What steps need to be taken to purchase a property?

Do you have a property to sell?

  • Buying a property can be a competitive business. To be seen in the best light as a potential buyer you need to be a “proceedable” buyer i.e. one that has agreed on a sale on their own property, or one that can purchase independently of selling.
  • You may not need to sell a property before you can purchase one, also make sure the Estate agent is aware of this as it could put you in a better position.

What can you afford?

Get expert advice at the outset as to how much you can afford. An independent mortgage broker will be able to give information and advice on mortgages available across the market, and what is suitable and affordable for you.

  • Mortgage Arrangement Fees
  • Lenders differ but some will charge a fee to cover the cost of setting up your mortgage. Get advice from your mortgage adviser on likely costs.

  • Valuation Fees
  • All lenders will need to make a basic assessment of the value of the property that you wish to buy, they will charge a fee to cover the cost of this assessment. This fee will depend on the value of the property being assessed but is likely to start at around £150.00. Again, consult your mortgage adviser.

  • Survey Fees
  • Buying a home is likely to be the biggest financial transaction that you are likely to make. It makes sense to get as much information about the condition of the property as possible before committing to buying.

    There are three basic types of survey – Lenders Valuation, Homebuyers Report, and Building Survey.

  • Conveyancing Fees
  • A conveyancing solicitor will lead you through the legal process of selling and buying, fees for this service will differ with the value of the property but will normally start at £625.

  • Land Transaction Tax
  • This is a government tax on property purchases and is payable by the buyer.Tax rates can be found here.

  • Land Registry Fees
  • A charge levied by the Government Land Registry for the transfer of registration to the new owner. This fee is dependent on the purchase price but usually starts at £200.

  • Search Fees
  • Primarily a search of Local Authority records is designed to highlight any potential problems with local planning developments, highways, etc. This fee is dependent on which local authority area the property lies in but typically will start at £150.

Get a Mortgage in Principle

  • When you find the house of your dreams you want to be able to act quickly to secure it.
  • Having a mortgage agreement in principle will reassure your vendor and their agents of your ability to buy, right at the outset.
  • Lenders will give you this agreement in principle in writing to show that you are a serious prospect.

View Properties

  • When registering with an estate agent make sure that they fully understand your ‘must have’ requirements and what you would like to see in your ideal property.
  • Property details, either printed or online can be very informative, but they are no substitute for actually viewing. Being open-minded and looking at a number of properties will give you the best understanding of what is available in your price bracket and ultimately help you find the right home.

Make an Offer

  • Your agent will take details of your offer and your ability to proceed. They will lead you through the process of negotiation with the seller in order to come to an agreement acceptable to all. Once the agreement has been confirmed in writing, solicitors can be instructed, and the legal process of buying can begin.

Exchange and Completion

  • When the sale has been agreed the seller’s solicitor will prepare a contract of sale. You will need a solicitor to look over this contract and to raise any queries on this or any other property related matters on your behalf.
  • Your solicitor will also complete the appropriate searches and request a formal mortgage offer from your lender.
  • Once your solicitor has had satisfactory answers to all their inquiries and has a mortgage offer, they will move forward to arrange an exchange of contracts. They will ask you to sign your copies of the contract and provide a deposit.
  • At the point of Exchange of Contracts, the completion date will be set, and you will have entered into a formal contract with the seller. Completion dates can be set for any date in the future but usually will be within 28 days of Exchange. It is this point that you should confirm all your arrangements for moving.
  • On the day of Completion, the final transfer of money takes place and you will receive the keys to your new home.