Buying a house (and selling one) is regarded as one of the most stressful experiences in life; perhaps explaining why the homeowner used to move just once every seven years – a figure we think, at Power Bespoke, is climbing.
Sellers are often well catered for in terms of online advice – you’ve probably read guides yourself to selling a property, but buyers (as important part of the process as sellers) often become Cinderella and are omitted from the preparations for the metaphorical “ball” of moving.
Remember, though, that research comes first.
It not only pays to do your homework at school, but also in life.
You need to research an area, study asking prices, register on portals and with estate agents, connect with each on social media and decide on property priorities – price range, number of bedrooms, location etc.
Once you’ve done your homework, you can pack it in your bag or brain and start these 10 steps:
- Viewing properties is your next step after research. You can go all informal and do a drive round of an area to get an impression, even a short walk, and if it suits, you arrange to view through the seller’s estate agent. You may want to ask the estate agent and vendor any pressing questions you may have on the viewing, to prevent delays further down the line.
- Make an offer. You like the property, the area, it meets most of your criteria on the homework you’ve done. You email and phone with an offer, which the estate agent legally has to relay to the vendor. You should get fairly prompt feedback, with the only delay being if the agent is unable to speak with the vendor.
- Offer accepted. Yes, you did it. The offer (or second or third offer) was accepted. You whoop with delight at the prospect of buying your next home.
- Seller removes property from the market. If an offer is made and accepted, a reputable estate agent will mark the property as Under Offer and not allow further viewings. It may remain on websites and portals but marked as Under Offer.
- This may be your step one. In fact the earlier in the process you have finances, a deposit and mortgage funds, in place, the better. You know then how much you can afford with an Agreement in Principle and you won’t be tempted to view property that is out of your financial scope.
- Appoint a conveyancing solicitor. You may want to do this at the outset too, like getting mortgage funds in place to save time. The more prepared you, the faster your move will occur.
- Arrange a survey and set a date for it to take place. There’s various types of survey open to you and your choice may well be dictated to by the type of property you’re buying, professional advice and the requirements of your mortgage provider.
- Agree on an exchange date. This is normally a few days before completion and legally commits both parties to a deal, by exchanging contracts.
- Get organised by arranging funds for deposit, removals and by arranging buildings and contents insurance from the exchange date.
- Set a completion date and arrange to pick up the keys to your new home!
There you have it – 10 steps to buying a property with hopefully no Ugly Sisters to spoil your plans.