7,650 - a saving of £5,160.
When are the legal expenses payable?
Shortly before the settlement date (date of entry) we send clients
a statement showing the purchase price plus legal expenses, deducting
from that the amount to be received from the mortgage company and
bringing out the balance needed from the client, with details of
when to remit this and the best way of doing it.
How much are the legal expenses?
Ask us to send you a quote. Purchase legal expenses comprise -
- solicitors’ fee
- registration dues
- stamp duty land tax (if applicable)
We can also give you details of surveyors fees for
the valuation or survey
If I obtain a quote for a purchase at £100k
but end up buying at say £150k do the expenses change?
There is no difference to the fee or vat but the registration
dues and stamp duty change.
What happens on the day of settlement?
Having received the mortgage funds and your deposit (if any) we “settle” the
transaction. We receive the keys and you collect them from
us. If it’s a brand new houses the keys are usually released at the builder’s
And after settlement?
We send the stamp duty land tax (if any) to Inland Revenue with an SDLT Return. Inland Revenue then
issue a certificate which we have to send to the Registers with
the application for registration. We
send you a copy of the title in your favour. There are backlogs
at the Registers and it will be months later that we receive the
Land Certificate. When we do we send you a copy of the Land
Certificate to you.
And when we’ve moved in and all has gone smoothly?
Recommend us to your friends and acquaintances!
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