Property buying guide explained
Buying property is a big deal. For most, a property purchase is both the single biggest financial purchase of a lifetime, alongside one of the most important emotional milestones. Let our property buying guide help you get started on the road to your future.
Step 1: What can you afford?
Deciding to buy a home is exciting! Before you get carried away with property searches, it’s best to know just how much you can afford to spend and what you truly require. An independent financial advisor or personal bank is the perfect start.
When your circumstances have been evaluated, you’ll be able to obtain a mortgage in principle and this puts you in a strong buying position, sending the signal to sellers that your finances are in order.
* Coultons offers mortgage advice with an independent mortgage company with access to some of the most competitive mortgage deals on the market. Please ask at your Coultons office for further details.
Step 2: Register for instant property alerts
Once you have established what you can afford it’s time to start looking for a property. Register with Coultons by clicking here, or call your local Coultons office. In addition, Coultons uploads all of its properties for sale to the leading portals like Zoopla, Rightmove, Find a Property and Primelocation but you’ll find them on our website first!
In fact, when you’re registered you’ll be the first to know when a suitable property becomes available. There’s always a place for sending property details out to you in the post but Coultons understands that you’ll want the newest details sent as quickly as possible. Properties that meet your requirements will be sent via email and by SMS alerts, so you can browse on the move at any time via a smartphone.
Step 3: Let the viewings begin
The buying market is always competitive so Coultons encourages an early viewing to secure that dream home. We’ll do everything possible to ensure you see a property within the quickest time frame, we’ll even chauffeur you there and accompany you throughout. Coultons likes to be on hand during viewings to answer any questions and to negotiate any difficult areas. We know you lead a busy life, so we’re open evenings and weekends to make sure property viewing is a pleasure, not a pain.
Step 4: Make an offer
Everyone gets excited when they find their dream home. The next thought is: secure the property! Let Coultons know which property you’d like to put an offer in on as soon as possible, and we’ll work with you to advise how best to present your offer. Once an offer has been formulated, we’ll put the figure forward both verbally and in writing, stating any special conditions of the offer. Be ready with your mortgage offer in principle, as this will put you in a strong buying position. There are no legal obligations on either side until contracts are signed.
A good solicitor can be instrumental to a smooth move. Coultons advises choosing a company that specialises in conveyancing but if you’re in any doubt, ask to see our list of recommended solicitors who have been given glowing references by our past clients.
Step 5: Offer agreed
Even when an offer is agreed, Coultons will still be working hard to progress the purchase. We will:
- Prepare a memorandum of sale
- Write to all parties to confirm the agreed price
- Ask you to confirm your solicitor’s and mortgage broker’s details
Now is the time to instruct your chosen solicitor as they will need to oversee all the legal aspects of your purchase. You’ll also need to contact your mortgage provider and give them the full details of your purchase in order for your loan to proceed.
Step 6: And now for the legal bit – conveyancing
A solicitor will ensure that you legally own the property you are buying and will oversee the transfer of funds from buyer to seller. Your solicitor will also become a key mediator, along with your estate agent. They will:
- Raise any enquiries on receipt of the draft contract from the seller’s solicitor
- Request their own local searches
- Refer to the information already provided in any the seller’s pack
- Agree on a date for exchange of contracts
Coultons has cultivated strong relationships with all our recommended solicitors and we believe this open dialogue will help your house purchase move along with speed.
Property purchase: crossing the finish line
Step 7: Survey and mortgage offer
The property you want to buy might look good on the outside but only a surveyor can tell if it is structurally sound and worth the asking price. A property survey will be booked on behalf of the mortgage lender, and a surveyor will visit the home you want to purchase to fully evaluate the building and state of repair.
The surveyor will file a report that goes to the mortgage lender and to you, the buyer. It will flag up areas of concern and you can decide on whether to alter your offering depending on the content of the report.
Once your mortgage lender has received its copy of the report, it will issue a formal mortgage offer – a copy will be sent to you and your solicitor. Make sure you sign this and return it as soon as possible. There are no legal obligations until contracts are signed.
Step 8: Exchange of contracts
Once all enquiries have been answered and a formal mortgage offer received by the seller’s solicitor, exchange of contracts can take place. The next step involves your deposit. Upon receipt of a contract signed by both parties, your deposit will be telegraphically transferred or paid by banker’s draft to the sellers. This is a real milestone in your property purchase and you can agree a completion date with the sellers – the date on which you hope to move in – once the money has cleared.
Step 9: Completion at last
Completion is probably the most nail-biting part of buying a new home as you’ll be waiting to hear that your mortgage lender has transferred the balance of the property purchase to the seller’s, signalling you have paid in full for the property. Once the funds have cleared in the sellers account, we can hand over the keys to you – the new home owners. Completion and moving in usually happen on the same day.