Guide to buying

Buying can be daunting, but here at Heywoods we will help you through it and make it as stress-free as possible. Check out our handy guide to buying a new home so you know what to expect.

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Heywoods is the leading independent estate agent in the Newcastle-under-Lyme area and beyond. Our reach extends throughout North Staffordshire to South Cheshire and the Shropshire border.

Guide to buying

Buying can be daunting, but here at Heywoods we will help you through it and make it as stress-free as possible. Check out our handy guide to buying a new home so you know what to expect.

What can you afford?

As soon as you decide to buy a property it is a good idea to review your finances – how much can you afford to pay every month? Remember to include in your budget the surveyor, removals, mortgage, legal fees and any stamp duty (see current rates here). Include your outgoings and keep money aside for property maintenance and any renovations.

If you are not quite there with the finances, why not consider renting a property in the short or long term? View rental properties here.

Heywoods offers a Home Finder Service if you have specific requirements on your next home - whether it's to buy or to rent. Perhaps you can't find the time to browse through properties or haven't found what you are looking for yet.

Register with Heywoods for a range of great local properties

As the estate agent who sells more property in the Newcastle-under-Lyme area than any other*, registering with us will give you access to the broadest range of local properties.

We can then send you details of properties which meet your criteria as soon as 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.

Heywoods' mobile app

Download our customised app from the App Store or Play Store onto your tablet or mobile and access hundreds of local properties wherever you are, plus the app gives you a helping hand with your viewings - including allowing you to make bookings, giving you local directions and a handy viewings note recorder.

Get the finances sorted early

Assuming that you need a mortgage, now is the time to get one agreed. At Heywoods, we have a specialist team of mortgage advisers who can make this process simple. You can view properties while your mortgage is being agreed but you will be in a stronger position to make an offer once a mortgage agreement is in place.

Property viewing - the fun part

Property viewing is the fun part and Heywoods sells more homes locally than any other agent* so we are bound to have the right place for you.

It’s a good idea to have a checklist of what you want from a property – how many bedrooms, a garden, transport links, etc – but try to keep an open mind; your perfect home may not turn out to be what you’d first imagined.

EPC ratings

Every property has an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating. This is required when a property is built, sold or let. It contains information about the property’s energy use and costs and recommendations about how to reduce the energy use and save money. A property's rating is based on such factors as loft insulation, double glazing, boiler age and efficiency, and more. The rating ranges from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for ten years. The level of energy efficiency of your property will affect your energy bills so it is worth checking this out.

Once you find a property you like the look of, give us a call to arrange a viewing. A member of our team will be on hand to answer any questions you have.

If you think a property might be the right one for you, arrange to visit it again at a different time of day and take a walk around the area. Make sure you have thought through all the pros and cons before you make an offer.

Make an informed offer

Once you’ve made a choice, it’s a good idea to discuss with us (as the selling agent) the offer you’d like to make; we will have an understanding of the seller’s position and the local current market.

We take our responsibilities seriously and we want the sales process to be as smooth as possible. Before we put a potential buyer’s offer to a seller, we will need to be sure you are able to finance the purchase:

  • if you’re selling a property to finance the purchase, it must be at least under offer and we will also check your chain is complete
  • if you need a mortgage, we’ll ask to see an Agreement in Principle (AIP) document from your mortgage lender
  • if you are a cash buyer (buying without a mortgage) we’ll need evidence that the funds are available.

Any offer you put forward will be considered taking into account the offer amount, whether there are any other offers from potential buyers, how complete or long your chain is, what finances you have in place, and how the sale of your own property is going. Your dedicated Heywoods Home Moving Consultant can advise you on the situation, help you make decisions and mediate between you and the seller.

Engage a solicitor

Once an agreement is made, instruct a solicitor to deal with the purchase of your property (this is called conveyancing). You may have already done this for the sale of your home; it is a good idea for the same solicitor to do the conveyancing for both properties. Heywoods offers a conveyancing service to buyers and sellers. We will send a memorandum of sale to both parties’ solicitors to confirm details of the sale.

Commission an appropriate survey

You will need a surveyor to inspect the property; it is sensible to have the condition of the property you are buying checked for your own peace of mind, and your mortgage lender will want the surveyor to confirm the value of the property.

There are several levels of survey available and which you choose will depend on the age and apparent condition of the property. Your surveyor will be able to advise you on this and will discuss the contents of the survey with you so that you understand any potential problems. Armed with this knowledge, you will be able to decide whether to continue with the purchase. Heywoods can help you find a good surveyor.

Stay in the loop

Once your survey has been carried out and finances are agreed, your solicitor will do all the checks to make sure the sale progresses smoothly. This is where Heywoods comes into its own; unlike many estate agents, especially those online, your Heywoods Home Moving Consultant will deal with the purchase of your property by liaising with your buyer, seller, surveyors, solicitor and mortgage broker and will stay in touch with you so that you know what is going on and any issues can be resolved quickly. This ensures the sale progresses smoothly and with minimum stress to you.

Exchange contracts

Dates are agreed for exchange and completion once contracts are signed and any deposit is paid. The deposit is usually a minimum of five to ten per cent of the purchase price. If your sale is funding your purchase, you do not need to pay a deposit.

Exchange is legally binding and happens when both sides’ solicitors agree by phone they can do so. Your solicitor will inform all parties when contracts have been exchanged. It’s time to start packing and book the removals van.

Get moving!

On completion day (usually a couple of weeks after the exchange of contracts), in liaison with your Home Moving Consultant, your solicitor will arrange for fee payments, the transfer of deeds and, of course, payment for the property. Once the transfers are made, you can move in! The day you collect the keys makes the whole process worthwhile. We wish you every happiness in your new home.

Help to get you settled in

If your property needs any repairs or improvements, why not keep it simple by using our Handyman Service? We can arrange and coordinate carefully chosen tradesmen, leaving you to settle into your new home.

*Source: Rightmove Intel Jan-Oct 2019; first place, highest market share on sales agreed, selected local postcodes (ST4+5)

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More services

Heywoods has all your property needs under one roof - from lettings and sales to property repair and maintenance. Think of us as your one-stop-shop.

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