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New Build Conveyancing

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


Buying a new build home is incredibly exciting but it does come with a unique set of challenges. The process can be complex and daunting especially when you are required to pay an upfront reservation fee and agree a purchase price on a home that may not yet have been built by the house builder. As a buyer in this environment pressure can mount especially when the developer is pushing you to meet very short exchange deadlines coupled with the threat of the loss of your reservation fees. There are also multiple and unique steps relevant to these transactions such as building regulations approvals, planning permission and planning regulations as well as NHBC certificates.

How can our conveyancers help?

A good conveyancing solicitor will seamlessly guide buyers through the new build conveyancing process and they will ensure that exchange of contracts occurs in accordance with the requirements of the house builders reservation agreement.

Our team of specialist lawyers offer a bespoke service to parties purchasing new build properties so that they achieve the stringent demands set by developers.

There are many matters that will need to be resolved prior to your completion date. These can include considerations such as whether the estates roads are finished, whether the buildings will attract future management fees to maintain communal areas, or whether there is a risk that builds will be delayed by weather conditions. Your mortgage lender could also raise issues over planning permissions or your build guarantee. Should the need arise we will seek to vary your contract price and we will look to amend any agreements that do not work in your favour.

Who we partner with

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

If you choose to work with us you will have direct access to a specialist conveyancer from day one who will deal with your new build purchase. They will always be working to resolve any issues affording you piece of mind that when you reach the day of your completion and become a new property owner everything is fit for purpose.

We are familiar with the Help to Buy Scheme, the Forces Help to Buy Scheme, and Part Exchanges as well as any recent developments regarding stamp duty. You can rest assured that we have the knowledge and expertise to take care of the whole process for you.

Added benefits of instructing Eric Robinson Solicitors

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 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.

FAQs

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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