Selling property is a bit of a minefield that many are not prepared to navigate if it is their first time doing so. Without the proper preparation, it really can feel incredibly confusing as well as intimidating. Markets are so fickle and finnicky that entering them with a blind eye in any direction is a struggle.
That is why I prefer to have someone on my side when I do so, be that a solicitor or a real estate agent. Often, they can be both at once, which is something that many folks may not realize. Naturally, this is especially true in the United Kingdom, which does have some complex legislature in regard to selling and buying residential properties.
So, if you have been considering doing either of those things and are not sure where to start, this may just be the article for you. You can check out some other resources like this one along the way, of course, but I will be doing my best to give you the full run-down here today! Stick around and see how much you learn.
Selling Property in the United Kingdom
First thing’s first, I think it is important to cover how this works in the UK before we progress on any other topics. Thankfully, it is not overly complex to learn about or figure out, so we can dive right in. For the most part, there are two pieces of legislation that you will want to be aware of as you enter the real estate market.
The Law Property Act that was created in 1925 and the Land Registration Act that was created in 2002 are the main ones, although it is worth noting that they are primarily of importance in England and Wales in specific. So, if you are in other parts of the UK, you may want to check out what will be relevant in Scotland or North Ireland in comparison. With that being said, it is still valuable to be aware of them. Why is this the case?
Essentially, what these two laws did was modernize property laws that had existed for centuries already. After all, certain things definitely did need to be changed or consolidated to make them more digestible for modern readers. It is best not to think of legislature as purely static, but rather something that can evolve over time alongside the people who fall under it.
Even a small shift in perception like that can really increase a person’s understanding of how this works, so hopefully this advice serves you well. Moving on, though, what are the particulars here? I will not bore you with all of them, but instead highlight a few key points.
As can probably be expected, most of it comes down to ownership and when a property is eligible to be placed on the market. Basically, if full ownership cannot be proven, then it cannot be sold until that is done. Simple enough, right? With that, we can shift our attention a bit!
How do Solicitors Come into Play?
With that basic knowledge out of the way, we can delve deeper into the subject that is truly at hand today. If you are not familiar with solicitors at all, you can think of them as law professionals who can specialize in many different fields. Some opt to be a jack of all trades instead, too, so those are just a few things to think about to start with.
When it comes to property solicitors in specific, they can serve a variety of functions. Much of this will come down to the sort of transaction that you are looking to complete. After all, depending on the type of property that you are selling or even renting, things can change significantly. Let me explain.
We can start with renting, since to some extent it is a can of worms all on its own. It may seem strange that something so seemingly simple can require a solicitor at all, but that is certainly the case. You see, when it comes to buy-to-let properties, there are a lot of moving parts to keep track of all at once. Having legal counsel is certainly not going to be a negative thing.
If you are not familiar with that term in general, you could check out this page: https://www.nerdwallet.com/uk/mortgages/buy-to-let-mortgages-explained/. Essentially, though, it is what it sounds like. When you get a buy-to-let mortgage, that is money that you can utilize to rent out a property as opposed to buying it outright.
Admittedly, it is something that is fairly unique to the United Kingdom, so if you are moving there from abroad it may not be something that you are familiar with already. For landlords opting to allow their renters to use them, things can get a bit complicated. So, if you are considering that, it may not be a bad idea to have a solicitor on your side in as you proceed.
After all, when finances come into play on multiple levels as they do here (seeing as the renter will have to make payments on the mortgage as well as meeting their regular rent responsibilities), it is only natural to be kind of nervous or apprehensive. So, having a law professional there to help coach you through in the event that something goes wrong (on either end of deal, really) may not be a bad idea, right?
Generally, solicitors can serve a ton of purposes when it comes to the real estate market. Even if you are not renting and are instead just looking to sell your property, they can guide you on that path and help you to navigate the tumultuous market right now. In the aftermath of covid 19, things seem even harder to predict than ever before.
Do not worry if you find yourself in that boat of not being entirely sure of how to get started. Consider consulting with a solicitor today!