Navigating your way through buying a property can be tricky, from deciding where you want to live to working out your budget there is lot to take in, but with this 10-point guide we hope to make the process as easy as possible.
The very first thing you need to do is get your finances in place, there is no point in looking for a new home, if you don’t know if you can afford it or how much you will have to spend. As a cash buyer you will need to show evidence of funds, if you require a mortgage it’s a good idea to have a mortgage in principle in place before you start looking as again you will need evidence when putting an offer forward.
Before you even begin to look at actual properties, you need to decide where you want to live. When choosing a location there are a few things you should consider including school catchment areas, work commute, and as previously mentioned budget – how far your money will go, can depend on area, postcode and in some cases individual streets.
Once you have decided where you want to live, the next step is to start looking at properties. Initially you can do this via online portals such as: Rightmove, Zoopla, websites of local independent estate agents in the area. Once you have seen some properties you like, you can then arrange viewings with the agent it’s on the market with.
If you believe you have found your ideal property, it’s always a good idea to have a second viewing for clarity. It Is at this viewing that you can check your furniture will fit, and look with practical eyes rather than your heart.
Decide on how much you want to offer on the property then put it forward to the estate agent. At this point they will pass it onto the vendor who will either accept or reject it. If and when your offer has been accepted, the agent will ask you for proof of funds. As mentioned in step one this is where you will need to provide evidence of either cash funds or a mortgage in principle from an actual bank or building society. As well as proof of funds you will need to provide solicitors details and photographic ID. The ID is needed for anti-money laundering checks which are a legal requirement.
Once the estate agent is in receipt of all the documents required, they will issue a memorandum of sale. This sets out all the relevant parties involved in the sale, their correspondence details and agreed sale price. Once this has been sent the process can start.
Whether you are a cash buyer or have a mortgage we always recommend a survey. If you are buying with a mortgage your lender will automatically send a surveyor to inspect the property to ensure it is worth the agreed asking price etc. If you are a cash buyer then you should arrange for a full home buyers report. By doing this you will know if there are any issues and if so, can use this to negotiate on price if you still want to continue with the purchase. The last thing you would want is to buy a property without a survey, move in and discover numerous issues and no money left to cover the costs.
At this point your solicitor will take over the process and raise all the relevant enquiries, searches etc. Once these have been completed and everyone is satisfied you can start to think about dates.
Once all the paperwork has been completed and if in a chain the paperwork on all other purchases is ready you can set a date to exchange contracts. Exchange is the point where neither party can pull out and the sale is secure.
In order for the sale to be complete your solicitor will send the money over to the vendor’s solicitor. Once they have received this, they will call the estate agent and authorise them to release keys. At this point you are the official owners of a new home.
If you’re still unsure or have any questions, then as always don’t hesitate to contact us.