We have put together an easy step by step guide to buying a property.
By following these steps, you will ensure a quick and easy process to purchasing a property and avoid any unnecessary delays that could hinder your purchase process.
Before you can begin your property search you will need to understand how you will be funding the purchase of a property and what your budget will be. If you are considering your borrowing options our advice is to speak with a mortgage advisor who can assess your budget and the best mortgage products for your situation. When making an offer on a property, having an agreement in principle will carry more weight as it will offer some peace of mind to the Agents and vendors that a bank or Lender has assessed your finances and is happy to lend.
If you will be funding a purchase by selling an existing property it is always advised that at the very least you have the property already on the market, this way you would have more of a chance of an offer being accepted. As your purchase will be dependent on a sale of a property, in order to be qualified you will need to be in a position to accept an offer and be one step closer to having it sold.
Cash buyers will need to insure they have all the funds readily available in an account that is owned by the potential purchaser and as per the anti-money laundering regulations be able to supply proof of this when being qualified and insure there is a paper trail to the funds.
A very important factor which is usually overlooked is when arranging funds, you need to insure you investigate other costs associated with buying like stamp duty, legal fees, and check if there are any mortgage arrangement fees involved when borrowing.
Property type & Area
Once you have arranged your funds and have considered a budget you are now ready to start looking at areas which you would like to purchase in, it is important to look at areas which are most suited to what’s important to you and where you can picture yourself living.
You will also need to consider what type of property you would be happy with, do you want a leasehold apartment or a freehold house. Garden, no garden? Semi-detached or detached? There are many different types of homes and the list can be endless, speaking to a local experienced property professional can be very helpful.
It is also recommended that you jump on the property portals and have a look at properties available, this will give you some ideas of the types of property and features that may be suited to you. start to create a checklist of your requirements, this will become handy when you start viewing properties as it allows you to check off your requirements as you view, sometimes viewing multiple properties at a time can be daunting and you could end up getting very confused.
Once you have completed your market research and have put together your checklist of requirements it is now time for the fun part, viewing the properties that you have shortlisted. Our advice is to keep an open mind, often your requirements can change slightly during the viewing process. Register with estate agents who cover your preferred areas, they will then be able to email/call you with new properties coming to the market.
Subscribe to their social media channels, they often offer previews with what's coming to the market! The more homes you view, the better idea you will have on what’s most important and it will offer comparisons when it comes to placing an offer.
Most estate agents now offer preview videos or an 'online viewing' which can help narrow down what you want without a physical viewing, as it is sometimes difficult to have the time to view everything.
Make an offer
When you have found a property that suits your needs it is now time to make an offer. It is always advised to make your offer in writing via email then back that up with a phone call or in person to the marketing agency.
When submitting an offer, you should include the amount you will be offering along with your purchasing circumstance i.e. cash buyer with fund ready, Cash on Sale of a property, Mortgage buyer with 20% deposit etc. This will allow the vendor of the property to be able to make the best-informed decision when accepting offers.
If your offer is successfully accepted, this will usually be subject to a qualification process. During this process You’ll be asked to produce proof identification, proof of funds, your borrowing arrangements and if you have appointed a conveyancing solicitor. You will also be asked for information about preferred timescales and any other factors that may affect the sales process.
Having all your documents ready before putting in a offer on a property will save you a lot of time and would reduce the risk of another offer being accepted over yours.
Communication is the key to success. During the sales process, it is key to ensure that all channels of communication are kept fully open between your solicitor and the estate agent. The better the contact and more responsive you are to all questions raised; the quicker and smoother the sale can move for all parties involved.
Requesting a chain email between you, the Estate agents and solicitors is a good idea to make sure everyone is on the same page, and that way if your solicitor needs anything chasing the agent can get onto the seller’s and their solicitor.
The agent may recommend a solicitor, who they often work with and have had good experiences with. This is beneficial as the agents would have built up a working relationship with that solicitor and have in place proficient communication processes.
Price can be a big factor when appointing a conveyancing solicitor, and we appreciate the overall cost of moving, to try and save money the cheapest quote is usually opted for however the cheapest quote does not always mean the best service, Insure you do your research on your chosen conveyancing solicitor, check out their internet presence and reviews. A great question to ask a conveyancing solicitor before you instruct is what their current caseload is and their current average completion time.
Exchange and Completion!
Exchange of contracts happens once the sale contract is exchanged between the buyer’s and seller’s solicitor, just before you will be required to transfer deposit money and agree a completion date (move date) to conclude the exchange. Once the sale is exchanged, all parties can now relax as the sale is now legally binding. On the morning of the agreed date, the estate agent will contact you to confirm when they are able to meet you at the property to collect the keys.