Many first-time buyers come to us for house buying tips, and even those who have bought property before can find the whole buying a house process daunting. However, it needn’t be that way. This step-by-step guide to buying a house will give you an idea of what to expect.
Step 1: Arranging your mortgage
While it’s tempting to dive straight into your property search, it’s always wise to take a look at your finances before anything else. Getting to grips with the money side of things first will give you a better idea of what you can afford, which will help narrow your search criteria and save you time when you begin house-hunting.
There are literally hundreds of mortgage products out there these days, so things can become a little overwhelming. Having someone you can trust by your side will give you great peace of mind, which is why we’re always quick to recommend Clarity Financial Management as our mortgage broker of choice. Clarity have over 40 years experience in financial services, so you can rest assured you’re in safe hands.
Step 2: Register with us
Now you’ve spoken to a broker and have a clearer idea on the price bracket you are in, it’s time to get your search under way. Exciting times, right?
One of the best ways to get properties that meet your criteria sent straight through to you is to register with us, and the process couldn’t be simpler. Just click here to use our easy online form, or give our sales team a call on 020 8989 2091. No fuss. No drama.
Once registered, we’ll send you properties relevant to your search criteria so you won’t need to trawl through dozens of homes that are of no interest to you. Naturally, we have several ways in which we can get new listings to you and you can choose whichever suits you best.
Step 3: Book a viewing
Now that you are regularly receiving the latest properties direct to your doormat, inbox, or mobile, it won’t be long before you’ll want to get out there and take a look around. Our areas are extremely sought after so we like to arrange viewings as quickly as possible, but we’re always happy to work around your schedule.
One of our agents will accompany you to your viewing so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to get any questions you may have answered. We’re a friendly bunch here at Pettys, so even if you need some general advice on buying a house please feel free to ask.
Step 4: Making an offer
You’ve looked, and you liked! Now you need to make an offer.
Thankfully, this part of the process is equally simple. Just give us a call with your offer and we’ll take care of the rest. Once we’ve received your bid, we’ll inform the seller both verbally and in writing. We’ll also include any specific conditions the offer may have too.
Remember, at this stage there are no legal obligations on either party; this only begins once the contracts have been signed. A good, preferably local, solicitor who specialises in conveyancing will help make your move as smooth as possible and we’d be happy to recommend one to you should you need it.
Step 5: Offer agreed
Once your offer has been agreed by the seller, we’ll prepare a memorandum of sale which stipulates that both you and the seller have come to an agreement over the purchase of the property. It will also lay out all of the other particulars associated with the sale too, including the purchase price, yours and the sellers details, and that of your respective solicitors.
We will then inform both sets of solicitors so they can begin to set the conveyancing wheels in motion. It’s also at this stage when you’ll need to get back in touch with your mortgage provider and give them all of the necessary details so your loan can move forward.
Step 6: Conveyancing
This is the bit where your solicitor will do their thing, and it’s essential. During the conveyancing process, they will make sure you legally own the property in question and look after the transfer of funds between you and the seller.
It’s also the time when they’ll raise any questions they may have about the proposed contract put forward by the seller’s solicitor and conduct any local searches they deem appropriate. Your solicitor will also work with the seller’s solicitor to arrange a date for the exchange of contracts and be on hand to answer any questions you may have as the process moves ahead.
Here at Pettys, we’ll be available to both you and your solicitor during this time. We know how important communication is at this stage, so we take extra care to keep you informed of everything as we move you ever closer to completion.
Step 7: Survey and mortgage offer
Your lender will want to make sure everything's in order before releasing a formal mortgage offer, so they’ll instruct a surveyor to come and inspect the property and give an independent assessment on its value. Once completed, the surveyor’s report will then be sent to you and your mortgage provider.
If your lender is satisfied with the report, they will then send you and your solicitor a formal mortgage offer which needs to be signed by you as soon as you possibly can. As the contracts still haven’t been signed, you are still under no legal obligation at this point.
It’s also prudent to instruct a private surveyor of your own at this stage as this will give you a better insight into the property. Your own surveyor will carry out a thorough investigation and give you a far more detailed report once the survey is completed. Check out our guide to the different types of surveys available for more information.
Step 8: Exchange of contracts
Now all of legal bits and bobs are out of the way, it’s time to exchange contracts. This will occur on the date arranged during the conveyancing process and it requires both you and the seller to sign the contracts for your respective solicitors to exchange. Your deposit will also be transferred telegraphically at this time.
This is a huge step towards completion, as both you and the seller are now legally obligated to proceed with the transaction. All that remains now is for both parties to agree on a date to complete. You’re almost there!
Step 9: Completion
Today’s the day the outstanding balance on the purchase will be transferred from your lender to the buyer’s solicitor. As soon as the money hits their account, you will receive a call to let you know that you are a proud homeowner. How good is that?
We will also be informed so we can release your keys and congratulate you on purchasing your new home. It’s one of our favourite parts of the job!
That’s it, you’re all done. All you need to do now is move all your belongings into your new property...oh, and remember which box the cutlery is in!