Services

Residential Property Solicitors

If you have recently made the decision to buy or sell property, it’s likely you have a long list of questions regarding the legal process ahead.

Rather than diving into decisions alone and uninformed, get in touch with the experienced conveyancing team at Thornton Jones for clear legal guidance in plain English.

Renowned for our expertise and efficiency, you can rely on our conveyancing solicitors to ensure a smooth move, no matter how complex your circumstances. So, whether you’re putting your first step on the property ladder or selling your former home, our friendly team are here to support you from start to finish.

We can also assist with the legal side of remortgaging, equity release, shared ownership and dealing with leasehold property.

Should you have any issues following your property sale or purchase, simply ask your dedicated solicitor and we will be happy to help.

You can speak to our residential conveyancing solicitors in OssettWakefield or Garforth, West Yorkshire today or ask a question using our online enquiry form.

Why choose Thornton Jones’ team of property conveyancers?

Buying or selling your home may be one of the biggest purchases you will ever make, and getting the right advice to ensure your interests are properly protected is crucial. We can handle the legal aspects of your house move from start to finish.

Many firms offer fixed price conveyancing services, but have teams of people dealing with each part of the transaction so you never have a dedicated point of contact.

We’re different.

Our conveyancing solicitors do offer a fixed fee service but also ensure that a single member of our team looks after your transaction; handling the entire process with a personal service that larger firms are unable to offer.

Accredited by the Law Society for our first-class service and expertise in property law, you can count on our conveyancing solicitors to protect your interests throughout the transaction. We know that this can be a particularly stressful time, especially if you’re a first time buyer. That’s why at Thornton Jones, we promise to keep things as simple and straightforward as possible. Instead of drowning you in legal jargon or keeping you in the dark, we will provide you with regular updates regarding developments on your case as soon as they develop.

How can our conveyancing solicitors in Wakefield, Garforth & Ossett help you?

When you instruct a member of our team, you will benefit from our extensive knowledge in residential property law.

As well as tackling the legal work of the conveyancing process, we also advise clients on equity release and re-mortgages; as well as issues surrounding shared ownership of a property – such as preparing Declarations of Trust to protect unequal investments in property or transfer of ownership between two people.

Buying a home

Our West Yorkshire conveyancing solicitors can guide you through the entire process of buying a home, including:

  • Reviewing the contacts of sale
  • Carrying out conveyancing checks
  • Exchange of contacts
  • Transfer of funds
  • Registering the sale with the Land Registry
  • Handling payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax

With our skills and experience, we can help your property purchase to go ahead faster and more smoothly, keeping the conveyancing process on track while saving you time and unnecessary stress.

Selling your home

If you are selling your home, we can handle the entire legal side of the process for you, helping the sale to go ahead safely and on schedule. Our conveyancers can assist with matters including:

  • Drafting contracts of sale
  • Negotiating any required amendments with the buyer
  • Exchange of contracts
  • Transfer of funds

Remortgaging

When remortgaging your home, it is a good idea to take independent legal advice to ensure the new mortgage terms are in your interest and that the remortgaging process is handled correctly. Our remortgaging solicitors in West Yorkshire can help with matters including:

  • Requesting a mortgage redemption statement from your current lender
  • Reviewing mortgage terms
  • Transfer of funds from your new mortgage provider to your previous provider
  • Updating the Land Registry with the details of your new lender

Find out how our remortgage conveyancing solicitors can help you.

Equity release

Equity release options, such as a lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans, can offer good value to older homeowners, but it’s important to fully understand the terms and their implications for you and your estate. Our conveyancing team can help with all aspects of equity release, including:

  • Reviewing the terms of a lifetime mortgage or home reversion plan
  • Exchange of contracts
  • Transfer of funds
  • Updating the Land Registry

Shared ownership

If you are buying a home with another person where you are contributing unequal amounts to the deposit and/or mortgage payments, we can advise you on your legal options, including creating a Declaration of Trust. This can allow you to clarify the terms of your ownership and allow you to avoid the potential for future disputes. Our team can help with:

  • Drafting a Declaration of Trust
  • Reviewing a Declaration of Trust prepared by another firm
  • Understanding the difference between owning a property as joint tenants or tenants-in-common
  • Dealing with shared ownership disputes

Leasehold property

Most flats and a significant number of houses are sold on a leasehold basis, meaning you only own the right to occupy a property for the time remaining on the lease, rather than owning the property outright. Many people buying leasehold property do not understand this or what being a leaseholder involves, but our expert conveyancing solicitors in West Yorkshire can assist with all leasehold property matters, including:

  • Buying leasehold property
  • Selling leasehold property
  • Lease renewals
  • Acquiring the freehold on leasehold property
  • Ground rent & service charge disputes
  • Right to Manage

What is the conveyancing process?

When a property is bought or sold, legal ownership must be transferred from one individual to another. While this may seem fairly straightforward, there are many legal and financial considerations to be made in order to ensure the interests of both the buyer and seller are protected. Generally speaking, there are three stages to the conveyancing process:

Pre-exchange of Contract

If you are purchasing property, having your offer accepted and a mortgage in place are the first steps in completing your transaction. This marks the beginning of the conveyancing process.

Our solicitors will request the contract pack from the seller’s solicitor and, once received, we will ensure that all the information is correct. From here, we will obtain and check the results of any relevant property searches: a local authority search, a water and drainage search, coal mining search and any other searches necessary.

We will then examine the contract and documents supplied to ensure there are no issues that could potentially affect your decision to purchase. If there are any issues, we will raise queries or ‘requisitions’ regarding the property until we are satisfied with the results.

Exchange of contracts

Once we are all happy with the details of the transaction, the signed contracts are exchanged.  At this stage everyone is legally bound to complete the purchase.  A non refundable deposit is paid and a completion date set when the property will be handed to the buyer.

Funds are requested from your mortgage lender if you are using a mortgage to buy the property in readiness for completion.  You will also need to have sufficient funds in place with us to complete for the balance.

Completion

The final stage of the conveyancing process is known as ‘completion’, and just as it sounds, this marks the end of your transaction and the start of your new life in your new home.

On the day of completion, funds are transferred to the seller’s solicitors.  The sellers leave the property and hand over the keys to the buyers (usually through the estate agents).

We will ensure any applicable Stamp Duty is paid. If you are the seller we will redeem your mortgage from the completion money if you have one and send the title deeds to the buyers solicitor and any balance funds to you.

Post Completion

We will register your legal title on the property with the Land Registry, finalising the transfer of ownership. Congratulations, you are now a homeowner!

Here at Thornton Jones, our aim is to help you through this process smoothly and efficiently. To get started, simply get in touch with our specialist team of conveyancing solicitors today.

All that is left is for you to pack your boxes, arrange to collect the keys and start making plans for your new home.

Get in touch with our conveyancing lawyers in West Yorkshire

Speak to our property conveyancing solicitors in OssettWakefield or Garforth, West Yorkshire today by calling 01924 290 029 or ask a question using our online enquiry form.

Frequently asked questions

How long will the whole process of buying a property take?

The length of time it takes to purchase a property is completely dependent on each individual transaction. For example, if there is a chain involved, it is likely that matters may take a little longer as there are a lot of people who need to coordinate so that all parties complete on the same day.

A standard transaction typically completes within about 6 to 8 weeks. It may take somewhat longer if there are unforeseen complications or delays in the chain. It can also be completed somewhat faster than this with the cooperation of all parties involved, or if there is no chain.

If you need to complete your purchase particularly quickly, please do contact us and we can discuss your options and timescales.

What is exchange of contracts?

When you purchase or sell a property, the buyer and seller each sign a copy of the contract which details the terms of the agreement. Once both parties are happy to proceed and have signed the contract to say so, the contracts are ‘exchanged’ between the parties’ solicitors. At this point the sale/purchase is legally binding on the parties. The contract will also state the completion date that has been agreed.

Before exchange of contracts, no contract exists between the buyer and seller, either is free to change his or her mind about the transaction ie withdraw from it.

What is a Transfer of Equity?

A transfer of equity is when someone is added or removed from ownership of a property. This could be one sole owner adding a husband or wife, a parent, a son or daughter, or a separating couple removing one of them from ownership of the property.

How much stamp duty will I have to pay?

The amount of stamp duty that you will have to pay is dependent on whether you own other properties or whether you qualify for the first time buyers relief. Please see our online conveyancing calculator at http://www.thorntonjones.co.uk/site/services/conveyancing-solicitors/quote/ which provides a further explanation regarding this. If you have not owned any other property before, and are purchasing for the first time in your sole name but your spouse owns a residential property(s) then you will not qualify for the first time buyer relief.

What are searches and do I need to do them?

Property searches are enquiries which provide further, additional information about a property that you are purchasing, The most common searches are Local Authority searches, Water & Drainage and Coal mining searches. In deciding whether you need property searches, it is best to discuss your options with a Solicitor as to whether or not you need them. If you are purchasing with the aid of a mortgage, your mortgage lender will require that these are undertaken.

We are unmarried and buying a property. I am putting a bigger deposit into the property. Can I protect it in the event of separation?

Yes, there are various ways in which you can protect your share in a property in these circumstances. This can either be by way of a Declaration of Trust or you can protect your share by owning the legal title in a specific way.

My husband has passed away, can I take his name off my house deeds? If so, how?

Yes, but the process is different depending on whether you own the property as tenants in common or joint tenants. If you own the property as joint tenants, then it is a very simple application to HM Land Registry. However, if you own the property as tenants in common, then you will need to seek appropriate advice from a Solicitor.

Do I need a survey on the property I am buying?

If you are getting a mortgage then your lender will insist that a valuation is undertaken. You may opt for a more detailed survey to be undertaken in addition to this. However, if you are not using a mortgage then it is your choice as to whether or not you undertake one. However, as purchasing a property is a significant investment, it is advised to get one.

Covid-19 Frequently asked questions

Can I move house during the restrictions?

This depends upon a number of circumstances. The government guidance is that where possible house moves should be delayed until the restrictions are lifted. However there are circumstances when moves can continue, for example if the move is essential for a key worker or if the property is empty and therefore the risks of contamination are minimal. Please contact us to discuss your individual circumstances.

I am in a chain. Can we still complete?

This depends on the situation of the full chain. Some solicitors are simply refusing to complete any transactions during this period and therefore if one of these solicitors forms part of your chain then the chain will either collapse or more likely simply be put on hold until the restrictions are lifted.

My mortgage offer is due to expire. Can it be extended?

The government has asked lenders to agree to extend mortgage offers for another 3 months. You should contact your individual lender to establish whether this can be agreed in your case.