Buying a property is a big step and it can sometimes be difficult to understand the process and stages involved in getting started. Check out our step-by-step guide below to get an understanding on the process of buying a property.
1. Arranging a mortgage
The time leading up to purchasing a property - whether it be your first or not – can be a time of excitement, elation and sometimes even stress (which we’re here to minimise). Prior to setting out on your exploration of dream home listings online there are a few things you should clarify – most importantly, how much you can afford to spend.
Speaking to a financial advisor or visiting a high street bank would be a good starting point. They’ll be able to advise on how much a lender is likely to approve once you’ve informed them of your circumstances. Obtaining a mortgage in principle will put you in a stable buying position. Agents and vendors will want to know your position as a purchaser when you make an offer. If you don’t have your finances or a MIP ready when making an offer, the vendor may be hesitant on accepting your offer.
Hawkes work with an independent mortgage advisor, Prime Mortgages – offering free and impartial financial advice to all those seeking to secure a mortgage at competitive rates. Pop in to our office on Stoke Newington High Street or call us on 020 7241 6563 to find out more.
2. Register your interest with local agents
Registering your requirements with local agents will keep you a step ahead. The details of any properties matching your requirements will be sent to you via email or SMS alerts.
To register your details with our office for property updates click here.
London’s property market is dynamic and moves extremely fast. You should try to be as flexible as possible when allowing time for viewing properties – if you’re not available for viewings, you might miss out on your ideal property! Our agents are dedicated to making sure applicants don’t miss out on viewings of their ideal home. We accompany all of our viewings to make sure no question goes unanswered.
We understand that it may be difficult for you to make arrangements for viewings during working hours, so we’ll compromise to accommodate later viewing after working hours.
4. Making an offer
If you’ve seen a property you are happy to progress with you should contact either your negotiator or our office in order for us to guide you on the next steps are. If your offer is subject to any conditions you should make sure we are made aware of these.
5. Having your offer agreed
When both parties mutually agree an offer we’ll have a memorandum of sale drawn up and sent out to all parties. A memorandum of sale will outline the specifics of the agreed sale, including the agreed purchase price.
6. Instructing a solicitor
Instructing a solicitor to act on your behalf is an important part of the sales process. They’ll undertake the duty of completing all necessary legal work during the process, and can ultimately have a major influence on the success and speed of which your purchase progresses. Be sure to instruct your mortgage provide of the good news too!
7. Survey and mortgage offer
If you’ll be purchasing a property via a mortgage, it’ll be necessary for a surveyor to carry out an evaluation. During the visit the surveyor will evaluate the condition of the building and determine its market price. Once complete, all information taken in to account will be filed in to a report, which will be sent back to the mortgage lender and you once complete.
Upon your mortgagee receiving the surveyors report, they’ll then issue a formal mortgage offer – which you’ll need to sign and have returned without delay.
At this stage in the process, neither party is yet under any legal obligation.
8. Exchange of contracts
The contracts are to be signed when both parties to the agreement are happy with the details included within. A few of the details that the contracts should include are:
- The agreed sale price
- Documents highlighting the boundaries of the property
- Whether there any fixtures, fittings or furnishing to be included within the sale price
- Any planning or legal restrictions held on the property
- Agreed date of completion
Upon the signing and exchange of contracts, both parties will be bound by legal obligations. The buyer will be legally obliged to sell the property to the buyer and buyer will be under legal obligation to proceed with purchasing the property. A deposit usually equivalent to 10% of the agreed purchase price will be paid by the buyer’s solicitor to your solicitor.
On the day of completion the remaining money (purchase price minus any deposits paid) will be transferred securely between buyer and seller through the solicitors. Your solicitor will call you to confirm once the money has cleared, whereby we’ll then be instructed to release keys to you. Congratulations on your new home!