Of course everyone will have different criteria to satisfy when buying. These days the majority of people will start by searching the Internet and Estate Agent sites. The Internet has revolutionised this aspect of searching and made it far easier for people to look, particularly in areas they are not familiar with. Many agent sites include not only the property details but multiple external and internal photographs, along with floor plans and virtual tours; all of which gives a very good idea of the property even before they decide to view.
Even armed with a wealth of information from the Internet including mapping sites, which offer a 'birds eye' view which you can rotate 360 degrees, or 'Street View' whereby you can have a virtual 'walk along' the road, nothing beats viewing the property and the local area yourself.
REGISTER YOUR REQUIREMENTS
This can be done in a number of ways; follow the link on our Website, telephone our offices or call in to see us. You will be asked a series of questions enabling us to build up a picture of your requirements. After registration you will be kept updated with any new properties and price changes.
The majority of contact these days is carried out by email, although you can still expect regular telephone calls from our sales team. They will check if you are still looking, update any changes and ask whether you wish to view a property.
If you wish to view one of our properties, we will usually hold a set of keys to gain access and will arrange to meet you outside the property at a convenient time. Our offices are open from 9.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 3.00pm Saturdays. For out of hours you may contact us by leaving a message on our voice mail or by emailing the relevant office/person and your enquiry will be dealt with as soon as we re-open.
Most purchasers require finance in order to purchase, unless you are in the happy position of being a `cash buyer’ (most of us are not!). In other words you will need to borrow money to buy using a mortgage. The amount of money you can borrow will principally depend on your income(s). Lending criteria is constantly changing and all lenders have different policies. One should either seek the advice of a competent and qualified financial consultant or from your bank or building society. The mortgage market is very competitive and it is normally a good idea to receive more than one quote.
Your financial consultant or bank manager will advise on how much you can borrow and will take into consideration other financial commitments. It is less common these days for mortgages to be granted on 100% of the property purchase price, and first time buyers will normally be required to provide a deposit of between 10% and 20%. We can put you in touch with a fully qualified financial advisor who will provide all the information you require if requested.
This is a government tax which the majority of purchasers (see scale below) have to pay upon acquiring a property. (the seller does not pay this) It is actually known as Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) but most people refer to it as Stamp Duty.
Once you have selected a suitable property to purchase and you have arranged (at least in principle) your finance, you are ready to make an offer. All offers will be made via the agent. Most offers are made subject to contract and can be withdrawn or revised at any stage prior to exchange of contracts. Once we receive an offer we contact the vendor and advise them. The vendor will not always make an instant decision, and of course an offer of the asking price or very close to it is likely to get a more immediate and desirable response. In the case of a rejected offer, we will always try and give an indication of what the seller is looking to achieve so that you can reconsider and hopefully make an improved offer.
Once the offer is accepted and we have confirmation that you are in a position proceed, i.e. you have nothing to sell or are in a completed chain and have your finance arranged, then we will take a note of your solicitors and write to all parties concerned. The next thing is to arrange the survey which will normally be organised by your financial consultant or mortgage company. For those not requiring a mortgage they may of course wish to arrange an independent survey. If you do not have your own preferred surveyor then we are happy to provide recommendations.
THE LEGAL CONVEYANCE
The Conveyance is the term given to the process whereby solicitors satisfy the legal requirements of your purchase, they check that the property title is good, carry out local searches and various other legal requirements as set out by the Law society. This prepares the way for an exchange of contracts.
Exchange is the final commitment to purchase, your solicitor will confirm that they are happy with the documentation and your funds are in place. This cannot take place until all parties are ready when your solicitor will call you in to sign and lodge a deposit, normally 5% or 10% of the purchase price. It is at this point that a completion date will be set. Completion normally represents the moving in day – but sometimes people move in after completion to allow for decoration etc. Once exchange takes place you are committed to your purchase and completion. You can now book your removal van and make final arrangements.
This is the day when the purchaser will become the new legal owner of the property, the day when the balance of the purchase monies are due which usually occurs around 12.00 pm to 2.00 pm. If there is a long chain, then this can delay the completion time. The agent will be unable to release any keys to the new purchasers until the vendors’ (seller) solicitors confirm to the agent that completion has taken place.
COLLECTION OF KEYS
In most cases keys are collected from our offices. We will normally telephone to advise that keys have been dropped off and are ready to be collected, however please understand that keys cannot be released until it is confirmed by the seller’ solicitors that your funds have been received.
Congratulations you are now a new property owner!