5 Minute Tea Break with Connor Earl

Tea Break with Connor Earl

Joining us in 2022, Connor’s residential conveyancing expertise and his can-do approach has quickly made him an asset to the Hart Reade team. Connor’s pleasant manner on property transactions has made him a firm favourite with clients and estate agents. Testimonials received consistently vouch for Connor’s glass-half-full attitude, especially when it comes to conveyancing hurdles.

Tea Break with Connor Earl

Tea or coffee?

CE:  Coffee hands down – unfortunately I don’t really start functioning until I’ve had my morning coffee!

Your clients say you are a property lawyer who is easy to talk to, do you naturally like to have a chat?

CE: I’m pleased to hear that and have been told that in the past (though I expect some former colleagues would suggest perhaps too much so)!  I think it’s important to have a rapport with our clients and this is an area of my role which I really enjoy.

How long does a typical freehold conveyancing transaction take?

CE:  This is a difficult one to answer as there are so many variables that potentially impact these things.  A straight-forward freehold transaction might take 4-6 weeks but I would say on average these things are more readily taking 8-12 depending on the circumstances of the chain involved and whether mortgages are required.

My partner and I would like to buy our first flat. Our friends said to watch out for the lease term before we make an offer, what does that mean?

CE:  This is very sage advice and one of a number of potential factors to look out for when considering purchasing a leasehold property (a flat).  The reason for this, in short, is that the longer that is left on the lease of the property, the more valuable it is.  Equally, as the term left on the lease diminishes, as does the value of the flat – the shorter the length of the lease left remaining, the more exponentially expensive it can be to extend the lease.  I would also suggest speaking with a solicitor to obtain the appropriate advice and to potentially review these things.  It is something mortgage lenders will be conscious of and where a lease term drops to around 80 years (on average), this can become problematic so it is worth being aware of this when looking at flats with leases of say 90 or so years remaining.

It would also be very wise to ascertain the ground rent payable and any review or escalation clauses affecting the ground rent when considering whether to place an offer on a flat as there are other factors which many mortgage lenders may have fairly stringent requirements in respect of, and which could impact your ability to get a mortgage for the property.

Is the conveyancing for a new build more expensive than buying/selling an older property?

CE:  Yes, in almost every way.  Typically, the price of new build properties are subject to a degree of a small mark-up or surcharge – like buying anything new, these things are usually more expensive than a second-hand equivalent and the developer will need to make a profit following its construction.  In terms of the conveyancing process, there is often a good deal more paperwork to be worked through by the conveyancing lawyers – both in terms of readying the necessary contract paperwork for the sale of the property but also for the buying conveyancer to then review.  There are a good number of matters which can affect the complexity of these things, such as shared ownership or the HTB scheme not to mention things to consider such as the adoption of any estate roads, utility service connection or adoption agreements, planning and building regulations considerations, the new home warranty terms to name but a few.

Buying or selling a house can be a pretty daunting and stressful experience at the best of times anyway but with all of this to consider transactions involving new build properties can be quite overwhelming.  With this in mind, it really is all the more important to receive the appropriate advice and to instruct a solicitor whom you trust to guide you through this process.