ONCE I’VE FOUND A PROPERTY, HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO COMPLETE?
A very difficult question to answer because it is impossible to tell whether you will encounter any problems in terms of the survey, mortgage application or conveyancing. However, we expect most completion to take place with 8 weeks of the initial offer.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
Again, this is difficult to answer as most of the costs attached to buying a property are not “fixed”. But during the process the likely costs include: mortgage arrangement fee, survey fees, conveyancing fees, stamp duty, plus the costs of moving. Before you make any offer, make sure you are aware of what you can actually afford and factor in these costs. Get quotes early on or ask your mortgage advisor or the estate agent to help you..
WHAT DOES THE SOLICITOR DO?
In general terms, the solicitor acting on your behalf is there to protect your interests and offer advice and guidance in relation to the legal process involved in buying a property.
Specifically they should check and provide the following:
Evidence of title, copy of the lease (if applicable), water and drainage searches, energy performance certificate, land charge searches.
Your solicitor will also raise enquiries with the sellers’ solicitors when they feel more information is required. Once they are content with information provided they will report back to you and go through this information. Once and your solicitor are happy, then he / she will exchange contracts with the other side and arrange completion with the sellers solicitor and your lender.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I OFFER FOR A PROPERTY?
Quite simply as much as you are willing to pay or as much as you think the property is worth. Usually, however, most purchasers table an opening offer less than they are ultimately willing to pay and then negotiate via the estate agent to agree a final “sale price”. How much you finally agreed depends on many factors but remember one thing – if you want a property, others will too, so get in early and don’t play games.
SHOULD I INCLUDE ANY CONDITIONS WITH THE OFFER?
This depends on the property itself, you and the vendor. Sometimes purchasers request some furniture or other fittings but it depends. Usually however, if purchaser and vendor have reached agreement on a price then the property will be taken off the market – at least for an agreed length of time. Find this out.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS PROBLEMS WITH THE PROPERTY?
It all depends on the nature and extent of the problems. Usually most surveys suggest further investigation by a specialist which will reveal the true extent of any problems and the likely cost of fixing them. At this point there is a chance your mortgage company may refuse to lend on the property – although this is rare. Alternatively you may need to revise the original offer in order to reflect the cost of fixing this problem. The estate agent will help you in the process. Sometimes, problems are so extensive or costly that buyers reluctantly withdraw their offer and look for something else to buy.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE VALUATION IS LESS THAN I HAVE OFFERED?
This depends on the extent of the difference, you and the vendor. If the amount the mortgage company are willing to lend you goes down, you may have to make up the difference yourself. Alternatively, you could look to renegotiate the sale price with the vendor.
WHEN DO I PICK UP KEYS?
On the agreed date, the solicitors will inform you and the estate agent that the completion has taken place. The agent will then be a in position to release the keys to you.
DO I PAY THE ESTATE AGENT?
Not usually. The agent will be paid by the vendor on completion of the sale. In a few cases, other arrangements are made but this will be agreed between you and the vendor in advance.