Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why do you need my identification?

    This is a requirement under money laundering regulations and needing to know who our client is. We have to obtain details about your identity and evidence of your present address to safeguard against money laundering and mortgage fraud.

    It is a legal requirement.

  2. Why do I need an EPC?

    An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) is required by law when a property is marketed for sale.

    An EPC gives information as to the efficiency of the property and gives recommendations on how to make the property more energy efficient.  Your Estate Agent will arrange the EPC.  There is an EPC register which all parties can access.  We recommend you retain the EPC when you move, as it can be used again if your move is short term.

  3. Should I have a survey?

    We always recommend that a survey is carried out on a property.  If you are obtaining a mortgage, the lender may only instruct for a mortgage valuation.  The survey only confirms that the property is worth what you are paying.  However, it may not identify any problems with the property.  A homebuyers’ report or a structural survey will go into much greater detail.

  4. When do I repay my mortgage?

    We deal with that on your behalf from the net proceeds of sale on completion.  We will order a redemption statement from your lender and then let you have a full financial statement which will include:
    • Estate agents fees
    • Redemption amount
    • Legal feesWe then send the balance to you -  unless you are purchasing at the same time when the balance will be applied towards your purchase price.
  5. Who is responsible for insuring the property?

    It is the buyer who is responsible for insuring the property from exchange of contracts.

    When acting for a buyer, we require a copy of the building insurance schedule at that point to comply with your mortgage conditions.  Your valuation report/mortgage offer will let you know the minimum reinstatement value for insurance purposes.  You do need to have this in place just before exchange takes place.

  6. There are ‘Leasehold’ and ‘Freehold’ properties.  What is the difference?

    Freehold property does not have a term of years applied to it.  It is indefinite.  There may be a chief rent associated with a freehold property.

    A leasehold property is subject to the terms of a lease.  A lease is an agreement to use the property for a period of time - often this is for as long as 999 years, although some are set at 99 years.

    Usually due to the long leasehold term there is not much difference between purchasing a freehold or a leasehold property.  A lease, however, can contain covenants and conditions such as paying a ground rent, keeping the property insured, not being able to use the property for any trade or business and contacting the freeholder/superior leaseholder for consent for alterations to the property.

    Most flats are leasehold properties, thus ensuring that all flats owners have leases on the same terms and conditions.

  7. I want to buy property with my partner.  How do we protect money that we invest separately?

    You can choose to hold the property as joint tenants or tenants in common.  As joint tenants there is no distinct share in the property.  If one party dies, the property automatically passes to the survivor.

    If you purchase the property as tenants in common this can be done in equal shares or in different shares. If one party is vesting more money in the property than the other, then a Declaration of Trust can be drawn up setting out the percentage shares or showing the fixed amount which should be paid to a particular party before the balance is divided equally.

    We do supply documentation providing more details in this regard during the course of the transaction.

  8. What is the difference between the exchange date and the completion date?

    All parties in the chain have to be ready at the same time for the contracts to be exchanged.  At that point the completion date (the moving in date) is stated in the contract.  When the contracts are exchanged, it is then a binding agreement for you to buy or sell the property and pay the balance purchase price on the date of completion.  A deposit is paid at the point of exchange of contracts.  On the completion date, the keys are handed over and an application is sent to the Land Registry to change ownership of the property.

  9. What happens to the Deeds to the property?

    We will deal with registration of the purchase at HM Land Registry upon receipt of the transfer deed and supporting documents from the sellers’ solicitors.  The Land Registry may take a few weeks to deal with registration.  The date of the transfer (the completion date) is the date from which you own the property.

    Once the Land Registry deal with the change of name on the register, the register and any other Deeds are sent to you.  The Land Registry retain the register and any supporting Deeds that are recorded in the event that the Deeds are lost or destroyed.

  10. Why should I use Garratts for my conveyancing?

    Whether you are buying, selling, re-mortgaging or transferring a property our aim is to make your conveyancing process swift, smooth and as stress-free as possible without sacrificing on the quality of service.

    Our experienced staff specialise in the conveyancing process and you will have direct contact with them throughout your case.  Wherever possible we email letters and documents to you and keep you fully up to date at each stage of the process.

    Fees are fixed from the start so you know what to expect to pay at the end of the case.


To get a quote now call our team on:-

Worsley Branch: 0161 794 7479 and ask for Caryn or Vicky

Oldham Branch: 0161 665 3502 and ask for Jill or Kelly

Ashton Branch: 0161 344 2244 and ask for Dorothy or Emma

Newton Heath Branch: 0161 681 1933 and ask for Lisa

Stalybridge Branch: 0161 303 2328 and ask for Lianne,  Mary or Kirsty

Radcliffe Branch: 0161 724 0203 and ask for Michelle or Julie

Alternatively please send an email to:


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