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Surveys and searches advice when buying or selling a property

  • There are a range of standard property searches that need to be carried out when buying or selling a property.
  • Searches bring to light any factors you or your mortgage lender need to be aware of.
  • At this stage, sellers need to inform the buyer of basic property information and make an agreement regarding tenants if applicable.

Surveys and searches advice when buying or selling a property


The next key stage of the conveyancing process when buying or selling a property is searches. Now, your solicitor must carry out certain searches and checks on your behalf in order to protect you and your lender.

What do these searches include?
There are a range of standard property searches which include:

• Local authority searches
• Water and drainage searches
• Chancel repair search
• Environmental and energy searches

Dependant on any potential risk to your proposed property and area, your lawyer may recommend some extra searches, such as mining searches.

Why do I need these searches?

These searches should bring to light any other factors you or your mortgage lenders need to be aware of. For example, if the property has a public footpath through it, if there are any pipelines running underneath or if the house falls within a noise abatement zone.

They will also find out if planning permission and building regulations were obtained for works carried out to the house and will let you know if there are planning restrictions which may prevent you carrying out works you want to do in the future.

The results from the searches will then be reviewed so that your solicitor can further advise you about the purchase of the property. Once positive replies to the searches have been obtained, it means you can exchange providing you are able to send funds for the deposit.

If selling the property, what should I do at this stage?

You will need to inform the buyer of energy efficiency and basic information about the property. At this stage, you should not cancel your building insurance, ensuring it’s in place until the completion date.

If you have tenants living in the property, they will need to have moved out or an agreement with the buyer made.

What if I have any queries or concerns?

If buying a property, your solicitor will check over the legal documents and forms in the ‘sale pack’ and raise any enquiries you have with the seller’s lawyer. Copies of replies will be sent to you and your solicitor will help you to resolve any issues at this stage.

Our expert property lawyers can answer any queries you may have regarding the conveyancing process. If you’re looking to buy or sell a property, contact our team today or get a free conveyancing quote.

If you’re buying or selling a house, find out what you need to know during each stage of the process in the links below:

Stage One: Initial steps for buyers and sellers

Stage Three: Buying a new-build home

Stage Four: Exchanging contracts and deposit

Stage Five: Completion

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