Before offering on a property seek advice from a mortgage broker to find out how much you can borrow and get a Decision In Principle certificate.
TIP: Don’t just talk to your existing lender as there are probably better mortgage rates available elsewhere. Use a mortgage broker who can look at a number of different lenders. We recommend Frog Financial Management of Rickmansworth who will be dedicated in finding you the best mortgage solution – www.frog-financial.co.uk/buyingahome
Having researched the area and found your dream home ask the agent what other properties have recently sold that are comparable.
TIP: Establish when the property first came to the market and why are the owners selling. This is also a good time to establish if the seller has found a property and if they have a target date in mind for completion – does this fit in to your needs?
Once you have had an offer accepted appoint a solicitor and provide them with funds for searches, ID and instructions to act on your behalf.
TIP: Your choice of solicitor will have a direct impact on how fast or slow the buying process will be. From our experience some solicitors are way ahead of the crowd and are very pro-active in achieving your timescale goals. Get quotes from a couple of solicitors and note how quickly they return your call. Local solicitors will have a deeper understanding of the area you are buying in. We are happy to recommend a couple of local firms to you who have a reputation for thoroughness and efficiency.
The seller’s solicitor will send your solicitor a pack containing information about the property, a draft contract, fixtures and fittings list, completed seller’s questionnaire, title deeds and conveyance plan. Your solicitor will apply for searches and read through the documents sent to them.
Once your mortgage valuation survey has been completed the surveyor will send the report to your lender. If you are having a full structural survey send a copy to your solicitor.
TIP: You should now raise any questions you have regarding the property with your solicitor. Try to consolidate these questions so that the seller’s solicitor can respond in one reply.
Your mortgage provider will send you and your solicitor a mortgage offer based on the value of the property.
TIP: Once your solicitor has received the searches and answers to any enquiries they will write a report on title and send all these documents to you to read along with the contract of sale for you to sign.
TIP: Some solicitors invite you to come into the office so that they can talk you through the paperwork before signing the contract. If you like this approach then it is worth asking at the point of instructing a solicitor if they offer this. Check if the solicitor will also provide a written report if this is the case, as a written report can be useful for a future record. By now you and your solicitor, estate agent and seller should have discussed completion dates – try to be flexible especially if there are more than two of you in the chain.
Once every solicitor in the chain has a signed contact, deposits agreed and agreed completion date you will be able to exchange contracts.
TIP: This is the time to engage removal companies and inform your utility companies of the change in your address.
Once you have exchanged contracts you will need to think about how your solicitor will receive the funds for completion. If you are getting a mortgage the lender will send the funds over normally the day before completion. If you are adding to these funds then you will need to arrange a bank transfer the day before completion too.
TIP: Drawing funds down the day before completion makes for a much speedier and less stressful moving day for the sake of one days interest.
You will need to take meter readings of both homes on the day you move out/move in.
TIP: Use your mobile phone to photograph the meter readings with a date stamp.
Once the seller’s solicitor has confirmed that the funds have been received, we can release keys to you. You will then be able to take possession of the property. This will normally be around midday.
TIP: If you are buying through Peter Scott Estate Agents we will meet you at the property and give you the keys to your new home!s