Step 10: Searches
This page contains a detailed description of Step 10 of the 12-step property sale process
Before closing, the buyer’s solicitor will carry out the final searches on title. including:
a land registry or registry of deeds search to ascertain whether there are any restrictions on title
a company search (with the Companies Registration Office) in the case of company purchases;
a judgement search (at the Central Office of the High Court) to reveal any record of litigation;
a bankruptcy search (if the seller is bankrupt, the property will be held by an Official Assignee who cannot transfer good title);
a sheriff and revenue sheriff search (in the case of leasehold property only) to disclose any debts owed by the seller.
When you instruct a solicitor to carry out the conveyancing process, they will need to conduct various searches before your property purchase can go through.
Solicitor searches are necessary so that you can find out if there are any issues you need to be aware of before you take ownership of your new home.
They are also required by lenders, who will want to be certain that there’s nothing which could affect the property’s value before they offer you a mortgage.
These are enquires made on your behalf by your solicitor to various authorities that hold information about your property, the land it sits on or factors that may directly (or indirectly) affect it.
As you are nearing the completion of your purchase it is a good idea to contact the Estate Agent to arrange a time suitable to both parties for the collection of the keys.
When searches are complete the transaction will be complete and keys can be exchanged.
When the seller's solicitor is happy to close the deal they will then email the estate agent to authorise the release of the keys to the new owners.