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Important information regarding all the legal documentation surrounding the purchase of your new home

Signing the draft contract

When you have received your mortgage or part exchange offer, and both you and your solicitor are happy with the details of the purchase of your new home, you can arrange a time to sign the draft contract.

Exchanging Contracts

Your solicitor will make any necessary enquiries before exchanging contracts and information will be supplied on boundary ownership, neighbouring building works and any other factors that may affect your new home.

You will need to exchange contracts within the agreed reservation period and pay a deposit at this stage. Your house contract is now legally binding.

If you are selling your old home, contracts will normally be exchanged on this property at the same time.

Deposit monies pass up the chain on each sale so that funds are made available towards your own deposit on your new Sowden home.

Completion dates

Sowden Homes will inform you of the anticipated completion date of your new home. This will enable you to arrange items such as removals and final meter readings for the utilities in your current property.

Your solicitor should arrange for your lenders survey (if applicable) to inspect in good time to ensure that the mortgage monies are available.

It is very important that these arrangements are made promptly because; at this point you will be legally committed to paying for your new property on the completion date.

Legal completion information

When buying a new home you will wish to establish when you can move in. We understand that you may need to plan for the sale of your existing home, changes in schooling, changes in your family life as well as simply planning the move itself.

We will help by giving you reliable information about the completion timing we are working towards. The process of building a new home is influenced by many factors over some of which we have no control, e.g. adverse weather conditions. Your sales advisor will keep you informed of the progress of the construction of your home at key stages and is the only source of information you should rely upon

All the timing information you may have received up until we have served formal notice of completion is provisional and may be subject to change. The legal completion dates will be issued to you via your solicitor. The following table shows you the sort of timing information you can expect to receive from us at which key stage of the construction of your new home.

Key stages of construction

Timing information available:-

Prior to completion of foundations and ground works single season, e.g. Summer
Property is weather proof two month period, e.g. July/August
Property is plastered one month period, e.g. August
Services tested and commissioned, decorations begun a week ending date, e.g. week ending 23rd August
Property is complete and undergoing final inspections a final confirmed completion date will be given with at least 14 days notice. It is only at this stage that the date becomes fixed. Prior to this the date may vary at any stage.

For Sowden Homes the seasons incorporate the following months:
Spring – March, April, May
Summer – June, July, August
Autumn – September, October, November
Winter – December, January, February

Dependent upon when you complete your purchase within the life of the development there may be some communal items which will be completed shortly after you have taken occupation. These may include landscaping and planting which are completed during the appropriate season, or final surfacing to driveways, roadways or boundary fencing/walls, which are carried out in small phases. If you occupy your new home early in a phase’s stage of build, you may find construction work continuing on adjacent properties. We will do our utmost to minimise any inconvenience in these circumstances.

Mortgage lenders rules

Under the new rules a lender will not release the mortgage funds until the solicitor has received confirmation in the form of a cover note that the property has received a satisfactory final inspection and that a full new home warranty will be in place on or before legal completion.

In practice, the new home warranty provider will give the cover note to Sowden Homes immediately after the property has passed the final inspection. Sowden Homes’ solicitor will then pass the cover note to the buyer’s solicitor. This process applies to all transactions involving new properties being built or converted in accordance with a new home warranty scheme.


When all the legal paperwork has been attended to and both our solicitors have confirmed everything is in place for completion, your solicitor will advise the mortgage lender to release the mortgage funds. Once the money has reached the Sowden Homes solicitors account, we will telephone you to inform you that you are now the legal owner of the property and arrange a time for you to come to collect they keys from the sales advisor.

Your new home is only insured by Sowden Homes to the point of legal completion; from that point it becomes your responsibility.

The sales advisor will read your meters and you will sign a key release form and agree the meter readings. Sowden Homes will notify the relevant service companies of the meter readings.