We all understand that solicitors play a crucial part in the home buying process, dotting and crossing the legal i’s and t’s that make our moves possible. Unfortunately, while many of us are busy scrambling to borrow a mortgage and get the moving wheels in motion, we fail to realise one simple catch – solicitors need paying even if a house purchase falls through. Obviously, saving money to cover a loss like this is always best, but losing a couple of grand isn’t something that any of us should take lying down, and it’s something we can at least offset by taking the following steps to secure solicitor’s fees as best we can.
Step 1: Research mortgages in advance
Once your offer is accepted, you must assign a solicitor who can contact your estate agent to finalise the agreement. This is your first port of call, and will typically come before even mortgage approval, meaning that an unexpected rejection of your mortgage application could throw solicitor’s fees into question. By taking the time to talk with a mortgage advisor like those found at trufe before you’ve even found a property, you ensure an in-depth understanding of your realistic budget and mortgage prospects, and can even acquire what’s known as a mortgage in principle. As well as recommending you to sellers, this makes rejection, and the loss of your fees far less likely down the line.
Step 2: Be realistic about property condition
Unexpected revelations during a home survey are one of the main reasons for sales that fall through. Unfortunately, with survey results pretty far into the buying process, lost solicitors fees are almost inevitable if you get a nasty surprise here. To offset this, it’s worth being realistic about the condition of a property before you buy. Always arrange a viewing in which you look at the facts before making an offer, keeping an eye out for patches of mould, signs of structural problems, and other such warning signs. This way, you ensure that you understand far better what you’re getting into and account for that in your offer rather than having to pull out, and lose, later on.
Step 3: Find ways around if you can
With the exception of a broken chain, few house buying problems are entirely without resolution if you set your mind to it. Something like borrowing money to cover for mortgage issues can be a huge help if it’s an option. Equally, while £5,000 on rewiring might seem like a lot, you may decide that it’s worth doing when you consider the money you’ll lose on solicitor fees otherwise. You may even find, in cases of a particularly bad survey, that negotiating on your offer sees you covering any unexpected costs, and saving on lost fees at the same time.
No one likes to lose money, especially not when they’re about to part with so much of it, but there are ways to avoid losses on solicitor’s fees. Simply recognise the risks, and consider whether you could benefit from implementing these ways around each of them.