Step 5: Pre-Contract Enquiries Raised
This page contains a detailed description of Step 5 of the 10-step property sale process
Now title review has been completed pre-contract enquiries have been sent to the seller's solicitor. A critical element for any transaction is reviewing and responding to enquiries raised and the answers given by the buyer’s solicitor.
At their core, enquiries are simply questions raised as to the nature of the property itself or on the title, rights and obligations that come with the land. The purpose of enquiries is to ensure that a buyer has a full picture of the property they intend to purchase and highlight any defects or issues that may arise either during ownership or on a future re-sale.
Raising enquiries is an attempt to streamline the conveyancing process, but it is therefore important that buyers are made aware that there are limits to the remit and responsibility of the conveyancer for such matters. This places an onus on any buyer to ensure that they have properly inspected the property and obtained a professional survey.
In all instances where responses are provided sellers should be aware that, the answers provided should be accurate and non-disclosure of known information can lead to a claim for compensation from a buyer. A buyer is entitled to rely on responses given by the seller, but the responses should not be seen as a substitute for performing relevant searches and surveys.
A solicitors role is not to ensure that a property title is perfected, or that there are no risks, but is simply to highlight and to inform a buyer of any issues for the buyer to take into consideration themselves.
Where mortgages are involved a solicitor will be obliged to raise certain enquiries and to obtain satisfactory responses for the lender before the matter can proceed to completion. Lenders, like buyers, have different requirements depending on what issues may be found. Some lenders require that all planning documentation is obtained and lodged with them on completion; some rely only on the solicitor's professional judgement as to whether the property is good and marketable for resale and request that the buyer’s solicitor certify that title is good.
This is primarily a matter for the legal advisors, however, if a client has material information on the property this should be disclosed at this time. Furthermore, any queries from your legal advisors should be answered without delay.
Once your bank has formally approved your loan in writing on the basis of the price of the house and information furnished by you, a loan pack is issued to you and the Loan Pack comprising Mortgage Documentation is issued to your Solicitor.
This next step involves both the buyer, the lending institution and the buyers solicitors. All three have information to review and approve prior to the mortgage moving forward.
Please feel free to contact or see our FAQs for any questions you might have.