Buyers FAQs

How much can I borrow?

How do I make an offer on a property?

What happens when an offer is accepted?

Is an accepted offer legally binding?

Do I need a solicitor?

How long will it take to complete the purchase?

What other costs do I need to be aware of?

Is a survey required?

What is exchange of contracts?

What happens at completion?

When do I get the keys?


How much can I borrow?

The amount you are able to borrow will be based on your income and the size of your deposit. It is best to speak to a mortgage advisor and ideally get an agreement in principle from a lender before you start viewing, as this can help speed up the process.

 

How do I make an offer on a property?

You will need to contact your estate agent, who will take your offer to the seller. Alongside the price being offered, factors such as your ability to proceed will be taken into account. The offer will then be rejected, accepted, or negotiations will begin. If an offer is rejected another offer can be made.

 

What happens when an offer is accepted?

If you have already been given an agreement in principle by a lender, you should get in contact with them to start the process of formally submitting an application for the required amount. You should also instruct your solicitor to start the conveyancing process.

 

Is an accepted offer legally binding?

No. Either party can pull out of the sale without penalty up until the exchange of contracts (see below).

 

Do I need a solicitor?

Yes. They will act on your behalf throughout the purchase, liaising with the seller’s solicitor during what can be a complex process.

 

How long will it take to complete the purchase?

As a rough guide, the transaction can be expected to take around 12 weeks to complete, but there are any number of factors that can affect this.

One major factor is whether or not a chain exists. A chain is created when a person buying a property must first sell another in order to fund their move. It is possible for a chain with multiple parties to build up.

 

What other costs do I need to be aware of?

Solicitor's fees - These can vary quite widely so always ask for a quote before instructing one. An explanation of exactly what is included in the price should be provided.

Mortgage costs - When applying for a mortgage, the costs will typically include an arrangement fee based on the amount you borrow, as well as a valuation fee.

Stamp duty – This is a tax paid on all property sales over £125,000.

 

Is a survey required?

A survey is not legally required, however it is always advisable to have one completed. There are three different types:

A mortgage valuation – The lender will insist on carrying out a formal valuation to reassure them that the property is sufficient security against the loan.

A homebuyer report – This is a detailed, visual inspection of the property. It should be conducted by a qualified surveyor and will highlight any issues that may require further investigation.

A structural survey – This is required for older properties, or those that have undergone major structural changes or have been constructed from unusual materials.

 

What is exchange of contracts?

Both the seller and the buyer sign identical contracts, and then these are exchanged between the solicitors for each party. Here you will pay the deposit, typically 10% of the purchase price, which your solicitor will hold. At this point the sale becomes legally binding.

The exchange of contracts will only happen when all enquiries have been answered and you, the seller and your respective solicitors are in agreement that everything is in order.

 

What happens at completion?

The monies for the sale - your deposit and the lender's sum - will be transferred to the seller's solicitor; only then is the sale complete. Congratulations - you now own the property.

 

When do I get the keys?

The keys are released at completion of the sale. Your agent will inform you when the keys are ready to collect from your local Northwood office.

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