At Onions & Davies, we have extensive experience of advising clients on the buying and selling of properties. We understand the stresses involved and we will work closely with you, the estate agent and your mortgage adviser to achieve a smooth and efficient move.

Buying a property is likely to be one of the most important legal transactions that you undertake. It is therefore crucial to ensure that the legal advice that you receive is accurate and relevant to your personal circumstances.

Once you have had your offer accepted, you should give the estate agent our details. They will then issue a memorandum of sale setting out all the parties and asking the seller’s solicitor to produce the contract papers.

These include a draft contract, the property information form and the fixtures and fittings form. Once we have received these, we will send them to you and ask you for your comments as soon as possible. The more questions we raise with the seller’s solicitor at this stage, the less there will be to hold things up later on.

If you are buying with the benefit of a mortgage, your mortgage offer will be issued and the necessary searches will be undertaken. A mortgage valuation will have been carried out by the lender but you should also consider having a full survey done.

Once the search results have been received and all questions stemming from the contract papers and the survey have been satisfactorily answered, a report can be sent to your lender and contracts can be exchanged. You have to be sure of everything, including a completion date, before contracts are exchanged because at that point, everything becomes legally binding.

You will probably have to pay a deposit on exchange of contracts and then provide us with the amount of money needed to complete the transaction. You will also have to insure the property from exchange of contracts as you are legally obliged to buy it.

Between exchange and completion, the transfer or conveyance is drawn up and signed and the final practical questions regarding keys and moving arrangements are resolved.

On completion, the money has to pass from the top of the chain (the first buyer) to the bottom of the chain (the last seller) and only when each seller’s solicitor can confirm that the money has been received by them can the keys be released to each buyer.

As you can see, the whole transaction involves a series of stages. It is our job to guide you through those stages and to protect your interests by making sure that the property is worth the money that you are paying for it. At Onions & Davies, we do this by keeping in constant communication with you and by using our considerable experience to ask the right questions.

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This information refers to the law of England & Wales only, which from time to time changes. In particular, tax information changes annually. It is not a substitute for professional advice, which is up to date and specific to your needs. This information is a summary of the provisions relating to agricultural property and cannot cover every aspect of their operation. It represents our understanding of current legislation in England and Wales but should not be relied upon as an authoritative statement of law nor as constituting advice. We would advise that legal advice be sought in every circumstance.