The Buying Process
This step by step guide is designed to assist you in helping you make sure you are prepared and know what to expect. Sales can fall through for many reasons and delays are often the biggest cause. Refer to our jargon buster to explain any unfamiliar terms
Before you start searching for a property arrange your finances. It is imperative that you know what you can afford. We recommend that you have a mortgage agreed in principle. Not only will this allow you to ensure you are looking the right price range, but it also adds weight to any offer.
Start your Search
You can register with us using this website and start searching straight away. Make sure you are clear detailing your requirements, but don't dismiss suggestions from agents, even if these suggestions seem different from your initial check list. Few people buy exactly what they intended to buy! Once registered, we will keep you updated with regular emails of new properties and telephone calls to see how your search is going. We always do our best to accompany you on any viewing so we can explain the area and answer any questions you may have. Remember, we are here to help.
In order to secure a property we recommend an early viewing. When a new property becomes available, don't delay in arranging to see it. Good properties at the right price sell quickly in almost any market!
If you decide that the property you have seen is right for you - make an offer. You will have undoubtedly seen a few potential properties and as such will have a good idea of value. Remember, if you really want the property, offer the asking price. If you make an offer lower, then you risk losing the property if its on at a good price. Check with the agent that the property will be removed from the market whilst the sale is proceeding. Please note, the agent is obliged to inform you if the property is to remain available, and even if it is withdrawn whilst the sale is proceeding, the agent is legally bound to submit any offers subsequently received.
Instructing a solicitor
The successful purchase of a property can be dependent on the instruction of an efficient and experienced solicitor. It is a good idea to use a solicitor who knows the area that you're moving to and specialises in conveyancing. We recommend using a local firm who is familiar with the area.
Once your offer is accepted we will Prepare a memorandum of sale and write to all parties to confirm the agreed price and any special conditions. You will now need to formally instruct your solicitor to proceed with the conveyancing process and your mortgage broker to proceed with your application. A delay in this stage can cause a vendor to lose confidence.
Your solicitor has a huge amount to do, though it may seem as if little is happening. They will raise any enquiries on receipt of the draft contract from the seller's solicitor. Next they will request their own local searches. They will refer to the information already provided in the seller's pack, such as Fixtures and Fittings list and Sellers / Leaseholder Information Forms, title, lease etc, and raise any enquiries. They will agree on a date for exchange of contracts in consultation with you. Our role is to ensure all parties are kept informed an liaise with both sides in the event of any problems arising.
Survey and mortgage offer
A survey of the property will be booked by a surveyor on behalf of the mortgage lender to identify any problems and to verify the property's value as security for the mortgage. After the mortgage valuation report is received, a formal mortgage offer will be sent to you and your solicitor which you will need to sign before it is returned. Few properties are problem free. If an issue is reported, let us know and we can arrange specialist reports and quotes at no cost to you. It may be that a seller is willing to fix any faults and we can address this on your behalf. Don't panic - surveys can seem depressing and usually, problems are not serious. Its all part of the service. For more information on choosing a Surveyor - click HERE
Throughout this process, there is no legal obligation on either party. At this point, your solicitor will provide a full report on title detailing exactly what you are buying and drawing your attention to any key issues.
Exchange of contracts
Exchange of contracts occurs when both parties are satisfied, finance is in place, and completion dates agreed.
Once the contract has been signed by both parties the deposit (typically 10% of the purchase price) will be transferred from your solicitor to the seller's solicitor. The solicitors will then speak to each other and confirm that they are both happy to exchange contracts, subject to the express instruction of their respective client. At this point, the deal is binding on both sides.
Completion is when the balance of the purchase price is transferred from your solicitor to the seller's solicitor's account. Only once these funds have cleared can keys be released to you. At this point, you are now the legal owner of your new property!