Buying and Owning your home – Buying a House outside England or Wales Anyone who contemplates buying property abroad, or in Scotland or Northern Ireland, must employ a solicitor there, since the local land law is very different from English law. Such a buyer could, however, start by consulting an English solicitor who would then instruct local solicitors to act in his purchase. Although using English solicitors might be more expensive, in the long run, it might be prudent especially if the buyer lives in England. Advantages of Using a Solicitor There are many ways in which a solicitor can be of help for there are legal technicalities and pitfalls in the conveyancing process.
For example Gazumping. A buyer may be anxious to clinch his purchase for fear of being gazumped. Here it is the duty of his solicitor to warn the buyer of the dangers of signing a binding contract before he has obtained sufficient funds; this may well include the definite promise of a loan from a building society. A solicitor who failed to make this clear to his client would be responsible for his client’s financial loss if he exchanged contracts without receiving confirmation of the loan.
If the buyer could not then find the full purchase money and had to withdraw from his purchase, he would lose his deposit, ie io% of the purchase price. Moreover, he might have to pay a further sum by way of damages if the seller then had to find another buyer at a lower price.
If this situation were to arise it would be the solicitor’s duty to get the buyer out of his difficulties or indemnify him/her against any loss. 2 Information from Local Searches.
Legal page last ppdated on December 14, 2020