Guide to buying
Tell us what you are looking for and let us do the rest
Finding something you like is the easy bit, so here’s our guide to how the rest of the buying process works.
Getting your finance in place
Before you start your search for a property to buy, it’s well worth being sure about what you’re able to borrow. Unlike some of our larger competitors, there’s no obligation to speak to a financial adviser, but we can put you in touch with a good one if you’d like us to. Doing so is free and worthwhile so you have the full picture of what’s possible and what your mortgage will cost each month.
Be sure to allow for the cost of any renovations, removals and stamp duty (see the current rates here).
Make sure you are notified as soon as potentially suitable property comes onto the market
As the agent who sells more property in the Newcastle-under-Lyme area than any other agent register with us for the greatest range of properties.
We can then send you details of properties which meet your criteria, when they come onto the market. This is sometimes before they are advertised on the internet – so registering with us can get you ahead of the game!
Once you see a property you like, please call us with any questions or to book in a viewing.
Getting the right legal representative can save time
When you do find a property you like, you’ll need a solicitor to carry out all the legal processes (called ‘conveyancing’). It’s worth getting a solicitor lined up in good time so that once a sale is agreed, they can get going without delay.
A good solicitor can make the difference between completing on the purchase of your property and it falling through – so finding a good one is important! (Find out more about Heywoods’ conveyancing).
What you need to do when making an offer
Once you’ve found a property you’d like, please contact us as the seller’s agent to discuss the offer you’d like to make. Before we put through an offer from a potential buyer, we will need to be sure about their ability to fund the property. As such:
- if you’re selling a property in order to fund the next one, this will itself need to be at least ‘under offer’ before we can put forward any offer from you on another property and we will also check your chain is complete
- if you need a mortgage, we’ll ask to see your Agreement in Principle (AIP) document from your mortgage lender
- if you are a ‘cash buyer’ (buying without a mortgage) we’ll need to see evidence that the funds are available.
Once we have all these, we’ll put forward your offer to the seller, and mediate between you both until there is agreement.
We’ll also advise the seller to take into consideration the number of links in your chain: the shorter the chain, the less likelihood of a fall-through.
Hopefully, before long, an offer will be agreed between both parties. At this point we will send a ‘Memorandum of Sale’ to your solicitors and the seller’s solicitors to confirm the details of the sale.
What you need to know
Your mortgage lender will instruct a surveyor to check that the price offered is realistic in respect of their loan.
You are also asked at this point whether you’d like a “Homebuyer’s Report”, which gives a more complete analysis of the condition of the property. Buyers can find the report’s findings a bit hard to swallow, as it often brings out every last potential problem with the property – and often some that you did not previously know about.
However it is of course the surveyor’s job to report on a property's condition with as much accuracy and completeness as possible. In our experience, hardly ever does a property have no defects at all – particularly if it is an older property.
It is then a matter of common sense from all to determine which items are a genuine cause for concern and which come as part and parcel of owning a property. It can often be useful to schedule a call with the surveyor to discuss the findings in more detail.
Making sure all parties are updated with the progress
Once your mortgage lender has received the valuation and is satisfied it is realistic given their loan, they will issue a mortgage offer to you and your solicitor.
We will make sure communication doesn't hold back the purchase
From now until exchange, your negotiator at Heywoods will be in regular contact with your solicitor, as well as the sellers and their solicitor, and the solicitors of any other people in your chain!
This is to ensure all links of the chain keep moving and that all transactions go through to exchange on time. It’s also a good idea for you too to stay in regular contact with your solicitor.
The legally binding agreement
This is an important moment as your purchase becomes legally binding on both parties.
You can only exchange once your solicitor is satisfied that all elements of your purchase are in order (this will vary from property to property); and that your deposit (usually 5 or 10% of the purchase price) is cleared to your solicitor’s Client Account.
If you are selling a property, the proceeds of this will usually form the deposit on your purchase, so you may not need to actually part with any money to pay your deposit.
Exchange then happens when both sides’ solicitors agree by phone they can do so. Your solicitor will phone you and us when contracts have been exchanged.
After a couple more weeks, your property purchase will reach ‘completion’: the moment your purchase is finalised. Your solicitor and mortgage lender will transfer the outstanding balance to the seller’s solicitor.
Your solicitor will tell you when the money has cleared into their account, and will tell us we can release keys to you.
Congratulations – time to move in and get the kettle on!