Buying a property can be a complicated process. Whether you are experienced or a first-time buyer, we can help you secure the home of your dreams … or help you take that all-important first-step on the property ladder.
This step-by-step guide has been designed to help you through the process of buying property.
Getting your finances in order
It’s a good idea to get your mortgage agreed in principle as early as possible. This will confirm how much money you will have to fund the purchase, which will ultimately influence your property search. We can recommend a number of Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs) who will be able to advise and assist you in finding the most suitable mortgage for you and they all offer a fee-free service. (So that’s one less moving cost to think about!)
You’ve arranged your Mortgage Agreement in Principle and you know what you’re looking for. Now the fun really starts and it's time to get out there and find your perfect property! We’re available to make appointments or show you around at times to suit you. Drop in or call anytime from 9.30am to 7pm Monday - Friday; 9am to 4.30pm Saturdays; Sundays by appointment.
Submitting an offer
Once you’ve found your perfect property, we’ll put your offer forward to the seller, both verbally and in writing. You may need to demonstrate that you are able to proceed (e.g. provide evidence of your mortgage agreed in principle and have sufficient funds to put down as a deposit).
Remember any offer is subject to contracts being signed and exchanged. Until such time as exchange takes place there are no legal obligations on either side.
Appointing a solicitor
Once your offer has been accepted, you will need to appoint a solicitor so that the property can be legally transferred from its current owner(s) to you. This process is known as conveyancing. The successful purchase of a property can rely 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 have a selection of tried and tested solicitors who are experts in property and whom we’re happy to recommend.
So you’ve made your offer and it’s been accepted. This stage is known as Sale Agreed. At this point we will send out a Memorandum of Sale to all parties concerned confirming the price, any special conditions negotiated as part of the sale and the names and addresses of both sets of solicitors. You will also need to instruct your Mortgage Advisor or bank to proceed with your mortgage application and make arrangements for a survey.
When the buying processes begin, the Vendor’s Solicitor will draw up a draft contract and send this to your solicitor. Your solicitor will then examine the contract and carry out a search with the Local Authority which will reveal any planning consents granted for the property, plus any local issues. Questions that arise from this search are sent to the Vendor's solicitors for further clarification. We will assist your solicitor throughout the process, keeping you informed every step of the way.
Survey and Valuation
Your mortgage lender will require a basic survey of the property and this will be booked by a surveyor on behalf of the mortgage lender. As well as what is known as the basic valuation, there are two additional types of survey: the homebuyer’s report and the buildings survey (also known as the full structural survey). If you require a homebuyer's report or buildings survey, this will need to be instructed at this time. After the mortgage valuation report is received, a formal mortgage offer will be sent to you and your solicitor.
Exchange of contracts
You’re almost there! The formal exchange of contracts agrees the terms of the sale and makes them legally binding on both you and the seller. Before the formal exchange, you’ll need to finalise and sign your mortgage documents, transfer your deposit to your solicitor and sign your contract. The terms of the sale are now legally binding, which means that your deposit is non-refundable if you change your mind. Equally, the seller is obliged to sell to you at the price you’ve agreed. Once the exchange has taken place, you can look forward to the completion date when the money is transferred and the property legally changes hands. This can take place within a few days to a few weeks following exchange of contracts, depending on you and your seller’s requirements.
This is what you have been waiting for. On the day of completion, your solicitor will pay what you owe to the seller’s solicitor and once you’ve had the call to confirm that the money has been transferred, we will receive a call from the seller’s solicitors to confirm completion has taken place and we will notify you that the keys are ready for collection from one of our offices.
Congratulations! You are now the legal owner of your new home!