Wilkie May & Tuckwood
A Guide to Buying a Property
Think about your needs
Once you have decided to buy, it is crucial that you understand what you require of your new home.
It would be useful to decide on the one main reason for your move as this will drive your search.
If you are borrowing funds, or porting an existing mortgage, Wilkie May & Tuckwood Mortgage Services Ltd can provide expert, independent advice and information on the costs involved in buying property, obtaining the most suitable mortgage for your needs, and protecting your home and family for the future.
Choose a solicitor. Again, Wilkie May & Tuckwood would be confident in recommending a host of local solicitors for you to use; please contact any of our offices for more information.
How to find a house
Check the online property portals such as Rightmove. These are updated by estate agents on a daily basis.
Keep an eye on the local newspapers and take note of newly erected For Sale boards.
Visit the estate agents in the area you would like to move to. They know their seller’s situation and properties extremely well and they will be able to match you to suitable properties.
Viewing a property
At this stage it is important to re-evaluate your requirements and compare the properties you are viewing against this list. Consider the interior, exterior, neighboring properties and the local area.
Picture how you would use the space. Where would your furniture go and is there enough storage?
Don’t worry if you are not able to assess the physical condition of the property at first instance as a survey will tell you more.
Making an offer
This is possibly the most delicate part of the house buying process. Don’t be afraid to ask the estate agent for advice, it is our job to negotiate this deal.
Consider factors affecting the price you are prepared to pay for any one particular property such as the location, condition, the situation of the seller and also think about what the market is currently doing.
Once an agreeable offer has been accepted, Wilkie May & Tuckwood Mortgage Services Ltd can provide expert, independent advice on arranging the most suitable mortgage, and arranging a survey on the property, alternatively speak to your nominated mortgage company. A solicitor should be chosen to act on your behalf at this stage.
The solicitors of the sellers and buyers now perform a set of legal tasks, known as conveyancing, to transfer ownership of land and property from seller to buyer. During this process it is the responsibility of the buyer’s solicitor to investigate and inform the buyer and buyer’s mortgage company of the legal aspects of the property.
The seller’s solicitor will prepare a draft contract of sale and send this to the buyer’s solicitor. The seller will be asked to complete a Property Information Form (which gives important information about the property) and a Fixtures and Fittings Form (outlining what is included in the sale) which is forwarded to the buyer’s solicitor. The buyer’s solicitor may amend the contract or raise additional enquiries of the seller’s solicitor based on the information in the contract or the Title information. The buyer’s solicitor may also request any warranties for work undertaken (such as new windows) or evidence of planning consents. The buyer’s solicitor will also order from a search provider a range of appropriate searches for things such as planning issues, environmental concerns or flooding.
The buyer’s solicitor will draw up a Transfer document to transfer ownership from seller to buyer.
Once the final mortgage offer has been received by the buyer’s solicitor, searches have been analysed and any additional queries are resolved, the buyer’s solicitor will report to the buyer on any issues.
Once the situation is accepted by the buyer and seller and any required insurances have been purchased, their respective solicitors will fix a completion date and exchange contracts. At this point a non-refundable deposit is paid and the parties have entered a legal contract.
Completion occurs when the buyer has paid land registry fees and stamp duty, arranged insurance and the outstanding balance on the property is paid. The estate agent is informed when this has happened and they are at that stage able to release the keys for collection by the buyer. The estate agent is paid by the seller’s solicitor from the proceeds of the sale.