Guide to Buying

A Step by Step Guide to Buying a Home

It can be one of the most exciting, but equally most stressful times when purchasing a property.  We have put together a guide to explain the process, although there is nothing like a face to face chat with one of our property experts so please feel free to arrange this with us.

1. Are Your Finances in Order?

A common mistake that people make is to start looking for a new home without speaking to a mortgage consultant first.  If a mortgage is required, it is wise to have a mortgage arranged in principle before you start your search.  Knowing what you can afford will also help you to narrow your search and give you a considerable degree of confidence.  This will also show prospective sellers that you are serious in your attempt to purchase a new home.

If you would like to speak to our recommended broker then please speak to a Gibson Honey representative.

Moving house is a costly exercise and you will need to factor in varying costs when you begin; such as stamp duty, solicitors costs, removals, estate agents fees and much more.  Please speak to one of our property experts for further information.

2. If you have a Property to Sell

Before you start the search for your next home, it is vitally important to make sure you are in a proceedable position.

If you have a property to sell, in our opinion the first step you should take is to secure a purchaser for your own property.  To do this you will need to arrange a market appraisal with your local regulated expert agent.  Please arrange a valuation with Gibson Honey by clicking here or call us on 01895 677766.

Why is it important to have secured a buyer for your own property before you start your search? In this highly competitive market you need to put yourself in the strongest possible position.  If you see the home of your dreams but have not placed your own on the market, then you will be seen in the eyes of sellers and their agents as being in a weak position, as you will need to sell your home before you can start the process.  It is common place to be competing with many other purchasers who are in strong positions and it is highly likely you will end up losing the property because of this.

3. Register your Interest

Whereabouts are you looking?  What are you looking for?  This can alter during the process, however, it is a good idea to do some research into areas, schools, transport links etc before you start the search.  Next, you need to register, using our beat the market facility by clicking here or by phone on 01895 677 766.

Once we have a clear understanding of your requirements, you will receive a selection of properties that match your criteria instantly. We will also keep you constantly up-to-date with new properties that come on to the market.

4. Viewing

Now that you have received property details meeting your criteria, it is time to start viewing.

When looking around a property, it is a good idea to take notes and ask questions, a lot of these will be answered on Gibson Honeys professionally produced particulars but things to think about are:

  • Is the property Leasehold or Freehold
  • If it is leasehold, what is the length of the lease?
  • Is there ground rent or a service charge on the property?
  • What work will need to be carried out on the property, if any?  Make sure you budget for this, especially important jobs, such as heating, wiring etc.
  • The council tax band that the property falls in

If you are interested in a property it is always advisable to get a second viewing and maybe take a fresh pair of eyes with you, to look at the property objectively.

5. Making Your Offer

Now that you have found your potential new property, it is time to make an offer.  This will be forwarded to the seller both verbally and in writing stating any special conditions.  As discussed in step one & step two, you will be asked about your current buying position and your ability to proceed.

Sometimes there may be a process of price negotiation and by working with us, both vendor and buyer will benefit from the expertise of our consultants, who will work hard to facilitate an agreeable outcome to everyone’s satisfaction.

All being well, you will have your offer accepted and this will be followed up by us in writing with a memorandum of sale.

Please note that there are no legal obligations on either side until contracts are signed & exchanged.

6. Instructing your Solicitor

The successful purchase of a property is reliant on the instruction of an efficient, experienced and in our opinion, local solicitor.  The reason we recommend a local solicitor is that they will have experience with the area that you’re moving to and will most likely have encountered any potential problems with these type of houses or specific streets before.

We are lucky to be able to recommend two experienced and local firms. To learn more, please call one of our property experts.

7. Conveyancing

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 replies to their enquiries, a completed satisfactory local search, a copy of a mortgage offer, a signed contract and a deposit, they can then proceed to Exchange of Contracts.

We will be there every step of the way to assist and answer any questions that you may have.

8. Survey and Mortgage Offer

There are different types of surveys you will need to consider.

If you are getting a mortgage, then a basic survey will be booked by a surveyor on behalf of the mortgage lender to identify any structural problems and advise on the property’s value.

Once you have received the mortgage valuation report, the formal mortgage offer will be sent to you and your solicitor which will then need to be signed.  If you are looking for a surveyor, please call our friendly team who will be happy to recommend one.

Depending on the condition of the property you may also want to instruct a Home buyers or Building survey.  These types of survey are more in depth and will touch on aspects such as advice on defects that may affect the value of the property with repairs, and ongoing maintenance advice.

9.Exchange of Contracts

This occurs when the terms of the sale have been agreed and the move becomes legally binding.
The completion date is then set by mutual agreement and is usually around 7 – 14 days after exchange, depending on your requirements.

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

10. Completion

On Completion your solicitor hands over the balance of the monies to the vendor’s solicitor.  Once this has been confirmed Gibson Honey will be able to release the keys to your new home, Congratulations!  An average time for completion is somewhere between 12:00 – 14:00, although this can vary.

All calls made to Gibson Honey are recorded for training and monitoring purposes.