Buying a property can often be a long process, sometimes time months. In this article, we break down the process so you can understand exactly what is involved. There are various steps to buying a property, we summarise some of the main steps and what to expect at each stage.
Finding a property
The first step on your journey to buying a property would be to research what is out there and in your budget. You should also consider how you would fund the purchase, whether you would buy using cash or be looking to take out a mortgage in which case you should obtain an agreement in principle from a lender as most estate agents would ask for this when booking viewings.
Making an offer on a property
After you have viewed some properties and are happy with one in particular, you can make an offer to the estate agent. They will then inform the vendor and if the vendor is happy with the offer, they will either accept or reject it.
Instruct a solicitor
Once your offer is accepted, you should instruct your solicitor and pass these details on to the estate agent. They will then handle the legal transfer of the property from this point.
Instruct a surveyor
You may wish to instruct a surveyor in order to assess the property and provide you with detailed feedback as to the properties condition and value. It is advised to use a professional surveyor so that you know more about the condition of the property you are buying. There are different levels of surveys that you can obtain depending upon your needs, from home buyers reports, structural surveys to basic valuations.
Enquiries and searches
Your solicitor will then request various searches such as local authority searches to make sure that there are no issues that you should be aware of. They will also raise enquiries with the vendors solicitor to confirm answers to questions that may not be clear.
Proof of funds
In order to progress, your solicitor will require proof of funds from you in the form of bank statements if you are a cash buyer or a mortgage offer if you are obtaining a mortgage.
The solicitor will then send you the contract and transfer form as well as mortgage deeds to sign, once you have signed and returned these back, they can then discuss completion dates with you.
Completion date agreed
At this point, the completion date is usually agreed and contracts can be formally exchanged. It is at this point when contracts are exchanged that both the buyer and seller are legally committed to the sale. On the completion day, when the sellers solicitor confirms they have received the funds, you will then be able to collect the keys from the estate agent.