BUYING A HOME
National Estates recognises the fact that the purchase of your home is the most important and expensive transaction you are likely to undergo, however we are sure that with our local knowledge and expertise, we will be able to find you a property to suit your needs, be it a straightforward move or a ‘Buy to Let’ investment.
To enable you to unravel the complexities of buying your home, we have set out below an overview of the various procedures involved:
The first requirement is for you to register your details and property specifications which can be achieved in a number of ways i.e. by email, fax, phone, in person or by completing our registration form, where available. This will give us an insight into your personal requirements, thereby enabling us to modify the details sent to you.
Once registered, you are then in a position to receive details from us directly in person, via mail or email.
Our friendly team are available to arrange those all important viewings of your selected properties. Please contact us to arrange a mutually convenient time.
In order to speed up your house buying process, it is advisable wherever possible to get a mortgage agreed in principle before any final decision on your new property is made. National Estates can direct you to a team of mortgage advisers who can guide you in finding the suitable mortgage that you can afford. This has the advantage of providing you with a clear indication of what is affordable and the fact that you have a mortgage agreed in principle is also attractive to sellers.
HOME INFORMATION PACKS (HIPS)
New changes to the property market now dictates that anyone selling a property must, by law, have a Home Information Pack (HIP). The benefits of a HIP are to speed up the selling process and cut the chances of any sales falling through. This is because the pack provides you with all the important information you may need about a property, such as legal details, searches and likely energy costs. You should then be able to make a quicker decision and will not face any unwelcome surprises that could potentially cause a deal to fall through.
MAKING YOUR OFFER
Once you have seen the property that you desire and wish to make an offer, we will forward the offer to the vendor for their consideration. This is done both verbally and in writing.
ACCEPTED OFFER / INSTRUCTING SOLCITIORS
As soon as your offer has been accepted by the vendor, you should instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf. We would be happy to recommend a local solicitor to act on your behalf if required. Your solicitor will handle all legal requirements of your purchase.
At this point, you also need to formally proceed with your mortgage application and instruct your mortgage consultant/broker accordingly. We will liase with your mortgage advisor to ensure that the application is processed immediately.
Please note that all offers are “subject to contract” and therefore neither party is legally bound until the contract is actually signed.
The next step is to obtain the Mortgage Valuation, as required by law. This will be conducted by a Chartered Surveyor acting for your Lender. The report is to provide a Valuation i.e. determine whether the amount to be loaned is secure and also deals with the basic condition of the property. Since you as the Buyer are also provided with a copy, it allows both parties to evaluate the findings prior to entering into a commitment to purchase.
However, we would not recommend that a buyer relies solely on the Mortgage Valuation survey as the inspection is limited and although it may cost a little more to obtain a more detailed report yourself, this could in the long run save you from making a costly mistake.
There are two types of survey available:
1. HOMEBUYER SURVEY/VALUATION
this is the mid-range option as it is more expensive than the Mortgage Valuation but less than the Building Survey (see below). It is a basic service and therefore more appropriate to properties in apparently good condition and conventionally constructed. The survey’s purpose is to highlight any pressing or significant defects and problems which are likely to have an overall impact on the value of the property.
The objective of the Homebuyer Survey is to provide a more indepth report which will assist the buyer in making an informed decision whether to proceed with the purchase and also whether the agreed price reflects the actual value. Moreover, the professional opinion of the surveyor as contained in his report will also set out particular features of the property which may possibly have an affect on the present value and potential future marketability.
2. BUILDING SURVEY
Unlike the Homebuyer Survey, this is suitable for all types of property whether conventional or unconventional. The term “unconventional” encompasses properties that have an unusual construction, are historic or Listed Buildings, have been extensively altered or where major work is planned. The Building Survey is comprehensive and lists full technical details of the construction, materials and condition. It highlights the full spectrum of defects from the more serious down to the insignificant and the terms of the survey are therefore tailored to fit the client’s specific needs.
These are conducted by the Buyer’s Solicitor who submits a local authority search to the local borough council. Its' purpose is to ascertain if there is any planning consented previously granted on the property or if there are any other local issues which may have an impact on the purchase. In some instances, the search may also include an Environmental and Drainage search.
The draft contract is drawn up by the Seller’s Solicitor and is forwarded to the Buyer’s Solicitor for consideration. Any additional queries or questions will be asked and answered and the contract amended accordingly, subject to final approval.
The Lender is now in possession of the Mortgage Valuation survey and, subject to the findings of this report; receipt/approval of the mortgage application and provided all references and checks have been conducted satisfactorily, the Lender will send a formal mortgage offer to the Buyer and their Solicitor. The document is then signed and returned and funds requested by the Buyer’s Solicitor.
EXCHANGE OF CONTRACTS
Once the contract has been signed by both parties, a deposit (normally a small percentage of the purchase price) is paid by either bank transfer or banker’s draft. At this stage, the parties agree on a date for completion.
Completion usually follows a few days or weeks after Exchange of Contracts. The balance of the purchase price is transferred by the Buyer’s Solicitor to the Seller’s Solicitor and the keys released – Congratulations! You are now the owner of your new home!