23 February 2022

Finding a property you like is just the start of a long, and sometimes stressful moving process. Our 14 step guide will walk you through what to expect when buying a property.

1) Book a Mortgage Appointment

The key to a successful property search is to have a thorough understanding of budgets, finances and expectations. By securing an Agreement in Principle, not only will you be a more attractive, proceedable buyer in the eyes of the seller, you will also know whether your property dreams are feasible. You might even be able to afford more than you could have imagined, so having a mortgage appointment is a vital first step when making the next move on the property ladder.

2) Property Search and Selection Discussion

Talking through your property search criteria with our team will put you in good stead to hear first about suitable upcoming properties. With many in-demand properties being sold before they even reach the market, it is strongly advised to register as an active buyer with the reputable local estate agent. Additionally, by letting us know what you are after, our expert team can start canvassing along targeted roads to help find you the perfect property.

3) Viewings

Once you have drawn up a shortlist, it is on to the viewing stage. To help reduce the amount of time wasters, agents will often require potential buyers to complete an initial virtual viewing before proceeding to viewing the actual property. Whilst there are many different opinions on how best to conduct these viewings, we always recommend having a property specialist present to answer any questions you might have and to point you in the right direction with helpful advice to assist you in the selection of your new home.

4) Submitting your Offer

Every negotiation is different. Depending on factors such as the amount of bidders, property price status (eg OIEO vs Guide Price) and the sellers desire for a quick sale, the offer process can vary between an easy and amicable agreement or a long, drawn out period of toing and froing with offers between both parties. Your property specialist will be on hand to mediate the process and to help establish agreeable terms for both the buyer and the seller.

5) Confirming the Chain

Before the chain is agreed, the agent will confirm the chain details with the buyer. Every link in the chain has to be confirmed to ensure it is proceedable. Due to the complexities involved with the chain, properties without chains / short chains are often desirable.

6) Finalising the Mortgage

With the help of an independent financial advisor or mortgage broker, the buyer will finalise their mortgage application, as well as other related documents such as the life assurance proposal.

7) Confirmation

After the terms have been agreed, both parties and their legal representatives will be sent the Memorandum of Sale, including the details of the transaction.

8) Survey

When the buyer is using an IFA or mortgage adviser, they will arrange for a property survey to be undertaken. Where a buyer is not using a financial adviser, the Bank or Building Society will arrange for a survey to take place. The property survey will be carried out by licensed professionals to determine the value of the property, as well as assessing the overall condition of the property and whether any repairs are deemed necessary. Typically, a homebuyer can choose between a basic mortgage valuation, a more complete homebuyers report or a full building survey.

9) Conveyancing

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring ownership of a property or land from one owner to another. Whilst this process can be completed by a general solicitor, we strongly recommend using a dedicated conveyancer due to the complexities involved.

10) Mortgage Offer

Subject to obtaining suitable references and survey results, the lender will issue a formal offer of the mortgage. This offer will set out the terms and conditions of the loan, including pertinent details such as the term and details of any fixed rates. A copy will be provided to both the buyer and the conveyancer.

11) Sales Progression

To keep you in the loop with updates and progress, we use a specialist sales progression service to monitor the progress of your transaction and all others within the chain. By ensuring transparency and clear communication between all parties, it helps to ensure the process is as smooth as can be. 

12) Signing the contracts

Once the buyer’s conveyancer is happy with the contract, deeds, mortgage and search, the buyer will sign the contract and place an exchange deposit with their conveyancer. After this, a moving date is agreed, with contracts now ready to be exchanged.

13) Exchange of contracts

This is the stage where both parties become legally bound to complete the transaction. If the buyer falls through by failing to complete, they may either lose their deposit or be liable to pay the seller a fee, usually the interest accrued from the completion being delayed.

14) Completion Day

The day everyone has been waiting for! Completion day is when all of the monies is transferred from the buyer’s conveyancer to the seller’s conveyancer account by means of a telegraphic transfer. After instruction from the seller’s conveyancer, the house keys are released to the buyer so that they can move in and take possession.

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