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  My seller is unable to provide a Building Regulation Certificate for an extension but are offering Building Regulation Indemnity Insurance instead. Is that ok?

Ideally you would want the seller to arrange for building control to inspect the work retrospectively and issue the certificate. This would ensure that the work had been completed satisfactorily and if there was any work outstanding it could be completed prior to exchange. However, where parties are eager to proceed indemnity insurance can offer a quick alternative way to proceed, providing the work was undertaken over 12 months ago. The policy would only provide financial protection in the event that the local authority took enforcement action. It would not provide any guarantee or warranty in respect of the work carried out. Therefore, if you did decide to proceed on the basis of indemnity insurance you should ensure you have taken advice from your surveyor regarding the quality of the work.

  When should I book the removal company?

You should not book your removals or make any other firm arrangements until contracts have been exchanged. Up until exchange of contracts nobody is legally committed to complete on any proposed date! We know this can be frustrating, however some removal companies do allow you to provisionally hold a date, especially if they are quiet so it is worth enquiring. Up until the exchange of contracts there is nothing to stop you getting some removal quotes. As a guide we would suggest getting three quotes and ensuring that your contents and valuables are insured for the move.

  What time will I get the keys on the day of completion?

It is not possible to give an exact time for completion. The time that you will receive the keys depends on many factors including how busy the bank systems are and how long the chain is. We request your mortgage funds to arrive in our account the day prior to completion in order to minimise any delays. You will be notified once completion has taken place but this is usually lunchtime.

  Should I have searches if I'm not getting a mortgage?

Yes, absolutely. The searches reveal the information about the property such as confirming that there is necessary access, outstanding planning and building control enforcement notices and connection to the mains sewer. Any problems revealed by the searches can be resolved by the seller prior to exchange of contracts avoiding potentially costly problems in the future. An example of the costly mistake of not having a drainage and water search can be demonstrated here.