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The Buying Process

1 What Can You Afford?

The thought of buying a house is a major thrill for most of us, and one of the most important decisions we will make. Before you go out and start viewing, you need to check what you can actually afford. Unless you are a cash buyer, speaking to a mortgage broker and arranging an agreement in principle should be your first step. Once you have proof of funds or your mortgage agreement in principle you can go out viewing with confidence. It also puts you in a strong negotiating position, and sellers know you're a serious buyer as you have your paperwork in place.

2 Start Your Search

As well as using the property portals you can save time by registering for property email alerts via our website, that way you can browse on the move by receiving updates the moment new properties that meet your criteria go live. Once you see something you like, contact us to arrange an appointment at your earliest convenience. We are happy to drive you to and from appointments, whilst being on hand to answer any questions and give in depth advice where necessary.

3 Offer Stage

Once you've found the property of your dreams you need to put your best foot forward and offer. Whilst we're on hand to ensure it's put forward in the best possible light, it's helpful to have an agreement in principle and proof of deposit, all of which adds weight, particularly if there is more than one interested party. While there is no legal obligation at this stage it makes sense to list any special conditions or items you would like included in conjunction with the offer.

4 Offer Agreed

Choosing the right solicitor is crucial to enabling a smooth transaction. Generally, firms that specialise in conveyancing are the best and we have a list of recommendations if you don't have one. Once you have chosen your solicitor we will write to you and them to confirm the sale, therefore allowing them to start the conveyancing process.

5 Conveyancing and Survey

Your solicitor will make sure you purchase the property legally and will handle the transfer of funds to the seller's solicitor. In order to get to this point, along with help from ourselves they will;

  • Apply for local authority searches once they receive the draft contract from the sellers solicitor
  • Raise enquiries once they have viewed the contract and associated paper work (management pack for leasehold properties)
  • Report to you highlighting any particular points within the contract they need to bring to your attention
  • Offer the Exchange once a completion date has been agreed by all parties.

 In conjunction with the conveyancing you will need to arrange a survey via your lender, if you are using one. There are three types of survey offered by mortgage lenders, they are; mortgage valuation, homebuyers report or building survey. The age and condition of the property will generally determine which type of survey you opt for but we are always on hand if you are un-sure. Once the survey has taken place the mortgage offer will follow, meaning the bank is happy to lend you the funds and you are in now in a position to exchange.

6 Exchange of Contracts

When solicitor is happy and you have your mortgage offer the contract will be sent to you for signature. Once you have signed the contract we recommend returning it to your solicitor by recorded delivery and simultaneously transferring your deposit by way of telegraphic transfer so it arrives as cleared funds, this is normally 10% of the purchase price unless otherwise agreed. You cannot exchange without a completion date, so this needs to be agreed with everyone in the chain and is quite often mediated by ourselves. Once exchange has taken place it becomes legal and binding, neither party can withdraw without facing the possibility of severe financial consequences.

7 Completion

The wait between exchange and completion can be a nervous one, but it's extremely rare for a sale to fall through at this point, so you should be excited and looking forward to collecting the keys to your new home. The mortgage lender transfers the completion monies to your solicitor, in anticipation of completion and you must transfer any funds you've set aside to make up the difference. The morning of completion, your solicitor transfers the full amount to the seller's solicitor. Once received, the seller's solicitor will contact ourselves to say completion has taken place and we can release the keys. At this point we will phone you and arrange for you to pop into the office or meet you at the property to hand over the keys.

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