Our guide to buying a property
Finding the right property to buy can be tough! At Harrisons Estate Agents, our dedicated staff will go the extra mile to help you find the property of your dreams. Our experienced staff have insightful knowledge regarding local properties enabling you to acquire the most suitable home available. Whatever the type of property or special requirements you may have why not give us a call and let us know what you’re looking for! Alternatively you can browse through our available properties using the search facility on this website. Once you have found a property to buy, follow the below step by step guide to ensure your application runs smoothly.
Searching for your dream home
So how do you go about finding that all-elusive perfect property?
It’s always going to be a careful balance between money and time, and of course, the supply of property in your chosen area. You could find your next home in any of a number of places, but without doubt, the easiest place to start looking is the internet. Harrisons Estate Agents advertise on all the main property portals as well as our own website and encourage all potential purchasers to register your details with us or follow us via our Facebook property page. This will enable us to keep you informed of any new properties coming to the market and send details directly to your inbox so you can book a viewing straight away.
Making your offer
Once you have found a property that suits your requirements, try and stay calm. It is advised that you request to view the Energy Performance Certificate prior to making your offer. When making an offer you should always establish exactly what fixtures and fittings are included within the sale and what isn’t. For example, plumbing and heating installations are almost certainly included, but curtains and carpets may not be. Conditions of your purchase must be outlined at this stage prior to having your offer accepted.
Arranging a mortgage
Before getting serious with your property search, it’s a good idea to find out how much you can afford to borrow, this process is called obtaining a mortgage pre-approval. A pre-approval takes into account the credit score of the applicant(s) and should be based upon a review of the applicant(s) income and assets. (Tip: Since many purchases fail due to an inability to secure adequate financing, it is worthwhile seeking a creditable mortgage broker or lender in your local area to undertake the pre-approval process. Harrisons work alongside carefully selected Independent Financial Advisers and one conversation could give you access to the entire market place covering all the high street lenders.
Solicitors / Conveyancing
Once your offer has been accepted, you and the vendor will need to appoint a solicitor to handle the purchase and sale. A solicitors job is to take care of all legal aspects of the transaction, which include local searches, land searches, land registry entries, tile issues and stamp duty. Both parties will be sent a Notification of Sale from the Estate Agent confirming the price agreed, any special conditions negotiated and the names and addresses of both solicitors. Selecting a solicitor is an important decision as choosing a proactive firm who communicate well with all parties during the purchase process is essential. Harrisons can recommend respected local solicitors to help with your purchase if required.
Click here to view our panel of recommended solicitors.
If you are purchasing with the aid of a mortgage, a survey is usually arranged on behalf of the lender. If you are a cash purchaser it is always recommended that you instruct an independent survey or inspection yourself. The outcome of the survey determines the next step. Harrisons Estate Agents can recommend surveyors who can provide full reports.
Stamp Duty Land Tax is a tax payable by the purchaser to HMRC. Your solicitor will usually handle this for you and send the payment to HMRC on your behalf. With house prices rising rapidly, more and more home buyers are having to pay stamp duty land tax, though what exact rate you pay depends on the property’s price. Sweeping changes to stamp duty were announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in December 2014 in favour of a tiered system resulting in reduced tax for the majority of buyers.
Click here to visit the UK Government website for the most up to date information.
Exchange of contracts
At this stage both you and your solicitor must be happy with the outcome of the survey and be satisfied with all replies to enquires raised. The formal mortgage must be granted so that funds can be drawn to your solicitors bank account when requested. Your solicitor will agree a completion date with all parties and then exchange contracts based on the above.
We’re nearly there – The mortgage lender now releases the monies to your solicitor who in turn transfers these to the sellers solicitor. All title deeds for your new property are handed over to your solicitor and the property is legal yours. The sellers will have arranged to release keys to their agents and it will now be possible for you to collect these and move into your new home.