New Build Conveyancing – Costs and FAQs

Congratulations on reserving your new home.  We would be delighted to act on your behalf as your conveyancing solicitor and help you complete your purchase.   In this section you can:

get an instant quote for all of the conveyancing costs, associated outlays and taxes using our online quote calculator

Keep up to date with the latest impact of the coronavirus on the conveyancing market.

Read answers to our most commonly asked questions on ‘what happens next in your conveyancing journey‘ and ‘what government financial assistance schemes are available‘? (click here to download a PDF version)


What happens next in my conveyancing journey – FAQs
How much will the legal work cost?
On top of the price to purchase the property, there are various fees, taxes and charges you will have pay.  You can get an instant quote now at www.wallacequinn.co.uk/new-build-calculator
What are missives?
A ‘missive’ is a legal term for the ‘contract’ between the buyer and seller of a property.  When you sign the missives both parties have the security of knowing the sale will proceed.  We would normally sign the missives on your behalf.
Once the missives are concluded, do I own the house?
Not quite.  Once missives have been concluded, the process of transferring ownership from the builder takes place.  This is known as ‘conveyancing’.
How long does conveyancing take?
In any property sale, there is at least one buyer, a seller and two solicitors.  In addition, there is your mortgage company, your bank and the seller’s bank.  If you are using a government assistance scheme, they’ll have an interest and also a solicitor.  Ensuring all of the pieces of the puzzle are aligned can take a few weeks but we’ll give you an estimated date for completion and keep you updated at every step of the process.
Ok, I’ve reserved the property, what happens now?
Tell your builder that you have appointed Wallace Quinn and they will arrange to send us the ‘missives’.  We’ll go through them with you and all of the other steps required to get the property purchased. We have strict legal requirements, including anti-money laundering regulations, that we have to undertake meaning we have to ask you for proof of identity and information on where the funds being used to purchase the property come from. Almost all of this process can be done electronically, meaning you only need to come into our office once to sign documents, usually in the days before the sale concludes.
What if I work away from home or am unavailable for any legitimate reason?
You can grant a ‘Power of Attorney’ which gives somebody you trust power to act on your behalf.  We can help you put all necessary paperwork in place, but we cannot be both your solicitor and your Power of Attorney.
How do I pay for my property?
The full purchase price for the property along with funds to cover all taxes, charges and fees must be lodged with us in the days prior to your completion date.  At the appropriate time (usually the day before you move) we will release funds to the seller’s solicitors, who will then release the funds to the seller. If you require a mortgage, you will lodge the agreed deposit amount with us, while your mortgage provider will lodge the remaining balance. If you are involved in the Scottish Government backed ‘Help To Buy (Scotland)’ or ‘First Home Fund’ Scheme, the scheme’s administrators will lodge that proportion of the balance with us. Your deposit can only be paid by bank transfer, cheque or bankers draft (you cannot use a credit or debit card). If using a cheque, we recommend you provide it at least a week before the money is due. If paying by bankers’ draft, we also require a letter from the bank confirming that the funds have come from your account.
What happens on the day that we move?
Once we have settled all of the bills, taxes, charges and fees, the seller’s solicitor will confirm everything and then instruct the builder to release to the keys to you.
What happens after we’ve moved in?
You’ll get a ‘post completion statement’ from us summarising everything that’s happened and then we’ll get out of your way and let you get the carpets down and the walls painted!  If you are due any cashback, we’ll arrange to transfer that into your bank within three to five working days.
When does my mortgage start?
This should be clearly explained in the mortgage offer you received from your provider.  If you have any doubts, you should speak with your lender or your financial advisor.
I have more questions.  Can I speak to you?
Of course.  Please contact our ‘New Build’ conveyancing team in either our Livingston or Glasgow office.  There is also lots of information at www.wallacequinn.co.uk

 

What government financial assistance schemes are available- FAQs

 

What is ‘Help to Buy (Scotland)’?
Help To Buy (Scotland) can give you up to 15% of the purchase price of a newly built residential property through a ‘shared equity’ scheme.   This means the Government would own a stake in your property.  You would have to repay the government if and when you sold the property.  The repayment will be 15% of the sale price NOT the purchase price.    Help to Buy (Scotland) is applicable to properties costing up to £200,000.
What is a ‘Help To Buy ISA’?
For a number of years, the Scottish government supported the “Help To Buy ISA” scheme where it would match a proportion of savings made into a special bank account.  The scheme closed to new applicants in 2019, although existing Help to Buy ISA holders can still save through the scheme.  Wallace Quinn are licensed solicitors for this scheme.
Who is eligible for Help To Buy (Scotland)?
You could be eligible for Help To Buy if the property will be your main and only residence.  Help To Buy is only available on new-build property and only selected builders are included in the scheme.  You cannot part exchange a property using Help To Buy.  You would still need to ensure you have a deposit of at least 5% of the full purchase price.
What is the ‘First Home Fund’
Introduced in 2020, the ‘First Home Fund’ is a shared equity scheme offering up to £25,000 towards the purchase price of a property.  Unlike “Help To Buy (Scotland)”, this scheme is available to both new build and resale residential property and there is no upper limit on the purchase price of the property.  This scheme is only available to people who have never owned property anywhere in the world at any time in the past.
What is a ‘Lifetime ISA (LISA)’?
A Lifetime ISA is a savings account open to anybody aged between 18 and 40.  You can save up to £4,000 per year until you are 50.  The government will add a 25% bonus to your savings, up to a maximum of £1,000 per year.   You can withdraw the money to buy your first home or for any other reason if you are aged 60 or older.  You can also withdraw the money if you are terminally ill, with less than twelve months to live.  Withdrawing the money for any other reason will incur a 25% charge.
I would like to find out more about these schemes, what should I do next?
The information contained in this document on the government schemes are for illustrative purposes and the information may change, therefore should not be used to make decisions on whether they are right for you – to do that, you should discuss these schemes with your Independent Financial Advisors.

 

Contact a solicitor via email or by completing this form if you would like more information