A Guide to Buying

So you’ve finally found your dream home to buy – but what next?

The maze of legal work, negotiations, dealing with surveyors and solicitors, finding a good mortgage deal and worrying about your deal falling through, on top of actually hunting down the home of your dreams, is enough to scare anyone.

Buying a house is one of the biggest financial decisions that you will make in your life. It is a lengthy and complicated business, which while exciting is often fraught with stress and worry. But luckily there is a lot of good advice around helping you to make your home-buying experience as easy and problem-free as possible. Remember, we’re here to help you through every step of the process right up to the day when you collect your keys and move in.

It is important to have a good understanding of the process as it will help you to avoid some of the most common hazards of home-buying. Chamberlains have prepared an introduction to the home-buying process to help you to understand how it all works, how to plan it and what to watch out for. After reading this you should have a better idea of what to expect and how to set out to buy a home feeling prepared and ready to go.

One of the first priorities is to ascertain how much you can afford, CLICK HERE to link to our mortgage advice page.

Making an offer
Once you have found the property of your dreams, the next step is to make an offer. It is important to consider a variety of factors when choosing your price level in order to achieve the right deal for you. Take a step back to logically look at all the things that matter before making your offer.

Your offer has been accepted!
Once the seller has accepted your offer, ask them to take it off the market. They don’t have to agree to this, but doing so will shut out other
potential buyers. Now you need to move fast – the seller will want to see progress so try to avoid any unnecessary delays in getting the surveys and other legal work done. Complete the lender’s application form and send them the documents they require – this will include proof of your ID, evidence of your earnings, proof of your address over the last few months and your bank statements, so have these ready.

The lender will arrange for a valuation to be done on the property. If you are lucky enough to not need a mortgage, you don’t have to get a survey done, though buying a property without one is not advisable and risky. If you are buying an older property, one that needs repairs or just for your own peace of mind, you could consider getting a more detailed survey done than the basic lender’s valuation.

Instructing a Solicitor
When your offer has been accepted, as well as dealing with the mortgage you will will also need to instruct a solicitor or conveyancer, CLICK HERE to link to our conveyancing page. After having an offer accepted the conveyancing process begins which can take anything from a few days to many months, the process from having your offer accepted to completion of the sale takes about 12 weeks. This is about twice as long as in many other countries – home-buying in Britain is a notoriously drawn-out business!

Jargon:  Gazumping & Gazundering
A term used to denote a situation where the seller has accepted an offer but subsequently accepts a higher offer from another purchaser. This is legal and ensuring the property is taken off the market is one way of reducing this risk. Gazumping happens most frequently in a seller’s market. Gazundering is the term for when a buyer reduces their offer just before the contracts are exchanged in the hope of forcing the seller to accept less for the property. Again this is considered legal- but not exactly ethical!

Exchanging Contracts
Once everything is ready, you’ll be asked to pay a deposit- usually 10% (but sometimes 5%) of the property value before contracts can be exchanged. If you pull out after this stage, you will lose your deposit and may face legal action from the seller. It is essential to have Buildings Insurance cover in place at this stage and you should also consider other protection such as Life Insurance – your mortgage advisor can sort this for you.

Completion – the big day!
In advance of completion, get a quote from a removals company CLICK HERE to arrange for a quote from our recommended professional removal company. Save time and cost by doing some of the packing yourself. If possible try to avoid Mondays and Fridays which are the busiest days for moving.

At the end of the day..

Sit back (against a box of stuff and probably on the floor!) find yourself a glass and a bottle of wine and celebrate you have made it! You’ve got through the stress, the tears and sleepless nights and now it’s all over you can start to enjoy being home – once you’ve found the bottle opener!