Sell your existing property (if you have one)

If you have a property to sell, the first step you should take is to put it up for sale.

Why? Because, if you see a house you want to buy you may not be able to buy it without the money from your own house. Also, many estate agents consider you a “non-proceedable” buyer – which means, you are a potential buyer but you can’t actually proceed because you need to sell your own house first. So, if there is another buyer who is “proceedable” they may well see the house of your dreams and buy it first!

We can help you in sell your home. Click here to arrange a free, no-obligation valuation of your home or contact us.


Get a “Mortgage in Principle”

Getting a mortgage and buying a house are usually very much intertwined.

When you find a house, you’ll probably have to move fast to secure it. To prevent being delayed while sorting out a mortgage we highly recommend you first get a “Mortgage In Principle” (Decision In Principle or Agreement In Principle) agreed. Having this in place means you should be able get the

actual mortgage quicker when the race to buy your chosen home begins. You can get this offer in writing to show to Estate Agents and sellers – who will then see you as a serious prospect.

A ‘Mortgage In Principle’ is a mini-application where the lender checks your information and your credit file and decides how much it might be willing to lend to you. It is not a binding offer and the lender can change its mind. It’s a conditional offer made by a mortgage lender that – provided the information you give them is correct – they will “in principle” give you the loan you have discussed with them. Knowing what you can afford will also help you narrow your search and give you a considerable degree of confidence. A Mortgage In Principle is usually only valid for 30 or 90 days (depending on the lender). If your search took a while, it might have expired. As the range of mortgage products on offer can change on a daily basis, you shouldn't automatically go back to the first lender anyway. It's definitely worth a quick check of the market again to see if you can find a better deal.

It's worth the extra effort to do another check. Getting a 4% deal instead of 3% on a £150,000 repayment mortgage over 25 years will cost you £24,000 more.

Register with us

Once you have worked out how much you can afford the next stage is to start looking for your new home.

To find your ideal property, we need to know as much as possible about your requirements such as what type of property you are looking at and your budget. We will give you an idea of how realistic it is. We will also tell you how many other buyers you could expect to be up against and how long it’s taking on average for that type of property to sell. We will do the property hunting legwork for you and give you a heads up when something new becomes available.

You can register with us either online, or by phone, where one of our consultants can assist you with your search.

View Properties

The best bit!

Right from the beginning, it’s good to have a brainstorm to pin-point areas that are going to be crucial in deciding what your purchase is going to look like. Decide the ‘MUST-HAVES’ and take it from there. Allow room for compromise and if you are buying with family members then it would be advisable to discuss these preferences right from the beginning of the property hunt.

Make an offer

Fabulous! You’ve found the house of your dreams and you want to make an offer.

As soon as you’ve found a suitable property, we’ll put your offer to the seller, verbally and in writing. We always aim to communicate your offer on the same day. The offer will be subject to a contract being signed and there are no legal obligations on either side until this is done.

Sometimes there may be a process of price negotiation and by working with us, both vendor and buyer can benefit from the expertise of our consultants, who will work hard to facilitate an agreeable outcome that delivers the best result for all.

Don't over-extend yourself – remember all the additional costs you'll need to cover.

To avoid getting the keys to a stripped-bare house, ask the seller for a list of all fixtures and fittings included in the purchase. Right down to light fittings, TV aerial cable screws and the fire grate.

Exchange and complete contracts

When your offer is accepted, the vendor’s solicitor/conveyancer will prepare a Contract of Sale. Your Solicitor will examine the contract, and raise any queries based on the title deeds and related property matters.

When your Solicitor has received replies to their enquiries, a completed satisfactory local search, a copy of a mortgage offer, a signed contract and a deposit cheque, they can then proceed to Exchange of Contracts. A deposit cheque is normally required for 5-10% of the purchase value of the property.

We recommend that by this stage you confirm arrangements for moving day – i.e. a removals service.

Contract completion can be on the date of exchange or can be anything up to 28 days later, depending on your requirements. On Completion your solicitor hands over the remainder of the purchase money to the vendor’s solicitor and you can then move into your new home. Keys will be handed over to you by us, along with a “welcome pack” that includes various items of information that we expect will be of help to you – including final meter readings for electricity/gas, location of water stopcocks, meters, and so forth.

Please Contact us for any further information, advice or help you may need.

Can you afford the property you want?

There's no point getting excited about the property of your dreams if you've no idea whether you can afford it. In addition to the cost of the house itself, there are many other one-off expenses involved in buying a home and moving.

Should you require advice in respect of your mortgage, we recommend that you speak with an Independent Mortgage Advisor and get a personalised mortgage illustration. Don’t just go direct to your bank. There are many lenders and only one has the best deal for you. What are the chances it’s your bank? If you have a good credit score, then another lender is likely to want you just as much as your current bank.

Lender’s Valuation (Basic Valuation) –The lender will arrange for a qualified surveyor to inspect the property you’re looking to buy and check its value. It’s also to make sure that it’s a property they’ll lend against. Usually, you will be expected to cover their costs. The cost of the valuation depends on the value of the property.

Professional Survey –The lender’s valuation is NOT a survey. Want more peace of mind when it comes to the condition of your property? Then it’s better to look at getting a more in-depth survey. This can usually be done at the same time as the lender’s valuation. Just keep in mind that this will cost you extra.

There are generally two types of survey:

The Homebuyer’s Report (which starts around £400) for conventional properties in a reasonable condition. It doesn’t look beyond the floorboards or behind the walls. You will get a report with recommendations with regard to repairs, together with the approximate costs to fix them.

The Building Survey (Structural Survey) which is more comprehensive usually starts from £600 depending on the size, type and value of the house. It will give you a full breakdown of the structure and condition that it’s in and flag up internal and exterior issues. It’s especially useful if you’re buying a much older or more unusual property, or one in poor condition, since it will give you a clear

picture of the works you’ll need to carry out. We can arrange a professional survey for you if you wish us to do us. Please let us know.

Legal/Conveyancing Fees – Conveyancing is the legal process that transfers a property from one person to another. You will need to instruct a solicitor to deal with this. You want someone who knows what they are doing, is a good communicator and reliable. We have various conveyancing options so, please speak with us to find out more.

Stamp Duty – This is a government tax, charged for purchase of properties above £125,000. These are changed from time to time. Please ask us for the most updated rates or visit You have 14 days for your solicitor to send the Stamp Office your transfer deed and for you to pay stamp duty land tax, though usually they'll have asked for the cash before completion.

Land Registry Fee – The Land Registry is the government department that manages the register of all properties in England and Wales. It charges a fee – typically £40 or so, when submitted electronically but is dependent on the property price – for transferring the register to the new owner. This is usually detailed in the statement of completion, and paid by completion day.

Local Authority Search Fees – Local searches will be carried out by your Solicitor to check to see if there is anything you need to be aware of, such as any building control issues, enforcement actions and nearby road schemes. The fee can vary depending on which local authority your new home is located in, but you should budget around £150 to cover this charge.

Other Search Fees and Disbursements – These include an index map, commons, the coal authority, land charge, drainage and environmental searches, company searches, bank transfer fees. Allow about £70 to cover an average house purchase.

Sales / Estate Agent’s Commission – If you’re selling your property as well as buying one, the sum charged by your estate agent has to be taken into account. Usually this is charged as a percentage of the property price. Please call Contact us online to learn more about or fees and related services.

Removal Fees – if you’re on a tight budget, you could arrange to do all the packing and removals work yourself. However, given the scale of this task, we recommend you seek professional assistance.

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