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A Brief Guide

We recognise that the purchase of your home is an infrequent event and so we have prepared a brief guide to the buying process.

Mortgage: Before you commence your property search it is advisable to get a mortgage agreed in principle. This has the advantage of providing you with a clear indication of what is affordable and the fact that you have a mortgage agreed in principle is also attractive to sellers.

Making Your Offer: Once you have located a suitable property, your offer will be submitted by us to the vendor for consideration. You should be aware that offers are “subject to contract” and therefore neither party is legally bound until the contract is actually signed and exchanged.

Accepted Offer/Instructing Solcitiors: As soon as your offer has been accepted by the vendor, you should instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf. Your solicitor will handle all the legal requirements of your purchase (property conveyancing). At this point, you also need to formally proceed with your mortgage application either directly with your chosen mortgage provider or via a broker.

Survey: The mortgage provider will undertake a Mortgage Valuation. This will be conducted by a valuer and is an inspection of the property to determine the basic condition of the property and whether it is suitable security for a loan. Since you as the buyer are also provided with a copy, it allows both parties to evaluate the findings prior to entering into a commitment to purchase. However, we would not recommend that a buyer rely solely on the Mortgage Valuation survey as the inspection is limited and although it may cost a little more to obtain a more detailed report yourself, this could in the long run save you from making a costly mistake.

Survey & Valuation: There are two types of survey:              
Homebuyer Survey/ValuationThis is a more detailed inspection than the Mortgage Valuation but is less detailed than a Building Survey. Typically it is considered to be suitable for properties in apparently good conditon and of modern, conventional construction. It will highlight significant defects which are likely to have an overall impact on the value of the property. The objective of the Homebuyer Survey is to provide a more in depth report which will assist the buyer in making an informed decision whether to proceed with the purchase and also whether the agreed price reflects the actual value. Moreover, the professional opinion of the surveyor, as contained in his report, will also set out particular features of the property which may possibly have an affect on the present value and potential future marketability.

Building Survey – Unlike the Homebuyer Survey, this is suitable for all types of property whether conventional or unconventional. The term “unconventional” encompasses properties that have an unusual construction, are historic or Listed Buildings, have been extensively altered or where major work is planned. The Building Survey is comprehensive and lists full technical details of the construction, materials and condition. It highlights the full spectrum of defects from the more serious down to the insignificant and the terms of the survey are therefore tailored to fit the client’s specific needs. It should be noted that this does not usually include a valuation and if this is required it should be arranged by prior agreement.
Searches: These are conducted by the buyer’s solicitor who submits a local authority search to the local borough council. Its purpose is to ascertain if there is any planning consent previously granted on the property or if there are any other local issues which may have an impact on the purchase. In some instances, the search may also include an Environmental and Drainage search.

Draft Contracts: The draft contract is drawn up by the seller’s solicitor and is forwarded to the buyer’s solicitor for consideration. Any additional queries or questions will be asked and answered and the contract amended accordingly, subject to final approval.

Mortgage Offer: Once the Lender is in possession of the Mortgage Valuation survey and, subject to the findings of this report, approval of the mortgage application and the outcome of references, the Lender will send a formal mortgage offer to the buyer and their solicitor. This document is then signed and returned and funds requested by the buyer’s solicitor.

Exchange of Contracts: Once the contract has been signed by both parties, a deposit (typically a sum representing 5% to 10% of the purchase price) is paid by either bank transfer or banker’s draft. At this stage, the parties agree on a date for completion/possession.

Completion: Completion usually follows a few days or weeks after exchange of contracts. The balance of the purchase price is transferred by the buyer’s solicitor to the seller’s solicitor and at this point the purchaser has the right to possession of the property.




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