1. Mortgage & Deposit – Get yourself pre-approved
It’s a good idea to make sure that you research your finances thoroughly – the mortgage market is changing all the time. Most agents will generally be affiliated with an independent financial advisor – and it is generally recommended that you speak to one that has access to the whole of the mortgage market.
2. Start Your Search – Book your viewings
Select the area(s) that might be right for you and then work out the features that you really need in your new home and the ones that you’d like to have but aren’t absolutely essential. For example, three bedrooms and a study/ home office might be a lot easier to find than a four bedroom house.
3. Choose Your New Home – And make your offer
You’ve seen the home of your dreams and now it’s crunch time! How much you offer is entirely up to you but in general most properties that sell in the UK go for very close to the asking price. In the end, the only way to find out if your offer will be accepted is to call the agent and tell them you want to buy.
4. Select Your Solicitor – A very important choice
In this case, cheap is very often not cheerful. Choosing a low-cost solicitor usually means that you will receive a cut-rate service. Without doubt your best option is to go for a local solicitor with in-depth knowledge of the area. They are usually cost a little bit more but it is nearly always worth it.
5. Complete Your Mortgage – And select your survey
Fill out the final forms with the address & details of the property and then choose the type of survey you want – Valuation, Homebuyers or Building Survey. It may be more cost effective for you to pay for just the basic Valuation and then ask tradesmen to investigate any issues found.
6. Finish Solicitor’s Forms – And prove your identity
There’s quite a lot of paperwork associated with property transactions, so it is important to read everything sent to you by email or post thoroughly and respond to any queries that come up. As part of the process you’ll need to prove your identity several times to agents, solicitors and mortgage advisors.
7. Read Through Your Survey – Arrange any additional quotes
Remember that a survey is there to tell you everything that’s wrong – it’s quite daunting to find that the property you fell in love with isn’t quite as perfect as you thought. You may need to renegotiate, but if it valued up then all you need to do is get quotes for the issues noted to make sure they are within your budget.
8. Get The Rest Of Your Money Ready – Your mortgage offer is now on its way
Most property transactions exchange contracts with a deposit of 10% so your solicitor is going to need this quite soon. If you have instant access to the money then you’ll need to check your daily transfer limit. You may need to give notice for money stored in other types of accounts such as ISAs and bonds.
9. Conclude The Legal Enquiries – Read through the solicitor’s report
When your solicitor has checked through the paperwork provided, has answers to all the questions raised, confirmed your mortgage offer and checked the legal status of the property they’ll send you a big information pack with a covering letter to confirm everything in simple.
10. Exchange Contracts – And set a completion date
Solicitors usually arrange for exchanges and completions on a Friday although both can be done any day during the working week. It is quite normal to have anything from seven days to four weeks between the two, usually so that money can be requested from the mortgage companies in good time.
11. Book Your Removals – Remember the broadband
It’s worth investigating local removal companies or van hire options in advance but you won’t be able to book anything until you have a firm moving date which you only get on exchange. It’s also time to inform the utility companies that you’re moving, in particular broadband internet takes a while to sort.
12. Completion – Time to collect your keys
The exact time for completion will depend on how many properties there are in the chain and where you are in that chain. Usually the solicitors try to arrange for about 1pm to give plenty of time for everyone to pack up and take their meter readings. We will call you when the solicitors have confirmed that completion has occurred.