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Buyers’ Guide

We like to make our clients’ lives that little bit easier every step of the home buying way. And just one of the ways in which we do this is to ensure that each and every client that we look after is fully informed about the process from beginning to end (as well as being privy to insider industry tips to ensure that their home purchase is both fast and free from issues).

So with this in mind here we’ve put together a brief overview of the buying process, and if you have any questions or queries then our team are always on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Taking the first step: Selling your current property

Being a buyer who comes free from property chains is one of the biggest advantages that you can have within the London market and being in such a position additionally provides you with the ultimate leverage for negotiation.

Ready to take the first step? Book in with our team for a valuation now.

Your new property: Tack down how much you can afford

Following a valuation from our team you’ll have a pretty rock solid idea of just how much your property is worth in today’s climate, and from here you can then begin to crunch some figures and work out just how much you can afford to spend upon your new property. This should obviously take into account the various fees that must be met when selling your home, which specifically include:

Mortgage Arrangement Fees - A fee charged by lenders to cover the cost of setting up the mortgage. Some lenders waive this fee. Our partners, a firm of professional, independent financial advisors, would be pleased to provide you with a free, no obligation consultation on what mortgage options are available to you, and the associated costs.

Lender's Valuation (Basic Valuation) - All lenders require a valuation of the property to assess whether it is actually worth the price being paid for it. This type of valuation is organised by the mortgage lender but you will be expected must cover their costs. The cost of the valuation depends on the value of the property.

Professional Survey - You may wish to commission a more detailed survey in addition to the basic mortgage valuation. There are generally two types of survey: the Homebuyer's Report (which costs around £500) and the more comprehensive Building Survey (Structural Survey) which could cost anything up to £1,000, depending on the value of the house. A professional survey can be arranged for you through us, please contact us for more info.

Legal/Conveyancing Fees - You will also need to instruct a solicitor to deal with all legal aspects of buying the property you want. We promote a range of different and very competitive conveyancing options - please ask us to find out more.

Stamp Duty - This is a government tax, charged for purchase of properties above £125,000. You pay 0% for the first £125,000, 2% on the portion up to £250,000, 5% up to £925,000, 10% up to £1.5m and 12% on anything above that. So, for example, if you are paying £300,000 for your home you will be expected to pay £5,000 in stamp duty (£0+£2,500+£2,500)

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, but is dependent on the property price - for transferring the register to the new owner.

Local Authority Search Fees - Local searches will be carried out by your solicitor/conveyancer to ensure there are no potential problems such as planning permission on neighbouring properties or plans for new roads nearby. 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, company searches, and 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 our 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. We have partnered with removals services to assist you. Please contact us to learn more.

See a reputable mortgage advisor: Gaining a mortgage in principal

Within any property market throughout the UK it pays to move swiftly when a property arises that you are serious about, and gaining a mortgage in principal (e.g. a conditional offer from a bank for a set amount of finance for your new home) is an essential part of being able to do so.

If you need our help finding the best deals from the most reputable of independent financial advisors, just ask. We can put you in touch with tried and tested experts whom we’ve built up solid connections with over the years.

The next stage: Tell us all about what you’re looking for right down to the very last detail

We may already have your next dream property sitting within our books and if we don’t then we have the powerful database matching skills to ensure that as soon as we do you’ll be the first to know.

So tell us all about what you’re looking for and then sit back and relax whilst we automate the process of contacting you as and when properties fitting your description arise on the market (this may be done via text, email or phone call, as according to what suits you).

Scour the property market: Arrange visits, search the big wide web and get a complete feel for the market

Now we get to the fun bit… viewing properties. Our top tip to whittle down the potential properties during this stage is to mock up a complete list of the ‘Must Haves’ and the ‘Nice to Haves’ which can help you in tallying up scores for each of the properties you visit.

Oh, and with our dedicated service that is designed around you, for our property viewings you can look forward to seriously flexible viewing times that operate between 9am - 8pm Monday to Thursday, up to 6pm on Fridays and 10am - 4pm on Saturdays. You can book a viewing by phone Monday to Friday 9.00 am - 7.00 pm, Saturday 9.00 am - 4.00 pm, Sunday is our one day of rest.

The tense penultimate step: Making an offer

So, you’ve found your dream property and you’re ready to make an offer. At this stage we’ll consult with you and put your offer across to the vendor, following this up with any negotiating as is necessary. Of course throughout this process we’ll keep you fully informed every step of the way, and as soon as we hear from the vendor, we’ll be straight on the phone to you.

The final, exciting stage: Exchanging and completing

Once you receive an offer acceptance then the wheels are put into motion to lead up to the final exchange of contracts (which, from beginning to end, takes between 6 to 8 weeks on average);

When your Solicitor has 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.

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. Your new keys will be handed over to you by us, along with a "welcome pack" that includes various helpful items of information that will be useful - such as final meter readings for electricity/gas, location of water stopcocks, meters, and so forth.

Need to know a little more?

Want to know more about the buying process? Have a question, query or concern? Our property pros are here on hand. Contact them today.