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Buying new build property

Our expert team of specialist lawyers offer a bespoke service to clients purchasing new homes to achieve the stringent demands of developers.

At Eric Robinson Solicitors, our expert lawyers have extensive knowledge of the new build property market and work closely with developers and their solicitors to streamline the buying process. We understand that the process is different from buying a second hand property and we are experts in what we do.

When you instruct Eric Robinson Solicitors you will have direct access to your own specialist lawyer who will deal with your purchase from the outset of your matter through to the day you move to your new home.

At Eric Robinson Solicitors we are also familiar with the Help to Buy Scheme, the Forces Help to Buy Scheme and Part Exchanges. You can be rest assured that we have the knowledge and expertise to take care of the whole process for you.

Our lawyers will use the latest paperless technology to advance your matter from the receipt of your instructions and to keep you fully informed throughout the entire buying process.

Many people buy and sell property simultaneously. At Eric Robinson Solicitors we are experts at coordinating new build purchases that are dependent upon the sale of an existing property.  Our online instant quoting tool can provide you with an estimate of our fees for both the sale of your current property and the purchase of your new build property.


What is meant by ‘new build’ property?

New build property refers to homes that have been newly built and which are being sold by local or national developers. In some instances, new build property can mean homes that have been substantially renovated.

What does buying a new build property ‘off plan’ mean?

It is common for developers to start selling their new build homes to prospective purchasers before the construction works are completed. This is perfectly normal and generally means that purchasers will not be able to view the interior of the actual property that they wish to buy and instead will need to consult the developer’s plans for details as to how the home will be laid out. Internal viewings can usually take place when the home nears completion.

What types of homes are sold as new build properties?

In short, the new build homes come in all different shapes and sizes. New build properties can range from flats aimed predominantly at younger first-time buyers all the way through to large executive homes. Many larger developments contain a mix of flats and houses with varying different sizes on offer.

What is a reservation fee?

A reservation fee is paid to the developer to secure your prospective purchase of a particular home on a new build development. The payment of the fee provides you with the exclusive right to move forward with your purchase for a specified period of time. Many developers require that contracts for the purchase of the property are exchanged within a relatively short period of time following the payment of the reservation fee. The reservation will be used towards the overall purchase price when the transaction is ready to complete.

Do I need to instruct a solicitor when buying a new build property?

Yes! But we would say that, wouldn’t we? But it’s certainly the case that an approachable, efficient and pro-active conveyancing specialist (like the one at Eric Robinson Solicitors) can be the difference between a smooth transaction and a lengthy period of anxiety and uncertainty for a buyer.

Your conveyancer will be alongside you for an intense period of weeks. You need to be able to trust them to deliver the information and the advice you need, as well as having the energy and commitment to nudge the transaction along when it appears to be slowing down.

What does ‘exchange of contracts’ mean?

Exchange of contracts is the point where you become legally bound to purchase the property and the developer is legally bound to sell the property. At this point, you will pay a deposit (usually 10%) on the property that you are buying.

Exchange is a big step to take. If you decide to pull out of your purchase after paying the deposit, you’ll lose that money and you could be sued by the developer for their losses. So make sure that you iron out any issues with the property before reaching this point.

What does ‘completion’ mean?

Completion is when you get the keys to your new home. This usually happens a few weeks after exchange but can be earlier (it can happen on the same day in certain instances). Completion day is a busy time. It’s when your lawyer and your lender ensure that purchase money is released, and any existing mortgages are redeemed. It’s only when that’s all done that keys will be handed over and the unloading of boxes can begin.

How soon after exchange of contracts will completion take place?

When buying a new build property, it is not unusual for contracts to be exchanged before the construction of your new home is completed. This means that you may be required to wait several days or weeks before the transaction can complete at the point where all of the building works have been signed off. The developer will normally provide you with around 1 months’ notice of the required completion date and this will afford sufficient time for you to put the necessary arrangements in place for moving day.

Is the legal process for buying a new build property different to buying a non-new build property?

The simple answer is the process is identical. When buying a new build property your lawyer is required to thoroughly investigate the property to ensure that all legal aspects are in order. The only main difference is that because the property has not previously been owned by someone the focus will be on ensuring that the site and/or development has been properly configured and set-up. This will involve checking things such as rights of access and sewerage.

Do I need a survey?

It is generally not a legal requirement to obtain a survey for a new build home however if you have any potential concerns then you would be wise to consider whether a survey ought to be commissioned. One of the potential advantages of buying a new property is that you should receive a 10 year warranty from the developer and many people consider that this negates the need for a survey.

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