The main difference between conveyancing for a new build property and a property from the second hand market is that buyers are regularly faced with exchanging contracts and committing themselves to the purchase before the property is even built.

Buyers regularly purchase before the construction process has even begun and therefore the show home is key.  It is important however that the buyer understands that the show home is meant as a guideline for the property they are purchasing and it may not mirror the show home itself. The sales executive should explain any differences and good practice would be for the buyer to ask questions and obtain answers in writing

In the main developers will impose a four week reservation deadline and insist on exchange of contracts within a period of four weeks from reservation. It is therefore imperative that the correct Solicitor is instructed, someone who understands new build procedures and how effectively these deadlines can be achieved, as failure to meet the stipulated timescales can often result in losing the house and the non refundable reservation fee.

When choosing a Solicitor key questions to ask are whether they have experience in dealing with planning implications and road and sewer adoption as this element of experience will assist in making the transaction smooth and stress free.

Due to the strict deadlines imposed by the developer it is important to instruct a Solicitor as soon as possible after reserving the property and to submit a mortgage application without delay. Often it can be months between exchange and completion and therefore the ability to obtain and even extend a mortgage is of utmost importance.

Completion is also different with a new build. Buyers are always given an indication of build completion dates but as the developer is reliant upon matters outside their control, such as weather conditions and availability of materials, they will rarely offer a fixed completion date unless the property is structurally complete. When the property is ready for occupation the developer’s Solicitor will serve notice on the buyers Solicitor that the property is ready for occupation. Normally this notice period is 10 working days, which allows time for re-inspection by the lender if required and for the buyer to inspect the property and prepare a snagging list. It also allows the developer time to rectify any snagging items before completion.

For more information as to how Thursfields can assist you in the purchase of your new home or for any other residential property enquiries, please contact our Head of Residential Property, Louise Jones, on 0121 796 4021 or e-mail ljones@thursfields.co.uk

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