Buying and selling property
Buying and selling properties, whether as homes or part of an investment strategy, can be a stressful process, especially when transactions form part of a chain of sales, or where there is strong competition. Ultimately, property transactions are about detail, timing and accuracy, and high-quality conveyancing and a supportive legal advisor can be the difference between success and failure, or deciding to pull out of a transaction.
At Morrisons, we can help you with all aspects of residential conveyancing. Our experienced team holds the Conveyancing Quality Scheme accreditation issued by the Law Society.
We understand that good communication and easy access to your lawyer is important – it provides reassurance and an outlet for any concerns that you have. In what will be a major financial commitment for you, we also recognise that you are looking for value for money.
We will provide you with regular updates, respond to your queries promptly and proactively alert you to any concerns that we have so that you are able to make informed decisions and progress the transaction with the best possible understanding of the facts. Our aim is to help you achieve your property goals with as little stress as possible and, if necessary, to avoid any nasty surprises.
Recent Conveyancing Client
I have used Morrisons Solicitors three times now and would not hesitate to use them again.
Please see below an introduction to some of the residential property services our teams provides.
Buying and selling houses and flats
- First-time buyers
- Freehold and leasehold
- Upsizing and downsizing
- Shared equity/Shared ownership
- New homes
- Part exchange
People buy and sell properties all the time and for a variety of reasons. At Morrisons, we recognise that, however commonplace, a property transaction is a very significant event for you and will give your deal the unique attention it deserves. We work with buyers and sellers, helping you to understand all the important details relating to the property in question and any aspects of the transaction that concern us.
For buyers, these might include issues with the freehold or leasehold or the deeds of ownership, applications for planning on neighbouring land, issues with access and a host of other factors, while for sellers they are likely to revolve around the reliability of the buyers and the compliance of any changes to the deeds or to the property itself.
Whatever the situation, we will take the time to understand your priorities and any concerns you have so that we can support you in realising your goals. We undertake all types of conveyancing on transactions across England and Wales.
Purchasing property for investment
- Second homes
- Holiday homes
- Tenancy agreements
Despite recent changes in the mortgage market, investment in residential property remains a secure and stable medium-to-long-term investment for many. However, there are aspects of property investment that require consideration that goes beyond buying or selling your home, particularly in the areas of taxation and tenancy agreements.
We have long experience of working with property investors – both small and large-scale – and will assist you with the sale or purchase of your investment property. We will also support you with any ancillary matters such as assured short-hold tenancy agreements and holding tenants’ deposits.
And if any problems occur, our dispute resolution team can help you to identify and reach the best outcome for you. That could mean dealing with or evicting problem tenants, or helping to claim unpaid rent. Whatever the issue, our team will provide clear advice, tailored to your circumstances and help you reach a solution as quickly as possible.
Protection of your investment
- Legal charges/Mortgages
- Declarations of Trust
In a world of sky-high house prices and fluid relationship dynamics, property ownership has become a more complicated issue than in previous times. Shared or co-ownership is more common and many people live in properties for which the deposit was paid by someone else – usually a parent. In these circumstances, it is important to ensure that your interests in property are correctly documented – circumstances change, relationships break down and unless your interests are accurately reflected, your investment, or any future gains, could be at risk.
- If you have paid the deposit for your child’s property, you can protect your investment through a legal charge which ensures that your contribution is legally recognised.
- If you are a non-owning investor, you may want to ensure that you receive a share of any profit on the future sale of the property.
- If you are part of an unmarried couple, you may want to record your contributions to the purchase of the property and share the proceeds proportionately when the property is sold.
Morrisons can help you in all of these circumstances, and a variety of others, to ensure that your investment and interests are protected through the most appropriate legal structures.
Remortgaging is increasingly common as property owners seek to capitalise on the best deals available in a fast-moving and highly competitive mortgage market.
We can help you to make the most of opportunities to remortgage by efficiently tackling the legal work involved in repaying an existing mortgage and completing the new mortgage in accordance with the lender’s requirements.
Property auctions can be a great place to pick up a bargain, but they are also potentially hazardous, so it’s important that you know what you are doing and take legal advice beforehand.
Auction contracts often heavily favour the seller, and are binding as soon as your successful bid is made. You will usually be expected to pay a 10% deposit before leaving the auction room, and completion is generally fixed for 28 days later. If you are prepared and have your finances organised, that can be a conveniently short timeframe – if not then you could face real problems.
So, before you make your bid, you should speak to us. We can check the terms of the contract that is being offered and ensure that the title is acceptable for mortgage purposes.
If you are thinking of selling a property at auction, we can prepare the contract and associated pack of documents for you. By providing a well-organised, comprehensive pack you will greatly increase your chances of a successful sale at auction. We will also deal with the legal aspects in completing the sale following the auction.
In an increasingly global economy, relocation has become much more common. We have extensive experience of dealing with property transactions triggered by the relocation of an employee. We have experience of supporting both employers and the relocating employees in such moves.
We have acted for the employer, usually through a relocation company, on Guaranteed Price relocation schemes, through which the employer effectively purchases the employee’s property, enabling him or her to move quickly and without loss.
We can also act for employees in the sale of a property into a Guaranteed Price scheme, or for employees who are selling and buying independent of a relocation scheme with the financial assistance of their employer.
Either way, our focus is to provide an efficient, professional service that takes the stress out of the transaction and leaves both the company and the employee free to focus on their business.
Transfers of property title
- Transfers of equity
- Gifts of property
- Transfers and legal charges pursuant to consent orders in matrimonial proceedings
Properties can be transferred between your family members for a number of reasons – on death, divorce or separation, for legitimate tax-planning purposes and so on. Transfers of your property following divorce or separation will normally involve one party buying out the other’s interest, while transfers following death or for tax-planning purposes will often involve gifts of one person’s share in a property to another member of your family.
While such arrangements within the family may seem both sensible and straightforward, they can be fraught with difficulty, and, if not handled correctly, expose you or your family to significant liability. It is essential that you seek expert advice to ensure that a property transfer does not result in unforeseen and adverse consequences, such as avoidable taxes or other charges.
Our expert residential conveyancing department will undertake the property transfer for you and draw on the expertise of our wills, estates & tax planning department to provide advice on the tax implications of such transfers and on their potential impact on wills and on your wider family.
Property and the elderly
- Equity release schemes
- Home reversion schemes
- Retirement schemes and homes
Equity release and home reversion schemes offer potential solutions for elderly people who want to remain living in their homes, but who are struggling to survive financially on a limited income. These schemes can provide you with a lump sum or a regular income, and sometimes a combination of both.
However, before entering such a scheme you and, where appropriate, your family should give very careful consideration to the implications of doing so and take expert legal advice. These schemes involve relinquishing a large part of your control over a property to a third party and can result in a substantial, if not complete, depletion of your estate.
At Morrisons, we have experience in dealing with the most popular equity release and home reversion schemes, and can advise you fully of the benefits and risks of entering such arrangements.
We also have considerable experience in supporting clients with retirement properties and schemes, both of which provide attractive solutions but which may also involve legal or financial commitments that you should understand from the outset. For example, retirement schemes often feature financial penalties when the property is subsequently sold, usually the payment of a specified percentage of the sale price to a landlord. We will advise you fully in relation to these penalties, and any other issues that you should understand, such as age and occupancy restrictions, when we act for you on the purchase.
Council house purchases
At Morrisons, we have extensive experience in this field and can advise you on all aspects of purchasing a council house from a local authority.
Land sale and acquisition option agreements and conditional sale contracts
Our property department can assist you with the sale of land to building companies for development.
These transactions often feature option agreements or conditional contracts, which restrict how the land may be subsequently used, and may also include overage provisions, which require developers to pay additional sums if, for example, they build more houses on the land than they originally disclosed.
We can guide you through the complexities of these transactions and help you to achieve the best possible outcome, for you and for the community in which the land is located. Our Commercial Property Department also has experts in this field and can provide a wealth of expertise and insight into the process from a developers’ perspective.
We can advise you if you are in possession of land for which there is no documentary title. It may be possible for you to apply to the Land Registry for possessory title based on adverse possession.
Buying your freehold or extending your leasehold
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