Buying a property will be one of the most important financial decisions you ever make. Will you be applying for a mortgage or are you a cash buyer? We would always recommend speaking to a financial advisor to determine what you can afford before you begin to approach your property search. Our team at youngsRPS are happy to point you in the right direction of local financial advisors.
As well as the cost of the property, you should be prepared to consider the additional costs of buying property, including:
- Stamp Duty Land Tax
- Mortgage arrangement fees
- Solicitor’s fees
- Management pack if leasehold (variable but may be between £100 and £400)
There may be other costs to consider depending on your position the type of property you decide to buy:
- Surveyor’s fees
- Move costs
- Ground rent and service charges
- Estate agent fees for selling your current property
- Renovation/refurbishment costs
- Lease extension costs
- Increased utility/council tax bills
A proceedable buyer is a buyer that is able to move forward with a property purchase. Usually this means having funds in place or confirmation from a lender that they are willing to lend you the required funds (agreement in principle); or, if you are selling a property to finance the purchase, have that property ‘under offer’ to a proceedable buyer.
We always recommend that buyers have a clear idea, or a shortlist, of what they are looking for from the outset; a more focused search can minimise the time it takes to find your dream home. Start your property search by creating a list of ‘must haves’ and ‘like to haves’. Once you have determined this, it is time to start approaching local estate agents to register your interests; at youngsRPS, we always make sure to contact our applications about new property before launching it to the market.
Whilst buying a property is exciting, it is important to remember the practicalities and consider whether the property you are viewing actually meets your search criteria. You may be shown round a property by the estate agent or the buyer, either way, we recommend being prepared with a list of questions you might have about the property.
If you have been looking for properties for a while and haven’t found what you are looking for, we recommend going back to your list of requirements and consider whether they are realistic.
Our estate agents are local and experts in their area, they will be able to help you if you need to make some changes to your criteria.
You’ve found the perfect property, but what happens next? You need to make an offer to the estate agent and they will convey this information to the seller. The vendor will decide whether to accept the offer.
It is important to remember that a vendor may receive multiple offers so you might not get an answer straight away. In some cases where multiple offers are received, buyers will enter a process referred to as “sealed bids” or “best and final bids”. This process involves a type of auction process in which all bidders simultaneously submit sealed bids to the estate agent, so that no bidder knows how much the other participants have bid.
We will be in touch to let you know if your offer has been accepted and the property will be listed as ‘sold subject to contract’, this means that the sale is not legally binding as of yet. At this point, you will need to formally appoint a solicitor to begin the conveyancing process on your behalf.
As well as appointing a solicitor, you will need to alert your financial advisor or mortgage provider that you have accepted an offer so that they can start the formal mortgage application process.
For a mortgage to be approved, the lender may arrange for an independent and qualified surveyor to carry out a mortgage survey. This will confirm the value of the property and check that the property is safe to lend against; it is different to a building survey or a home buyers report.
We recommend that a buyer instructs a building survey to offer reassurance on the purchase of the property.
A Building Survey (or structural survey) is a detailed examination of a property and will establish the structural stability of the property and highlight any potential issues, for example, damp.
A HomeBuyers report is like a building survey, however, it is not as detailed and therefore doesn’t carry the same assurance. We would suggest that a HomeBuyers report is a suitable option for a newer property.
We would be happy to recommend local building surveyors to carry out a building survey or home buyers report.
Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring the ownership of a property from the seller to the buyer.
- Your solicitor will write to the seller’s solicitor to confirm their instruction as request request the draft contract and supporting papers
- Your solicitor will then examine the draft contract documents and raise enquiries with the seller’s solicitor. These enquiries can range from the length of the lease to requesting copies of service charge accounts and warranties for appliances
- Your solicitor will arrange for various ‘property searches’ to take place. They are most likely to include They will probably include searches such as a local authority search (this will show any plans for new roads, buildings or infrastructure nearby), checking with Land Registry that the vendor’s information is correct, looking for flood risks and contaminated land
- If you are taking out a mortgage, your solicitor will receive confirmation of the mortgage from the lender (once the survey has been carried out)
- Your solicitor will talk you through the results of the searches as well the answers to any queries they raised with the vendor’s solicitor. If you are happy with the results, then your solicitor will begin to draw up the contract of sale. This will include the agreed purchase price, the deposit amount and completion date and will need to be signed by you and the seller. and your solicitor will ask you to transfer the deposit to them (this is usually 10%).
- Once your solicitor has the deposit funds and the signed contract, they will check with the seller’s solicitor that the contract has been signed by the seller and that they are ready to proceed with the exchange. Once the contract has been signed, it becomes legally binding. If you pull out of the sale after contracts have been exchanged, you will forfeit your deposit. If you paid less than 10% deposit, the seller can still seek to claim the full 10% from you if you break the contract. The contract will state the completion date, which you will have agreed with the seller, so at this point you can start organising the practical side of your move. You should also contact an insurance company to arrange for the property to be insured from the day that completion takes place.
- Your solicitor will draw up the transfer deed so that the property can be registered in your name as soon as possible after completion.
- Your solicitor will arrange for the title deeds to be registered in your name and if the property is leasehold ensure that your name is entered on to the lease.
- On the agreed day of completion, your solicitor will transfer the remaining funds to the vendor’s solicitor, in return they will send a deed transfer document to your solicitor, confirming that the seller has vacated the property. At this point your solicitor will also arrange for any Stamp Duty Land Tax to be paid.
- Once you have completed, you will arrange to pick up the keys from the estate agent, your solicitor or the seller. If you do pick up the keys from the vendor, we always recommend asking them questions that will make life a bit easier, such as where are the gas and electricity meters (remember to take readings on the first day!), what day are the bins collected and where the stopcock is located.
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