Metro - 01 August 2014
Purchases taking longer
By Jo Eccles
I recently talked about the fact that we are seeing purchases taking longer due to more sellers in chains, the new Mortgage Market Review (MMR) rules, and sellers / buyers using out of town solicitors to reduce costs. As we head into August and true holiday season, for anyone trying to purchase now, delays are even more likely, so I thought I’d give some advice that should help to speed things up.
Firstly, appoint a good solicitor who is going to deal with your purchase swiftly – and ensure they are going to be around to progress the sale rather than disappearing on holiday for two weeks – especially if you’re on a tight timescale in order to exchange! You usually get what you pay for and a superb solicitor will be worth every penny as they can secure your property quickly and provide sound advice and expertise along the way. Cheap solicitors are often slow and unresponsive, so they’ll not only slow things down, but they may risk your purchase altogether if the seller gets fed up with the slow pace.
With the recent introduction of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), mortgage applications are taking a lot longer than we’re historically used to, so ensure that your finances and paperwork are in order to avoid any unnecessary hold-ups. For example, make sure you have all your utility bills going to the exact same address – we had one client where utility companies were using two versions of his address and a discrepancy with his postcode – this added a two week delay to his mortgage application. Similarly, we see some clients straddling two addresses, with some bills going to their current home address and others going to a second home or their parents’ house, and this can also cause delays.
Finally, keep up regular communication with the estate agent. If you are stuck in a chain, make sure all parties in the chain are in regular contact. The more you can keep all parties accountable, the quicker the chain is likely to move forward.
Hopefully, by using the above advice, you’ll be in the best place to secure a property with minimum delays.