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Before you buy…

A step by step guide to buying property

01 | What can you afford?

The thought of buying a house is a major thrill for most of us, which means we can get carried away once we’ve made the decision to start our search. Before you head out and start viewing, you need to check what you can truly afford. Speaking to one of our recommended mortgage brokers, and arranging an agreement in principle should be your first step. Once you have your agreement in principle you can go out viewing with confidence. It also puts you in a strong negotiating position, whilst potential sellers know you’re a serious proposition as you’ve done your homework.

02 | Start your search

Once you’ve established what you can afford, it’s time to start your search. As well as scouring the property portals you can save time by registering for property email alerts via our website, that way you can browse on the move by receiving updates the moment new properties, that meet your criteria go live. Once you see something you like, contact us to arrange an appointment at your earliest convenience. We will be on hand to and from appointments, whilst being on hand to answer any questions and give advice where necessary.

03 | Offer stage

Once you’ve found the property of your dreams you need to put your best foot forward and offer. Whilst we’re on hand to ensure it’s put forward in the best possible light, it’s helpful to have an agreement in principle and proof of deposit, all of which adds weight, particularly if there is more than one interested party. While there is no legal obligation at this stage it makes sense to list any special conditions or items you would like included in conjunction with the offer.

04 | Offer accepted

Your solicitor will legally make sure you purchase the property and will handle the transfer of funds to the sellers solicitor. In order to get to this point, along with help from ourselves they will;

  • Apply for local authority searches once they receive the draft contract from the sellers solicitor.

  • Report to you whilst highlighting any particular points within the contract they feel need bringing to your attention.

  • Offer the Exchange once a completion has been agreed by all parties.
    In conjunction with the conveyancing you will need to arrange a survey via your lender. There are three types of survey offered by mortgage lenders, they are; mortgage valuation, homebuyers report or building survey. The age and condition of the property will generally determine which type of survey you opt for but we are always on hand if you are un-sure.

  • Once the survey has taken place the mortgage offer will follow, meaning the bank is happy to lend you the funds and you are in now in a position to exchange.

05 | Exchange of contracts

Once your solicitor is happy and you have your mortgage offer the contract will be sent to you for signature. Once you have signed the contract we recommend returning it to your solicitor by recorded delivery and simultaneously transferring your deposit by way of telegraphic transfer so it arrives as cleared funds, this is normally 10% of the purchase price unless otherwise agreed. You cannot exchange without a completion date, so this needs to be agreed with everyone in the chain and is quite often mediated by ourselves. Once exchange has taken place it becomes legal and binding, neither party can withdraw without facing the possibility of severe financial consequences.

06 | Completion

The wait between exchange and completion can be a nervous one, but it’s extremely rare for a sale to fall through at this point, so you should be excited and looking forward to collecting the keys to your new home. The mortgage lender transfers the completion monies to your solicitor, in anticipation of completion and you must transfer any funds you’ve set aside to make up the difference. The morning of completion, your solicitor transfers the full amount to the sellers solicitor. Once received, the sellers solicitor will contact ourselves to say completion has taken place and we can release the keys. At this point we will phone you and arrange for you to pop into the office or meet you at the property allowing you to get on with moving everything in.

Let our resources guide you

As a leading Estate Agent in the Durham market for over 12 years we have a wealth of knowledge. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, rent or anything in between, we offer a range of services and understand that all of our clients are unique and therefore tailor our services to suit you.

Frequestly asked questions about buying

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