20 Nov 2018

Legal matters: Closing dates and how to survive them

Legal matters: Closing dates and how to survive them

Closing dates are a minefield and it is safe to say that the only people who relish the thought of them are sellers, writes Phil Harris.

As a buyer they are full of uncertainty, but there are certain guidelines that I have found to be helpful for purchasers over the years and to remove some of the uncertainty; here are my top five:

1. Make sure you instruct a local solicitor with good market knowledge

Even better - instruct one with an estate agency arm so that he or she has access to up to date information on levels of offers being achieved at closing dates.

This may prove invaluable in pitching your offer accurately.

2. Need to sell before you buy? Get your home valued

If your offer is to be subject to you selling your current property, have a local estate agent value it ahead of marketing.

Aberdein Considine do not charge you for this service, and your local solicitor can advise in the covering letter that is submitted with your offer that you are ready to market if your offer is accepted, which may give you an edge over other offers.

3. If you require finance, see a financial adviser to obtain a decision in principle or "DIP"

Your solicitor will need to know you have this before you can make an offer. 

Our in-house mortgage advisers can provide you with a DIP free of charge, and do not charge any broker fee or commission for arranging your mortgage.

4. Ask questions

Ask your solicitor to find out how many offers are expected and for guidance on how much typically over the home report value a property of the type you are offering on would go for.

The bigger the firm, the more closing dates collectively the firm will have offered at, and having access to this information may give you an advantage at a closing date.

5. Know your budget and stick to it

There is nothing worse than buying your dream home then being unable to make it as you want it for years on end.

The best advice I give clients is to go with the best offer that you are financially comfortable with, one where if you are told after the closing date you have missed out by a few hundred pounds, you are not kicking yourself. 

Can we help you?

Phil Harris is an Stirling-based Partner who specialises in conveyancing and property law.

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