Information For Buyers
Working out finances
The prospect of purchasing a property is undoubtedly exciting, but before you dive headlong into a search and start lining up viewings, it’s a good idea to check your finances first to work out exactly what you can afford. A solid initial step is to speak to one of our recommended mortgage brokers to find out how much you could borrow and get an Agreement in Principle (AIP). This will enable you to begin your property search with confidence and a budget in mind. In addition, having this document gives credibility to you as a buyer as it shows you’ve done your homework.
Starting your search
Okay, it’s search time and the big property portals (Rightmove, Zoopla and On The Market being the top three) are most prospective buyers’ first port of call. But if you want to get ahead of the game, why not register for our property email alerts where we’ll inform you about any new property that meets your criteria the moment it comes to market? As soon as you see something you like, simply contact us to arrange a viewing. We’re happy to drive you to and from appointments and should you have any questions or need advice, we’ll be on hand to help.
Making an offer
You’ve seen the home of your dreams, so the next step is to make an offer. We will put forward your offer in the best possible light, however, an Agreement in Principle along with proof of deposit will also further your cause, showing the seller that you are a serious proposition. This could work to your advantage, especially if there are other interested parties. In conjunction with the offer, it’s not uncommon to list any special conditions or items you would like included, although there is no legal obligation to do so at this stage.
Agreeing on an offer
Now’s the time to employ the services of a good solicitor whose role will be vital in ensuring a smooth transaction. If you know one with glowing references, then great, but if not, we know plenty that specialises in conveyancing that we’d be delighted to recommend. Once you have a solicitor in place, we will write to confirm the sale both to you and them, thus enabling the solicitor to start the conveyancing process.
Conveyancing and Survey
The conveyancing process undertaken by your solicitor will ultimately ensure that you have purchased the property legally and that all funds are successfully transferred to the seller’s solicitor. However, before reaching this point, your solicitor will need to do the following, all of which we are happy to facilitate wherever possible:
Once they have received the draft contract from the seller’s solicitor, they will order property searches that provide detailed information on planning, draining and environmental issues.
Your solicitor will alert you to specific enquiries in the contract and raise them with the seller’s solicitor.
A completion date will be negotiated by your solicitor, which must be agreed on by all parties before a formal exchange of contracts can be arranged.
In addition to the conveyancing, you will need to arrange a survey via your mortgage lender. There are three types of survey offered, the most basic being a mortgage valuation, which is a report prepared after a brief inspection of the property to help confirm its value and is solely for the benefit of the mortgage lender. A Homebuyers Report is a more detailed survey intended to inform you, the buyer, on the soundness or otherwise of the property, and whether it is a suitable purchase at the price agreed. Much more extensive (and expensive) by far is a building survey which is usually required when a full assessment of the property is needed and is highly advisable for older properties or large or unusual buildings. If you are unsure which type of survey to opt for, we are always on hand to advise. On completion of the survey, a mortgage offer will usually follow.
Once you have your mortgage offer and your solicitor is happy that all the i’s have been dotted and the t’s crossed, then the contract will be sent to you for signing. We recommend returning the contract to your solicitor by recorded delivery. At the same time, your deposit needs to be transferred and the money cleared in your seller’s solicitor’s account before your solicitor can exchange contracts with the seller's solicitor. Last but not least before an exchange can take place, a completion date needs to be agreed upon with everyone in the chain. We are well placed to mediate this, should the need arise. Finally, contracts will be exchanged, and the transaction finally becomes legal and binding.
Excitement can be tinged with nerves at this stage in the proceedings, but rest assured it’s extremely rare for a sale to fall through between exchange and completion. Meanwhile, your solicitor will receive a transfer of completion monies from the mortgage lender and if there’s a shortfall in funds that is to be made up from savings, then this must be transferred by you. On the morning of completion, your solicitor will transfer the full amount to the seller’s solicitor, who will then contact us to confirm completion. Now the keys can be released and we will call you to arrange collection. Congratulations, you’re now the proud owner of a new home! Now, time to start unpacking those boxes…
Are you thinking about buying a home?At Warners Estate Agents, we understand that this can be a complex and sometimes confusing process. Below, we have answered some of the most common questions that we receive from home buyers.
What steps do I need to take to buy a home?
Buying a home can be a multi-step process, and it's essential to understand the steps involved. The first step is to determine your budget and obtain a mortgage agreement in principle from a lender. You should then begin your property search and view properties that match your requirements. Once you have found a property that you want to buy, you can make an offer to the seller. If your offer is accepted, you will need to appoint a solicitor to handle the legal aspects of the purchase. Your solicitor will work with the seller's solicitor to complete the sale and transfer ownership of the property to you.
I've had an offer accepted, what happens next?
Once your offer has been accepted, you will need to appoint a solicitor to handle the legal aspects of the purchase. Your solicitor will begin the conveyancing process, which involves various checks and searches to ensure that the property is suitable for purchase. They will also liaise with the seller's solicitor to exchange contracts and transfer ownership of the property to you.
I've found a house I want to buy - but I need to sell my current home first?
If you need to sell your current home before you can purchase a new one, we recommend that you speak to one of our experienced estate agents. We can work with you to develop a clear understanding of your property requirements and help you identify potential properties that may be suitable. We can also provide you with advice on the current market conditions and help you make an informed decision about when to put your property on the market.
Where do I get a mortgage?
There are many different mortgage providers to choose from, including banks, building societies, and specialist lenders. We recommend that you speak to an independent mortgage advisor who can help you identify the best mortgage products for your needs. We can put you in touch with a trusted advisor who can provide you with expert advice and guidance.
Stamp duty explained?
Stamp duty is a tax that is payable when you purchase a property in the UK. The amount of stamp duty that you will need to pay depends on the purchase price of the property. The current rates are as follows:
- Up to £125,000 - no stamp duty payable
- £125,001 to £250,000 - 2% stamp duty payable
- £250,001 to £925,000 - 5% stamp duty payable
- £925,001 to £1.5 million - 10% stamp duty payable
- Over £1.5 million - 12% stamp duty payable
How do I find a solicitor?
Finding a solicitor to handle the legal aspects of your property purchase can be a daunting task. We recommend that you choose a solicitor who specialises in conveyancing and has experience in handling property purchases. We can put you in touch with a trusted solicitor who can provide you with expert advice and guidance throughout the purchase process.