Our Conveyancing Legal Hour is hosted by Kirstie Philpott, Solicitor in our Residential Property and Real Estate Team.

If you require further help regarding buying and selling a property, please phone us on 01279 755777 or contact Kirstie Philpott directly. 

Our Conveyancing Team will be hosting the Nockolds Legal Hour on the following dates:

Wednesday 11th July 2018 12pm - 1pm 
Wednesday 22nd August 2018  12pm - 1pm 
Wednesday 3rd October 2018  12pm - 1pm 
Wednesday 14th November 2018 12pm - 1pm 

Our Latest Legal Hour Questions (11/07/18)

Read your previously answered questions here  
I have been informed that the property I am intending to purchase is ‘listed’. What does this mean? And what potential issues should I be aware of? 

Listed properties are those entered onto the statutory list of properties with a ‘special architectural or historic interest’. The listing may refer to the interior and/or exterior of the building and any structure attached to it. The listing will include a detailed description of the property and the property on the ground should be a true reflection of the listing detailed.

Listed buildings cannot be altered in any way which does not match their listed description. Authorisation to alterations is granted by obtaining Listed Building Consent from the relevant local planning authority. Due to their protected nature, any unauthorised alteration could result in criminal liability to the owner of the property. 

On the sale of a listed property, the buyer must make investigations to ensure that the listed property is still in keeping with the listing as the liability will run with the property regardless of who carried out the unauthorised alterations.

There is no limit on the length of time the owner of the property can be called upon for this liability, they may be obliged to reverse the alterations or prosecuted for them. It is therefore crucial that this is satisfactorily investigated at the time of purchase and if necessary confirmation obtained from the local planning authority to confirm that the property matches the listing.

My estate agent keeps referring to exchange and completion. What is the difference? 
The term exchange refers to exchanging contracts on either a sale or purchase. Exchange of contracts will only occur once the buyer has fully investigated the property and is happy to proceed with their purchase. The contract of sale is read out over the phone by the buyer and seller’s solicitors. The solicitors will ensure that both contracts are identical and agree to a completion date. Contracts are then swapped over (“exchanged”) in the post and the buyer’s deposit is paid to the seller’s solicitor to hold as security. Exchanging contracts legally binds both parties to buy or sell the property. 
Exchanging contracts will occur down the whole length of the chain (i.e. between you and your buyer, your buyer and their buyer and so on) and every party in the chain will agree to the same completion date. Completion is usually set for 1-2 weeks’ time to allow both parties to make arrangements for removals and funds to be in place.

Completion is the physical moving date and when a party will move out of their property and into their new one. On completion day funds will be sent over to the seller’s solicitor and will pass up the chain to any subsequent onward purchase. Once funds have been received the solicitor will confirm that the keys can be released and they will be collected by the new owners, usually from the seller’s estate agent.