Our property experts have provided some information and answers here to some frequently asked questions regularly raised by our clients about new build properties.

Do I need a survey on the property?

No, as the property is being built and you will receive a structural guarantee there is no requirement for a survey, unless you decide you require one. If you have a lender, a valuation survey will be carried out by them.

Is new build conveyancing different from that of an older property?

When buying from a builder there are often tight deadlines to exchange (usually 28 days). We need to ensure that the builder has obtained and complied with building regulation approval, planning permissions and NHBC or similar new build warranty. In addition the solicitor must ensure that the relevant rights of way have been entered into and that there are adoption agreements drawn up in respect of the roads and sewers.

What does exchange on notice mean?

This is when the property is not yet habitable (not able to be lived in) at the time of exchange of contracts and is still being built. It is essential that a Building Regulation Completion Certificate is available confirming that the property is habitable before completion takes place. Once the Building Regulation Officer has signed the property off and provides a completion certificate, notice will then be served giving us between 10 to 15 working days in which to complete. This allows sufficient time to obtain all funding from your lender (if required) and yourself.

What is a long stop date?

A long stop date is a date that is agreed upon for the property to be complete no longer than this date. If the property is not complete by this date, you are entitled to rescind the contract and receive return of your deposit, although you may wish to extend this date if you decide to. If you are having a mortgage the long stop date is normally set at the date of the expiry of your mortgage offer. This will ensure that you have the required funds on completion.

Why do we exchange with completion on notice?

Exchange is when the contract becomes legally binding and that the seller is agreeing to build the property. The seller is not able to give a fixed completion date as the property is still being built and it all depends on weather, materials being available, etc, for when the property becomes habitable and you are able to move in. Upon the property being complete and the building inspector having provided a completion certificate, notice will be served providing us with normally at least 10 working days in which to provide them with all funds. A long stop date is given at the time of exchange which means that the contract is not open ended.