New Build Conveyancing Solicitors

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New builds come with many benefits: They have no buyers chain, they’re usually energy-efficient, they often come with a new build warranty and they’re a completely blank canvas, ready for you to make your mark on.

But buying a new build can take a long time to complete because there are often lots of risks, legal issues, documents, regulations and agreements to check, work through and resolve.

If you’re thinking of buying a new build, our team of experienced Conveyancing Solicitors can help you through the entire process, making it as quick, easy and stress-free as possible.

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Why Does Buying a new Build Take so Long?

Buying a new build is a notoriously long and complicated process that can take anywhere from a few months to a year.

This is because there are a number of risks and a multitude of legal factors to consider when purchasing a new build.

As new builds are often bought before they’ve been built, it takes an experienced team of conveyancing solicitors to make sure that:

      • the new build plans reflect what’s registered at the Land Registry;
      • the building complies with planning and building regulation requirements;
      • the contract establishes everything that the builder has agreed to do, including things like installing additional sockets or laying carpets;
      • the property has proper drainage, sewage, water supply, pipes and cables usage rights;
      • the roads surrounding the new build comply with the Highways Act;
      • the property developers have arranged for NHBC inspections;
      • the new build is being built in-line with the original agreed plans.

What you Need to Know Before you buy a new Build

Before you agree to buy your new build, there are a few things you should consider:

The completion deadline: Because most mortgage offers only last for six months, long-term delays with the purchase of your new build are likely to impact your mortgage agreement. So, make sure your property developer can give you a firm idea of when completion is likely to happen, and what plans they have in place to meet that deadline. 

Your mortgage: In case the completion of your new build property takes longer than expected, it’s always best to discuss your circumstances with your mortgage lender at the beginning of the process, so they’re aware they may need to extend the mortgage offer. It also might be an idea to use a mortgage lender that specifically deals with new builds.     

The reservation fee: To secure your new build property, you might need to pay a reservation fee. Reservation fees are usually between £500 and £2,000 but this will be taken off the final purchase price if you exchange contracts within the agreed period of time. If you fail to exchange contracts on time or you pull out of the sale, you’ll lose this money. This is why it’s important to get your mortgage agreement sorted and get a good Conveyancing Solicitor to keep the exchange process on track.

What’s the Process When Buying a new Build

You’ve been given your target completion date, you’ve had your mortgage agreed and you’ve paid your reservation fee to secure the property. Now it’s time to begin the new build buying process.

Instruct a solicitor

First, instruct a Conveyancing Solicitor that has proven experience with the new build purchase process. They’ll get a copy of the draft contract from the developer’s solicitors, make sure it’s written in your favour, and raise any issues that they find.

They’ll then perform a series of checks, like the ones below, to make sure that you’re getting what you’ve paid for:

        • check planning permission and building regulations approvals;
        • make sure that the property has access to gas, electricity, water and drainage;
        • check for any restrictive covenants;
        • conduct local authority searches;
        • check the conditions of your mortgage offer.

Exchange contracts

Once your solicitor has reviewed the contract, completed the property checks and is happy that all issues have been resolved, they will then exchange contracts with the developer’s solicitor. This is when you’ll probably have to pay a deposit for the property, which is usually around 10% of the full purchase price.

Complete the sale

Once the developer has finished the building work and the property has been signed off by Building Control, completion of your new build sale will usually take around 10 working days to finalise.

How we can Help

As there is so much legal jargon and documentation to understand, it’s a good idea to instruct a specialist Conveyancing Solicitor to help you buy your new build.

Experienced Conveyancing Solicitors, like the ones at Simpson Millar, will make sure there are no hidden clauses, restrictive covenants or costs that could lead to expensive legal disputes or leave you without a home.

We’ll take care of the entire new build purchase process for you, including:

          • checking the property to make sure everything is as it should be;
          • discussing planning permissions and construction of other items, including drains and sewers with the property developer;
          • getting the contract price ‘locked-in’ to protect you from the rise or fall in property prices before completion;
          • explaining how the 'new build guarantee' works and how it will protect your interests;
          • working with you to get the contract for the property written in your favour;
          • making sure there is a ‘long-stop’ completion date in place. This is a date that the developer must finish the new build by. If they miss this deadline, you have the right to cancel the contract and get your deposit back.

Communication is key with purchasing a new build. We’ll always be here to answer any questions you might have, and we’ll always use plain English rather than ‘lawyer-speak’. This means you’ll understand exactly what’s going on at every stage of your new build purchase.

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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.