Guide to Buying Property

View our essential guide and useful tips to buying your next home.

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Contact Allsopp & Allsopp, we will put you in touch with the most suitable agent for the area you are looking in. It would be a benefit in meeting your agent so they can get to know you and understand what is most important for you in purchasing a property.

We Will Need to Know

The areas you would consider buying in?

Would you consider areas that you perhaps do not know very well?

What kind of property are you looking for?

Are there any "must-haves" or any "don't wants"?

Is there a specific timeframe when you want to be moved by?

Do you need to sell and if so, is your property on the market?

Determine Budget

If selling, get an accurate up to date valuation from Allsopp & Allsopp, where we will factor in location, condition, demand, your competition and recent comparable evidence.

Take into consideration your income, any savings you wish to use and if appropriate, any cash you plan to use from the sale of your existing property.

Speak with your bank, and an independent mortgage advisor to ensure you have explored every avenue in securing the best mortgage product that suits you.

It is important to factor in the essential services and taxes involved in buying a property into your budget calculations. The most common include - stamp duty, conveyancing, searches, land registry and surveys.

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Viewing Properties

Our online search tools have made the process of finding property easier than ever, however you may not be aware that some of the best properties with desirable locations, price or size sell before they are listed on the larger property portals.

We recommend registering with your local Allsopp & Allsopp branch to ensure you do not miss out on what you are looking for.

Once your agent has a good idea of your needs, it's time to get out there and see a good range of properties so that you can get a grip on what your money will buy in your chosen area.

See as much as you can, however if you find the perfect property early on in your search, don't delay if you like it, the probability is that someone else will as well!

Give detailed feedback to your agent; it will help to guide them in assisting you.

Although we always look to be flexible to your schedule, viewing diaries tend to get booked very quickly especially at weekends, contact your estate agent a few days prior to your preferred viewing date and time to avoid disappointment.

Take a notepad and ask lots of questions. If your agent does not know them straight away, they can find out for you after the viewing.

If you want to take any photos on your mobile for future reference then always get the permission of the owner before doing so.

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Arrange Conveyancing

Conveyancing is the process by which the legal transfer of property from one person to another is made. The buyer or their solicitor/conveyancer examines the legal documentation for the property and raises questions in order to approve the contract of the sale.

After a sale has been agreed your immediate priorities are instruct a solicitor/conveyancer with recent experience of your chosen area to help guide you through the process through to successful exchange of contracts and completion.

Making an Offer

When you find a suitable property, consult your agent about how to proceed. An offer is about more than just money; you will be asked to provide details of:

- Your buying position
- Proposed timeframes
- Any inclusions (curtains, carpets, etc.)
- How you propose to fund the purchase

The seller will expect us to obtain all of this information, as it will aid them in their decision-making.

Arrange Survey

There are three main types of survey, 
If you require a mortgage then your bank will normally insist on Mortgage Valuation to establish that the property is good security for the loan.

Although you probably pay for the Mortgage Valuation you would not normally get a copy of the report and therefore we would always recommend having your own survey done in addition. 
A Homebuyers report is ideal for more conventional residential property built within the past 100 years and includes a detailed visual inspection of all aspects of the property that are available for inspection.

Final Mortgage & Insurance Requirements

You will receive a Mortgage Offer from your lender in which the final details of the loan you are receiving are stated. You and your solicitor/conveyancer should check this carefully. You may also be required to arrange life assurance to cover the loan and building insurance as you exchange contracts.

Exchange of Contracts

The exchange of contracts is the legally binding part of the process. This is when you hand over a deposit; the normal sum or liability is 10% of the purchase price. Contracts are exchanged once both you and the seller and your respective solicitors/conveyancers are satisfied that everything is in order, a date for completion is agreed and from this point both parties are legally bound to go through with the transaction.

Completion

This is the day the balance of the monies are transferred via the banking system and the day on which you will get the keys to the property you have bought. For most people this is the day that they physically move into the property with all their furniture and possessions. Remember don't forget to re-direct your post.

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Other Advice

Invest time in your agent; the better they understand your needs, the more they can help.

Make sure everybody who needs to see the property has seen it before you offer.

This is an exciting yet, sometimes-stressful time for all involved, be aware of the feelings of all those involved in the transaction and try and react logically and calmly to the ups and downs of the transaction.

Consult an independent mortgage advisor who can tailor the product to your needs.

Don't judge a book by its cover; no property will look like home until you have moved in!

The above is intended to serve as a guide and help you through the process. We do understand that buying a house, though exciting, can be daunting. If you would like to arrange a time to speak with one of the experienced estate agents at Allsopp & Allsopp then please contact your local office and they'll be happy to get you started.