New build conveyancing experts, here to get you home.
Buying a new build property can be more complex than buying a ‘second hand’ property. This is why we have a specialist team to handle new build property transactions. Often time frames can be critical, so a knowledgeable and direct point of contact is key.
Buying a new build can be fast paced, with a lot of extra information to digest whilst you are busy liaising with the developer.
Acting regularly for new build property buyer’s means we have dedicated experts and streamlined processes. We wish to help you exchange contracts as soon as reasonably possible.
Our team members here at RWK Goodman are passionate about new build properties and ready to assist you, please do not hesitate to contact us for a personalised estimate of our legal fees.
We are regularly dealing in the sales of new build properties and converted properties, for example large blocks of flats, all the way through to bespoke high end smaller developments. This experience and more means that we can support both sides of new build property sales.
Call our new build team today
Acting for multiple property purchaser’s at Bath Riverside.
Acting for multiple property purchaser’s at a large new build site in Calne.
Acting for multiple property purchaser’s at various new build sites across Bristol.
Acting for a developer in selling properties at a large new build site in Radstock.
Acting for a developer in selling properties at various new build sites across Bristol.
Acting for a developer in selling flats in a converted office block in Bristol.
Purchasing a New Build Property – Glossary of Terms
When purchasing a new build property there are a usually a number of terms which you might not hear when purchasing a second hand property. We have set out below some of the more frequent terms to assist you with the new build buying process.
When purchasing a property that is not build complete when you exchange contracts you will normally get given an anticipated completion date within the contract, rather than a fixed completion date. The anticipated completion date should be the developer’s best guess on a fair / likely completion date. Often the contract will then provide for termination rights if the completion is delayed certain time periods after the anticipated completion date. Your solicitor should explain this in detail in your property report.
This is where you purchase a property which is not yet built. The developer or their representative will show you plans and should confirm the specification of the property you are purchasing.
More officially known as the Consumer Code for Home Builders, is a set of requirements and principles that home builders must meet when selling new build property. The code is not law and only recommended, or mandatory if the developer wishes to use a new home warranty from NHBC, Checkmate, Premier or LABC. The code is being replaced by the New Homes Quality Code.
The expression used to refer to the suite of paperwork which is now normally electronically issued for the site and plot by the developer’s conveyancer to your conveyancer. Your conveyancer will then conduct due diligence (a full review) on the paperwork.
Where a property is not yet built, contracts can be exchanged without a fixed completion date and the contract will provide for completion to take place on notice, the contract itself will set out the particular term of notice and what will trigger the notice.
When you reserve a new build plot the developer will usually confirm a date which you have to exchange contracts by. If you are not able to exchange contracts by this date there is a risk that the plot might be withdrawn from you or any incentives re negotiated. Therefore it is important to act swiftly in any tasks you need to do such as applying for a mortgage and replying to your conveyancer so milestones can be met and the developer can be content with progression. Sometimes this is also referred to as a reservation deadline.
A deposit of usually 10% is payable by a buyer on exchange of contracts. The developer may accept a lower deposit in certain circumstances.
An additional fee sometimes payable on completion of the new build property to the conveyancing acting for the developer for producing the legal documents to sell the property.
There may be communal areas or facilities on a development which are to be privately maintained and if so there will usually be an obligation within the transfer or lease for individual plot owners to pay a sum of money towards the upkeep of such areas or facilities, for example a play area or drainage pond.
When exchange of contracts take place this is when the deposit is paid to the developer’s solicitor and you are committed to purchasing the property under a legally binding contract.
If the property is build complete on exchange of contracts the developer may be able to offer you a fixed date to complete on. You will not usually be able to delay exchange of contracts in order to obtain a fixed completion date.
The legal document used if you are purchasing a new build flat. A lease is often quite lengthy (anything from around 20 – 50 pages is normal) and will most likely contain plans to show the extent of the flat, the building and the surrounding grounds such as car parking areas, bin stores and cycle stores.
Sometimes set out as a termination date – is a date set out in the contract where a buyer could (following procedure set out in the contract) terminate the contract if the completion has not occurred by such date or in some cases a notice to complete has not been issued by such date.
The NHBC are one of the main new build warranty suppliers. On some sites the NHBC will be dual function and deal with building regulations and the new build warranty, and will evidence that sign off with a single document known as an NHBC cover note. Then following completion the NHBC final certificate will be obtained electronically.
A code for developers that replaces the Consumer Code. The New Homes Quality Code is run by the New Homes Quality Board and enforced by the New Homes Ombudsman. The code sets out 10 guiding principles and is set out into four parts – ranging from rules on selling and after sales service.
When the property is build complete and has had a successful final building control inspection and had a successful final inspection by the relevant new homes warranty provider the developer (if also ready) will ask its conveyancer to serve the completion notice / notice to complete on the buyer’s conveyancer to confirm the completion date.
New build properties (houses or flats) are often referred to as plots. The plot number may well be different from the final postal address number for the property.
When you make your reservation with the developer you will usually pay a fee to reserve the plot. This is usually between £500-£1000 although can vary depending on the developer. The reservation agreement / form will usually set out the terms surrounding any return of the reservation fee should you cancel the reservation or not proceed etc, please read the information carefully so you are clear on what deductions might be made by the developer.
When you make your reservation with the developer you will be asked to sign a reservation form – this is an initial agreement of some of the headline terms, but not a binding or legal contract to purchase the property.
When you make your reservation with the developer the reservation form will set out a reservation period / exchange deadline / exchange target, this is often 28 days from the point your conveyancer receives the contract papers but can be longer, some developers will give a six week period for example.
When a new freehold property is sold normally the title will be created for the first time and that is done by transferring the property by way of a transfer of part. A transfer of part must contain a Land Registry compliant plot plan so Land Registry can create a title plan for the new property when they come to register the property. Whereas second hand homes are usually (not always) sold by way of a transfer of whole, i.e. the existing owner is simply selling the entire title they own to the new buyer and the existing title plan will not change.
This is the company who provides a guarantee for the build. This guarantee will usually be valid for 10 years from the completion date. Most new build homes will be sold with a guarantee of some sort.
Our residential property services
Read our recent property market report
Find out more about the latest trends in the property markets of Bath and Oxfordshire.
The challenges facing the housing market have been well documented. But essentially not enough accessible housing is being built in the right areas to match the population growth trajectory. Nowhere is this more evident than in the regions we operate in.
Where you can find us
We represent clients across England & Wales, but also have a number of office locations if you want to meet with us