The fact you are looking at this webpage, probably means you are thinking about buying a property, or at least curious about the buying process. Getting yourself out there viewing properties may seem the most logical starting point; however, it would be advisable to speak with your bank and at least one independent mortgage broker to establish how much you can borrow and the level of deposit you will need. Armed with this knowledge you are in a great position to make an offer and it will help further if you have a mortgage already agreed in principle, especially if you are one of a few offering on the same property.
Working out your “must haves” along with your “would like to haves” is another worthwhile exercise. In most cases a buyer will end up compromising on certain aspects of their criteria, so start off by making a list of your absolute “must haves”. For example, does the property need to be within a particular school catchment area? How many bedrooms must the property have? Are there certain transport links essential to your needs?
Whilst you may not be willing or realistically able to budge on some things, there will usually be others that are not so important to you. How important is access to the local park? What about off road parking facilities? Will you need to be within 5 minutes of the tube station? Do you absolutely need a first floor bathroom? For many the list of “must haves” will be short in comparison to the list of “would like to haves”, and by finding a property which offers you the essentials with some of the added extras, at a price that works, will hopefully see you (to quote Rightmove) “find your happy”.
Where to find us
Find us on
In your quest to buy a property, undoubtedly involving the internet, you will come across property portals such as www.rightmove.co.uk, www.zoopla.co.uk, www.primelocation.com all offering a search function that enables you to seek out properties matching your selected criteria. You can sign up to property alerts and access the various features and information guides these sites offer, all designed to help in your search for a new home. In addition to the property portals you can contact local estate agents and register your details as a buyer, asking to be informed when a new property matching your requirements comes to the market. You can register with us using our online registration form or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org alternatively you can call us on 020 8558 1147 or pop by the office.
What to offer
If relatively new to the property market, you might wonder just how much you will need to offer in order to secure a property. It’s important to remember that an asking price, or a guide price, is not set in stone and market conditions will play their part when it comes to how much a property will eventually sell for. Some sellers will negotiate on their price and others will not, perhaps because they need to achieve a certain figure in order to make the move work. In a buoyant market a property will often sell for more than the asking price, especially when demand is high so the best advice is to speak with local estate agents, look online to see how quickly, or slowly as the case may be, property is taking to sell and to check whether price reductions are a rare or frequent occurrence.
By working out the pace of the market, specific to the area in which you are looking to buy, you can better judge how to go about making an offer. If the market is slow and a particular property has been on the market, at the same price, for a number of months you feel the asking price is too high and base your offer accordingly. On the other hand, if the market is strong, then a low offer could spell the end of your chances as a seller could be wary of a buyer offering much lower than another interested party, even if that buyer subsequently makes a higher offer.
Finding your dream home
With your homework complete and you out there viewing, it’s then a case of finding the right property. The time this takes will depend on a number of factors such as market conditions, seasonal effects, the number of buyers also looking for the same as you, and how available you make yourself for viewings. When you do have an offer accepted, it’s time to involve your bank/mortgage broker (unless of course you are funding the purchase entirely by yourself) and a solicitor / licensed conveyancer. Between them, they will help progress the transaction and offer you the appropriate advice and guidance.
During the transaction the estate agent will continue to be involved, helping to facilitate access for surveyors, handling any future negotiations and, in the event of any linked transactions (forming a chain), communicating with other estate agent’s. A chain-free sale means neither you, nor the person you are buying from, are reliant on the sale, or purchase, of another property. If the seller is reliant on a successful purchase of their own then be sure to establish where the chain ends and if it is now complete e.g. how many related transactions are involved and is everyone ready to proceed to a conclusion. In some instances a chain can be several transactions
Sealing the deal
Once all the legal and financial work is done, a completion date is agreed and the solicitors will exchange contracts, the point at which the deal becomes legally binding. On the day of completion the solicitors will take care of the final money transfers and the estate will then be instructed to release the keys - to you, the new owner.
Should you have any questions on buying or anything else “property”, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and approachable team of property professionals.
Good luck with your search for a new home!