Where to start?
The fastest way of finding your ideal home is by creating a wish list and sharing it with your estate agent.
Although most Estate Agents list all of their properties on portals such as rightmove, it is still important that your Estate Agent has a clear idea of what you are looking for.
The list should detail everything that you’d like from your ideal property such as the price range, your preferred location(s) and the style of property. You should also consider whether you are prepared to conduct minor updates or renovations, and, of course, you should outline the minimum requirements for the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and car parking you require, plus the aspect and surrounding views you prefer.
If you are a first-time buyer, it is vital that you gain as much knowledge as you can by viewing homes that might be of interest.
Properties vary dramatically and some you will think you’ll like but won’t and others which you may not be as keen on will turn out to be a complete surprise. You really want to have seen at least a dozen or so properties before making your final choice and sometimes finding homes to look at can be easier said than done!
If you are looking for an investment property, then you should also discuss the matter with your accountant / tax adviser so you can make sure you are prepared for the investment you choose. Furthermore, it is important to give consideration to the type of investment that you want to acquire and there are many different avenues to pursue from basic single units of accommodation such as a flat through to mixed use buildings and Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO). Dependent upon the type of investor you are will often determine the type of investment you pursue, and we can provide guidance at every step of the process.
It is also recommended that you get your financing pre-approved, that way you can conduct your property search with confidence and, in addition, be a more ‘attractive’ buyer to prospective sellers. Most lenders will issue an agreement in principle (AIP) which gives a clear illustration of what they anticipate you being able to borrow.
During the Search
Be open and upfront with us about your thoughts and provide constructive feedback wherever possible. Always remember that if someone had been to see your home you would want to know what they thought and so when out viewing feedback for the agent is invaluable. Even if you do not like the home be sure to tell the agent whether its whilst you are on the appointment or when they call the following day to follow up.
Don’t be too disheartened if you are unable find the ideal property straight away. Looking for a home can be time consuming and frustrating at times. Hang in there, remember your original wish list but be open to compromise. Approach each viewing with an open mind as many people overlook the potential in certain homes because of the way they currently presented or arranged.
Finally, ‘action equals results’, so be prepared to make a quick decision when the right property comes along.
Making an offer and agreeing to buy a property
Once you have found your dream property, the next stage is to make an offer.
There is no legal obligation for this to be in writing and can be given verbally to an Estate Agent. The Estate Agent will then undertake some basic checks of your position to confirm that you can proceed whether by virtue of selling a property or by ensuring that you have the financial capacity to do so.
The offer will then be put forward to the vendor verbally and you will receive written confirmation of this as well. If your offer is rejected and you are still interested in the property, further negotiations will take place until either an agreement on price is reached or negotiations cannot be taken any further.
It’s important to understand, that, in England, there is no legal obligation to you or the vendor until a contract is signed and therefore all offers that are submitted are subject to contract. This means that until contracts have been exchanged either party can withdraw without any obligation to the other party. You are, however, likely to incur costs with your solicitor and mortgage provider if either party withdraws prior to contracts being exchanged. Typically, these costs increase the closer you are to exchange of contracts. Details of abortive costs are different from one company to the next, so it is important you clarify your potential liabilities with the company at the point of instructing them to undertake any work for you.
After your offer is accepted by the vendor, we will arrange for the agreed terms to be sent in writing to all parties. This is called the Memorandum of Sale and acts as a catalyst between the solicitors and triggers the start of the conveyance for the property. It is at this stage you instruct your mortgage broker/provider to proceed with your application for your mortgage. They will want to know who to contact in respect of having a mortgage valuation done and you should simply pass them our contact details.