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Why and when to get involved with Searches and what can we do to help your next property purchase?

Updated: Nov 3, 2022


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Video Transcript:

Hello there my name's Dan, I'm the CEO and founder of Property Searches Direct.


So when should you get involved with Searches?

It's a bit of a minefield and something that's usually been left to the domain of the conveyancer, at some point during a transaction already proceeding, however, some of that information you might want to have a little bit sooner.


For that reason we developed the Hazard Checker which is a free to use environmental impact checker that you can use on our website, put in the postcode of the property you might be interested in and it'll highlight to you possible environmental impact challenges, whether it be flood, ground stability, radon, energy and infrastructure like solar panels or wind farms and the like, so a whole range of Hazards can be highlighted from that free to use Hazard Checker.

Now what that will enable you to do as a would-be viewer of a property is to ask pertinent questions of the estate agent or the owner of the property; "have you flooded?" "what experience of flooding have you had?" "has the property ever had any structural movement?" and so on. So you're asking targeted questions that actually the answers can't be avoided.


So many times people go into the purchase of a property with blind faith that things will be highlighted to them and very simply put that is not the case, it is on you to find out a lot of that information, so at Property Searches Direct we've tried to make access to those sorts of bits of information as easy and, in the first instance, as free as possible.


Of course once you know there are hazards if you're looking at taking the purchase of a property quite seriously, you might want to understand the level of risk you might be taking when it comes to flooding. In which case you can go and buy the environmental report from our platform so the Envirosearch Residential is a fantastic environmental report from Landmark and it has one of the largest datasets that there are in environmental reporting, but the nice thing is that report includes a full flood report within it. So of course not only would it highlight the fact that flood may be an issue but it'll also completely answer all the questions that you may have in that regard.


Have a look on our site or indeed in the app if that's where you are and get some further information about what the Envirosearch Residential can provide you. The nice thing about that report is it's usually delivered within about two or three hours so it's a very very quick solution to getting answers to you.


When you wish to proceed with the purchase for property we're very keen that you don't just wade in and start to buy your Local Authority Searches and your Drainage & Water reports and the like. The reason for that is local searches have a shelf life and by that the lender's handbook if indeed you are buying with a mortgage the lender's handbook would suggest to the majority of lenders that a search is only valid for three months from the point at which it was produced, so not from the point of order, but from the point at which it was actually completed and released, and it needs to be no more than three months old at the point of exchange and no more than six months old at the point of completion. So you need to be quite mindful of the time at which you go and place your search order.


Lots of conveyancers will wait until such time as they have a contract on file, sometimes there's a massive delay getting the contract in from the seller side, so you as a buyer can be sat waiting for several weeks until such time as a contract comes in. So although there's this expectation that a conveyancer can just get on with a purchase, the reality is they're invariably sat there twiddling their thumbs waiting for a contract to come in from the other side; so just be mindful of that. That also has an effect on the fact that you know there will be delay in the conveyancing process and as such ordering your local Authority search right at the start before a contract comes in could spell a challenge because if there's a delay with the contract coming in and work can't get done on the contract quickly enough your search may expire. So worth just sitting tight.


For that reason, we've made some bespoke search packs available on our website.

So what you can do is order the environmental report at the point at which you're deciding to buy the property, it'll answer the those environmental impact questions about ground stability and the like, about flooding and what have you, the nice thing about this is you can then make decisions as to what sort of survey you might want to have if ground stability or instability is an issue in the area then of course you may want to upgrade your survey from a simple valuation to a HomeBuyers and actually ask the surveyor to start looking for potential historic movement in the property so that you're aware, because of course that can have a massive impact on how much you're going to pay for insurance, as with flooding as well. But our pack that we have available is a Top-Up pack so if you've ordered the environmental report right at the start and you're happy to proceed with your purchase and then the contract comes in you're wanting to get your local Authority search and your draining water underway then of course a Top-Up pack contains a number of products but excludes the environmental report.


Bundles of products in our website of course apply discounts, so if you buy a single product you effectively pay the full value of that product, if we start to put four or five or more products together then of course those bundles we have are discounted so they offer better value for money, so do keep an eye out for that.


So, take away from this if you're out viewing property look at the Hazard Checker and really understand the environmental impact on the property that you are looking to buy and that'll raise some questions for you to take up with the owner or the estate agent, if you're going to proceed with the purchase you may want to buy the environmental report like the Envirosearch Residential and have those answers available to you to see whether that derails your your wish to carry on with that purchase or whether you're happy to to carry on, and then of course once your contract's in you can then engage with your local Authority search by using / buying the Top-Up pack.


Why come to us for your local search? Quite simply, we're avoiding delays. We are, because you're coming to us directly and you're getting funds straight through to us and we're placing order with all the suppliers, there is no delay. With a conveyancer, they can't start spending your money until such time as they've taken through ID/AML processes, until they've taken funds on account, until they've opened a Ledger, until they've got your permission to spend your money, and so on, and so on.


So of course, by coming direct the orders getting in straight away, any applications into the local Authority can be done immediately, and of course you're getting in the queues far sooner. So it's a way in which you can take control and start to participate in helping to expedite your purchase transaction and to be fair, be seen as a committed purchaser and give the people you're buying from some increased confidence that you're a proceed-able buyer and you're quite committed to the transaction.


I feel like a ramble quite a bit on this little video but that's a nice little oversight as to what we do. Do subscribe or keep an eye on videos that are coming up on the site and I'll be talking about other products and bits and pieces we have available that may be of interest to you in due course.


Thanks for listening, catch up soon


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