Starting your search

Many buyers believe that all you need to do is register on the property portals and this will have you covered for new properties.

While this is true to a degree, by registering with us early, we can gain a clear understanding of exactly what you are looking for and where.  We will make you aware of new properties before they hit the internet, and can speak with you about the properties that are on low key marketing plans.

We can also discuss our finding service to help you find the home of your dreams.

Things to consider

Viewings

Although viewing lots of properties can be exhausting and they can often start to blend into one, don’t give up! We are here to help and provide guidance, so speak to us. Here are a few handy points to get you started:

  • See as many houses as you can, to give you a flavour of what’s on the market, and current values.
  • Do go and view the house you are not 100% sure about viewing, it may just be the one.
  • Photos can often be a good indication of what a property has to offer, but remember they can be deceiving so it is best to take a look for yourself.
  • Take notes and write a pro’s and con’s list for each property.
  • Take your time, don’t let yourself be rushed around a property by the agent. It is important you have plenty of time and space to get a really good feel for a property without being under pressure.
  • Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into an offer on the first viewing, take a second look at the property, you’ll be surprised by what you may have missed the first time.
  • Revisit the property on different days and times, like rush hour or school pick up.

Moving Expenses

Costs when buying a property can escalate quickly so it is important to understand what is involved from the offset.  We are always happy to offer guidance and get you on the right track, the list below outlines the main considerations:

  • Solicitor’s or conveyancer’s fees
  • Stamp Duty
  • Land registry fee
  • Local Authority searches
  • Mortgage setup fee
  • Valuation survey
  • Insurances
  • Moving costs
  • Building or maintenance works require

Making an Offer

Making your offer is as simple as picking up the phone to the estate agent selling the property and offering them a price.  Offers are made subject to survey and the legal conveyance. All offers should always be confirmed in writing by the agent to the seller, as best practice we will also confirm offers back to the buyer.

Under the Consumer Protection Regulations 2015 (CPR) Agents have a legal obligation to inform you of any issues that they are aware of with the property, eg: planning permissions that negatively impact the property, bad neighbours, structural problems.

When you make an offer it is important to establish what exactly is included in the sale and the time scales in which you would like to move.

The amount you offer is at your discretion, but be mindful not to offend a seller with a really low offer, as this could hinder your chances of getting an offer accepted, particularly if you are in love with a property.

When you place your offer forward, sell your position to the agent and don’t be surprised if they ask for information regarding your finances.  Be prepared to give as much information as possible this will help you get the offer accepted.

Offer Rejection

If you have an offer rejected, you can increase your offer. Be careful to avoid getting involved in a bidding war, as you don’t want to end up paying over the odds.  Decide how high you are prepared to negotiate up to. Don’t be afraid to leave an offer on the table, people’s situation can change quickly with property.

Offer Acceptance

Amazing news!  The agent should now formally confirm the purchase in writing, stating the price, terms and conditions and outlining timescales.

Your offer should be ‘subject to contract and survey’, this means you are not legally bound to buy the property until the point at which you have exchanged contracts.  This will allow the time necessary to order relevant checks and then gives you the opportunity to renegotiate or withdraw from the sale if anything serious is raised.

Solicitors/Conveyancing

The choice of who will act for you is entirely at your discretion.  The only restriction is that you can’t use the same person as the seller, the only exception to this is if you are both existing clients of the solicitor firm.

It is important that you instruct a solicitor/conveyancer who will deal with the purchase of your property promptly.  They should be experienced in handling residential property sales, easily contactable and able to deal with your case speedily.

Heartwood Homes have preferred solicitors with which we have had excellent service and communication, resulting in prompt sales process and are happy to advise.

You will be required to make an initial payment to your solicitor to get the process started. In addition they will request funds for executing local authority, drainage and any other relevant searches on the property you are proposing to purchase.   Any delay in instruction or payment for these searches can directly affect the overall timescale of the transaction, so it’s important to act promptly.

A good agent should remain in constant contact with you and your solicitor throughout the sales process, to monitor progress and to assist with any issues, it is important to keep your agent up to date as soon as you are aware of any potential problems.

Your solicitor will liaise with all parties involved through the entire chain, so it’s important that you instruct a solicitor who’s prepared to communicate with the selling agent directly.

During the transaction your solicitor will:

  • Inspect the draft contract of sale which will be sent out by the seller’s solicitor.
  • Check the property title deeds and land registry records and then raise searches and enquiries where they feel additional information is required.
  • Liaise with your mortgage provider.
  • Approve the contract and make sure all the relevant documentation is in place.
  • Arrange for you to sign the contract and pay your deposit.  The deposit required is usually 10% of the agreed purchase price.
  • Ask for copies of your bank statements for proof of funds for purchase under Anti Money Laundering Regulations 2017.

Finance

If you’re using a mortgage provider for any part of the purchase, you’ll need to submit a full mortgage application to begin the process.  This will require information about yourself and about the property you are purchasing.

Before your lender can guarantee to provide the funding you require, they’ll insist on inspecting the property . You will need to pay for this inspection and protocol requires that you include payment with the initial application.

Please speak with us about our recommended financial advisors to help you every step of the way.

Your Survey

If you are taking out a mortgage, your lender will usually offer you two types of inspection; a Basic Valuation Report, which will briefly check the condition of the property and how much the house is worth or a Homebuyers Report that will provide much more detail on the overall condition of the property.

Some people decide against a Homebuyer or building survey because of the expense.  Although this saves costs in the short term, in the long term these reports could actually save you thousands of pounds in repairs.

Homebuyer’s Report will provide a report on the condition of the parts of the property that are easy to see and to get at, and may recommend further tests or investigations, for example, a specialist check for woodworm or damp etc.  This report is recommended on properties that are less than 100 years old and of a conventional construction.

Buildings Survey is the most detailed and most expensive type of survey.  It is especially recommended for buildings that are 100 years old and more, particularly those that are of an unconventional construction, e.g. timber, concrete or thatch. The surveyor will check the property thoroughly, to determine the soundness of the structure, its condition and any faults.  The report you receive will be extremely thorough, and very long. If you are considering a listed building, it is always recommended to instruct a full survey.

Don’t be put alarmed if your report lists lots of defects – every property, particularly old properties, have some defects; surveyors are obliged to detail every defect they find and its severity.

If the report recommends repairs or requires further investigation of any specific issues, the agent can help you address the issues, they will request a copy of the report and will arrange access to the property.

Exchanging Contracts

Before exchanging contracts, it is often advisable to take one last look at the property ensuring things have not changed.

Prior to exchange you will be required to sign the contracts and transfer deed, arrange to transfer the deposit money and in the majority of cases the solicitor may ask for all the completion funds needed, including the Land Registry and Stamp Duty fees.  The solicitors will then liaise with your mortgage lender to draw down any mortgage funds required.

Once you and your solicitor are satisfied that everything is in order, the contracts can be exchanged.  Once this has happened the sale becomes legally binding.

Getting the keys

Finally the day of completion is here, and you can get your keys to your new home.

On most occasions the monies transferred by your solicitor won’t reach the sellers solicitor account until after midday, we know it’s frustrating but the keys can’t be released before this happens.

 

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