When buying a house, whether it be for the first time or not, there is a buying a house process that everyone typically has to follow and until the process is complete it is not possible to move. When you are selling a house there is also a process you need to go through.
Our job is to try and make the two processes run as smoothly together as possible, and hopefully, the sale and purchase will go through together at the same time.
Buying a house process
Many of these activities take place at the same time but this should give you a rough idea of what happens when buying a property.
1. Firstly it is important to find out how much money you can borrow, whether you are a first-time buyer or not, you need to ask for a ‘mortgage agreement in principle’ then you can set yourself a clear budget
2. Setting a budget – there are a lot of costs involved in buying a property, these are just some of the things you need to consider
1. Mortgage Costs
2. Stamp Duty Fees
3. Solicitor Fees
4. Insurance Costs
5. Survey Costs
6. Removal Costs
3. Location, Location, Location – this is the fun part – finding your home! We often have our clients explain to us why they have chosen a particular property to buy. For example, to move closer to family, good schools in the area, big garden for their pet dog, a renovation project. These are all considerations when looking for your new home.
4. Making an Offer ‘subject to contract and survey’ – once you have found a property you would like you can put in an offer, this often involves some negotiation to agree on the price. At this stage, we would recommend you instruct a solicitor, once the offer has been accepted it is all systems go!
5. Once the offer has been accepted we get the contract from the seller’s solicitor and make sure it matches what you have told us.
6. Local Authority Searches – We obtain and report to you on various searches. These tell us a range of things such as: whether there are any public works that will affect the property; are there any proposals to build a new road; whether there are any planning restrictions; whether the property connects into the public sewers; or whether the property could be built on contaminated land. They do however only relate to the house you are buying and not to the neighbouring property.
7. Surveys – We recommend that, in most cases, you obtain a surveyors report as many lenders are only concerned with the value of the property. A slightly more detailed report might prevent you from finding out once you have moved in that the house you bought has problems.
8. If you are to have a mortgage we need to have the offer before we proceed. This is important as you need to ensure that you can borrow enough money to buy the property.
9. Contract Approval – Once all the searches are back and you are happy to proceed, a draft contract will be drafted by your solicitor for you to sign. A formal mortgage offer will be sent to your Solicitor for you to agree and sign.
10. Exchange of Contracts – This is the signing of the contracts by both you and the Seller. It is important before we exchange that you are happy and discussed any concerns with your Solicitor. At this stage, a deposit can be paid and a completion date set. The deposit (10%) is non-refundable. At this stage, you are also responsible for insuring the property (building insurance only) in case of anything happening to the property.
11. Completion day – all final paperwork is sorted and the mortgage is transferred to the Sellers. You will receive your keys and be able to move into your new home!!! It is almost the end of our involvement!!
12. We now finish the transaction by paying Stamp Duty (if that is required) and registering you as the owner of the property at The Land Registry.
13. Once the property has been registered at the Land Registry we will send you a copy of the Title Information Document showing you as the new owner.
14. As you have just bought a house you should now think about protecting it by making a Will.