Buying a house needs a bespoke service

Tracey Quirk, Partner and Head of Residential Conveyancing at MSB Solicitors

Has your vision of your ideal home changed since the pandemic started? You’re not alone. According to research by Your Money, Covid-19 has brought about significant changes in the areas and types of properties people are looking to buy. Nearly a fifth (18%) of buyers are now planning to purchase homes in more rural areas than before the crisis, with another 17% intending to buy further away from their place of work.

While there’s normally a seasonal slowdown in housing market activity over the summer months, the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown has meant the market is experiencing a mini-boom as restrictions ease and people reassess their priorities in life.

Not forgetting the stamp duty relief, which has given plenty of people the impetus to crack on and move. The stamp duty holiday, which lasts until the end of March 2021, means it’s obviously cheaper to move now rather than in a year’s time – it could mean savings of up to £15,000 on properties worth up to £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland, and £250,000 in Wales and Scotland.

As a result, Rightmove reports it’s been the busiest time for sales in 10 years, with home movers putting more property on the market and saying ‘yes’ to more sales.

Homes are also selling quickly. Property site Zoopla said in mid-August, three-bedroom homes were selling in 24 days on average, which is 12 days faster than the same period last year.

Many people appear to be reprioritising where they live, with some recognising that if they can work from home for such long periods, they no longer need to live in crowded and expensive cities and can take advantage of a more laid-back lifestyle in or beyond the commuter belts or nearer national parks or the coast. Never before have our homes felt more important, providing us with a safe place during these uncertain times. So, taking the next step on the ladder can feel like a daunting decision.

Whichever route you’re thinking of taking, this really is the moment to seek out professional advice if you’re planning on stepping onto or up the housing ladder.

Property transactions can often be stressful, and the conveyancing process can seem somewhat bewildering and daunting to anyone who is unfamiliar with it. Your solicitor’s job is to ensure that both your purchase and your sale is fully legal and that there are no nasty surprises for you – such as finding that your new property is on a short lease, or that your buyers are complaining that you misled or deceived them somehow.

That’s why, at MSB, we work closely with our clients to guide them through the process and ensure a smooth and efficient transaction.

Our expert residential conveyancing team provides sector-leading services and advice, guiding our clients through the very best solutions for their ventures. It’s often the biggest single transaction people will make, so it’s important to get it right.

Every transaction is different, and the timescale can depend on a number of factors, such as the time taken to obtain mortgage offers, conveyancing searches, and if the lender has any special conditions in the mortgage offer which need to be dealt with. For this reason, we work with our clients on a case-by-case basis, taking the pressure off them to complete the transaction quickly and effectively.

It is our aim to guide you through the process and make is as trouble-free as possible by providing a high quality, bespoke, personal and friendly service dealing with any issues in a manner you can understand rather than legal jargon.

We have a broad range of expertise that can help you