It's Your Move

Here's How to Make it a Great One

A Step-By-Step Guide to Buying a Property

Step 1
Figure out how much you can afford

Before beginning your new home search, you should get a handle on your finances and, especially, how much you can afford to spend. Make sure you factor in all of the costs involved. To get a good understanding of this, take a look at this article covering this from our recommended mortgage broker, Finance One. There may be a process of getting yourself mortgage ready involved, especially if you are a first time buyer. You can also figure out how much your mortgage will cost you by using our mortgage calculator.

Step 2
Are you also selling?

If your move means you are also selling your own home, you should really put your own home on the market before starting your search. Being ready to sell (or having already sold) means you will be in a strong position to move quickly on the home you want. This can make all the difference to a vendor when selecting which offer to go with.

Step 3
Finding the right home for you
With so many homes coming on the market all the time, this can be a time-consuming process. Keep an eye on the sales sites and areas that you like, but you might also consider briefing an estate agent such as H&L who can help you in the following ways :
  • we can give advice on the  area or property you are interested in
  • use our industry knowledge and connections to find the home that matches your brief precisely and/or view it on your behalf
  • give an unbiased appraisal of any properties you are considering going for
  • negotiate on your behalf when it comes to making an offer on the property

Step 4
You will want to view a number of homes you think might fit the bill. When viewing properties you think you might like, don’t just wander in and ‘get a feel’ for a place. Ask yourself a specific set of questions from our checklist. If you are under time pressure, we can view on your behalf and give an independent view as to its suitability for you, given your initial brief.
Step 5
Hiring a Solicitor

You will need to retain the services of a solicitor. Prices for these can vary substantially, so do your research first. The conveyancing process is quite intricate and can be very time consuming, so you need someone capable and responsive. If you contact us, we can put you in touch with an excellent solicitor from our panel.


Step 6
Making an Offer

Once you have found that place you want, you can make an offer. You will want to communicate the offer amount and any conditions that may apply. You may be required to supply proof of funds to demonstrate that you are in a position to proceed. At this point however, you are not legally committing to anything.

Step 7
Offer accepted

Once the offer is accepted, you will pay a booking deposit to the Estate Agent and the property is taken off the market. The booking deposit is fully refundable at this stage if either side pulls out of the transaction. There is an agreement in principle by the Purchaser to purchase the property and by the Vendor to sell that property to the particular Purchaser but there is no binding agreement at this stage. Many sales can fall through between the Sale Agreed and the Contract stage for reasons such as the purchaser can’t get loan approval, the Engineer’s survey on the property shows up unexpected problems or either side simply changes their mind about buying/selling.

The Vendor’s solicitor drafts contracts which are sent to your Solicitor setting out the agreement made in relation to the sale together with a copy of the title and ancillary documents relating to the property. Your solicitor will review the title produced and raise queries with the Vendor’s Solicitor to ensure that you have good marketable title to the property.

You will arrange for a Valuation to be carried out on the property as well as a Structural Survey.

You will then sign the Contract for Sale which binds both parties to the agreement, and you will be expected to pay a 10% Contract Deposit. If you withdraw after this point, you may lose your deposit. The completion date is also set out in the Contract for Sale.

Step 8
Completion Process

Once the Contract for Sale is signed by both parties, your solicitor will continue with the detailed investigation of the title and will raise Requisitions on the title of the property. The Vendor’s solicitor is duty bound to reply to the requisitions on title.  Your solicitor then drafts the Transfer Deed naming the Purchaser and the Vendor and forwards it to the Vendor’s Solicitor for approval.

Your solicitor will request closing searches on the day the funds are due to be handed over. These searches must be right up to date and are done on the day the monies are to be handed over to the Vendor. Once satisfied with the searches, your solicitor will requisition the mortgage and arrange to draw down the loan that has been agreed to purchase the property.

Provided nothing unexpected shows up on the closing searches, the closing will take place either at the office of the Vendor’s solicitor or by post with an agreed timeline (if the solicitors are not based in close proximity to each other). The title documents and the funds are exchanged between the solicitors and the keys will be released by the Estate Agent once the exchange of title and funds has taken place.

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