A guide to buying property
1. Register with an estate agent to be the first to see properties as they come to the market
Get ahead of the curve and the competition and don’t just rely on property alerts from Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket. Our partner estate agents Townends Estate Agents and Stirling Ackroyd are experts in residential sales.
They take the time to get to know all their buyers in order to find them a property that best meets their needs and aspirations. With a branch network that extends across Surrey and into Central London, your new home could already be in our portfolio.
When you register as a buyer with Townends Estate Agents or Stirling Ackroyd you can expect previews of properties before they reach the major property portals (Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket) through our latest property email alerts, as well as regular contact from our property experts about market conditions.
They will also send you their monthly house price index which gives you the latest property transaction numbers and averages in your local areas of interest. You will also get house price changes, find out how many properties were sold, break statistics down by property type and benchmark regionally and nationally.
2. How much can you afford; find the right mortgage for you with dot financial services
Before you begin searching, you will need to determine your budget. This will need to take in to account typical costs of moving, such as estate agency fees, stamp duty, solicitors’ fees and removals costs, as well as your available budget for a deposit and include any equity in an existing property.
Whether you are a first-time buyer or a seasoned home mover, our sister company dot financial services will find the mortgage suited to you and will be on hand to advise and support you throughout your property purchase.
As a MAB regulated business, you can trust that the advice provided by dot financial services is an honest appraisal of your finances and the mortgage market, and that their recommendation will be based on an accurate assessment of your personal affordability. They will search from 1000s of mortgages across over 90 lenders to meet your requirements.
Understanding your budget will put you in a strong position once you begin viewing properties and negotiating on price. Gaining an Agreement In Principle (AIP), an outline of how much you are allowed to borrow and proof that you can afford the property you would like to make an offer on, also puts you in a stronger position once you have found your perfect property.
3. Are you also thinking of selling or letting?
Townends Estate Agents and Stirling Ackroyd are experts at matching people with property. If you are looking to buy and also have a property to sell or let, they can help you.
When you sell or let with Townends or Stirling Ackroyd, they will provide a professional marketing package to attract the best buyers or tenants to your property as well as accompany all viewings and assist with offer negotiations. They also have an internal sales progression team to manage the complex process and remove the stress from you.
4. Let us help you find your perfect property
Our online search makes finding your perfect property, quick and easy. Searching for properties with Townends and Stirling Ackroyd is simple. When you register as buyer you will automatically be sent property alters when properties that fulfill your search criteria come to the market before they reach rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket.
To further enhance your property search we also recommend you visit your local Townends and Stirling Branch and meet our friendly and professional Property Consultants who will be happy to introduce you to all the sights and sounds of the local area as well as take you through our property register.
5. Viewing properties
When you have decided on a shortlist of properties you would like to view a Property Consultants will be pleased to take you on a viewing tour or a one-off appointment, allowing you to gain a full picture of the property or properties you are considering.
Use the time on a viewing to fully understand the property and its suitability for your needs, ask yourself important questions such as, how close is it to local shops, schools and transport links, to help you accept or dismiss it as a possibility. We recommend you take a moment to stand outside the property and walk down the street.
Whether you like a property or not, give your Property Consultant as much feedback as possible to help them understand more about your buying needs and desires.
Having seen your perfect home, be ready to make an offer in the knowledge of what it will cost and how long it may take to complete and don’t delay letting the agent know.
6. Get a head start on your conveyancing
Buying a property is a huge commitment and to reflect this, the legal process behind every transaction is extremely detailed to make sure you’re making a sound investment.
Our conveyancing service is handled by an approved panel of dedicated conveyancers who are committed to delivering an exceptional level of service to our clients. All of our recommended conveyancers are regulated by either the Solicitors Regulation Authority or the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.
Getting legally prepared is an important part of our conveyancing service. We help you get a head start by having all the necessary legal documents in place before you make an offer, removing any unwanted delays and putting you one step ahead of the competition.
Once you are legally prepared, you can relax in the knowledge that you are ready to move forward once a sale has been agreed.
7. Making an offer
Congratulations, you have found a property that you want to buy and are ready to make an offer!
Once you are happy with all the information, contact the agent detailing your offer, including any required timescales and special requests you may have. The more information you can provide the agent, the quicker and easier it is for them to fully inform the seller about your offer. If you require a mortgage, evidence of your arrangements and deposit amount will need to be confirmed.
On occasions where multiple offers exist, sellers/agents may require buyers to present these in writing, sometimes known as sealed bids. Should this happen, it is important to confirm all facts surrounding your offer, as the offer amount may not necessarily be the overriding factor, especially if identical/near offers are received.
It is important to note that at this stage there are no legal obligations on either side until contracts have been signed.
8. Arrange a Survey
Buying a property is a large investment and you want to ensure that it is a sound one. Having a residential property survey completed on your potential property will ensure that you can make an informed decision before committing to making a purchase.
At Tyser Greenwood Chartered Surveyors, we are trusted experts in residential surveying solutions. We offer a full range of residential surveying services, including basic valuations, a more detailed building survey or specialist work such as a probate valuation or a leasehold extension.
It is important to choose a property survey based on the condition of the property. Your RICS regulated chartered surveyor will help you decide which level of survey is most suitable for your potential property purchase.
9. Offer confirmation and sales progression
Once your offer has been accepted legal documentation, known as a Memorandum of Sale, will be drawn up. This will confirm the agreed price with all parties as well as solicitor and mortgage details.
10. Exchange of contracts
When all the legal work has been carried out, you are ready to exchange contracts and a non-refundable deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) is required by your solicitor/conveyancer.
Contracts can now be signed and exchanged at which point both parties are legally bound to complete the transaction. Completion dates will need to be agreed and are normally around two weeks after exchange.
You can now begin packing your boxes and preparing for your move!
11. Completion, moving day!
This is the day on which your solicitor/conveyancer will transfer the remaining money owed and your purchase will be completed. You are now the legal owner of your new home, congratulations!
Once you have received the keys, don’t forget to take meter readings and check your property to ensure all is as you expected. Remember to re-direct any post and update any account addresses to your new details.