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Buying Process

1Arranging your mortgage and other costs

Finding the right mortgage to suit your own circumstances can be daunting, with so many lenders, schemes and rates available, where do you start? Unless you’re really sure on what you’re doing, seek advice from an independent financial adviser. We work with Finance Planning 01444 449200. It will certainly help you if you get a mortgage agreement in principle to enable you to move quickly if need be.

2Register your interest

You should visit estate agents in and around the area you wish to move to. Register your requirements and budget with them and get on their mailing lists. Once you’re registered, they should then email/text out details of relevant properties to you. You can also keep an eye on the local market by browsing the property portals and OnTheMarket and Rightmove.

3Finding the right property

Make yourself comfortable with a glass of your favourite tipple. Think about your ideal property and write a list of the ‘Must Haves’, the ‘Nice to Haves’ and most importantly the ‘Definitely Don’t Wants’. This can help you in deciding on which properties to view and tallying up scores for each of the properties you visit, and more importantly will give you a good list of deal-breakers so nobody’s time is wasted viewing unsuitable properties.

4Making an offer

Once you have found your ideal property you should make an offer to the agent. You must carefully consider how much you can realistically afford. Add up the mortgage offer plus any equity you have in another property. Don’t forget to allow for Stamp Duty and Solicitors fees. Once the vendor has accepted your offer you should instruct a solicitor to start the buying process. If you don’t already have a conveyancer or solicitor in mind, we can recommend one to you. This is a critical part so choosing wisely is so important.

5Offer agreed

Once you receive an offer acceptance then the wheels are put into motion to lead up to the final exchange of contracts (which, from beginning to end, takes between 8 to 12 weeks on average). We will liaise between your solicitor and the vendor’s solicitor, working up and down any chain, to ensure that your purchase goes through as smoothly as possible.

6Conveyancing

This is the legal term for the transfer of ownership of a property from one party to another. Your solicitor will liaise with the vendor’s solicitor while carrying out Land Registry and Local Authority searches to establish the boundaries of the property, any restrictive covenants or potential developments in the area that may affect your enjoyment of your new home.

7Survey and mortgage offer

Unless you are a cash buyer this is the time to formally apply for a mortgage on this property with your financial advisor or lender.

Your lender will require a survey for mortgage purposes, but this is merely to establish a valuation. You may also choose to undertake a Homebuyers or full structural survey, although a full structural is only usually advisable on a period property or a property of non-standard construction. Any issues highlighted may either affect the lenders ability to offer a mortgage in its entirety or impose special conditions on the mortgage offer. The survey may also highlight any expensive problems to you before you purchase the property.

8Exchange of contracts

Up until this point, either party can withdraw from the sale without financial loss. When your solicitor has received; satisfactory replies to all their searches and enquiries, a copy of a mortgage offer, a signed contract and the deposit has been paid (usually 5-10%), they can then proceed to exchange of contracts. From this point the seller and buyer are legally committed to the deal so if the buyer pulls out for whatever reason they lose their deposit.

The sales contract is signed by both you and the vendor and the deposit is transferred or paid by your solicitor to the vendor's solicitor. At that point the date is then set for completion. This can be pretty much straight away (called a Sim – simultaneous exchange and completion) or up to 28 days later depending on your requirements.

9Completion

Completion is the formal process of transferring the balance of monies between solicitors. This process will be dependent on your circumstances and any other parties involved in the buying chain. Once the monies have been received and the agent has received formal notification, you can collect the keys and you are the legal owner of your new home.

10Moving in

Congratulations! You are now the proud owners of a lovely new home.

Remember to get your mail re-directed and don’t forget to tell your bank, your employer, HMRC, DVLA, insurance, council tax, doctor, dentist and any schools that you have changed your address. Agree meter readings, transfer the phone lines and other utilities. Tell your friends and organise the party!

Disclaimer: This information is provided as a guide only and may not reflect your individual circumstances. You should obtain professional advice when buying or selling a property and Duffy and Company accept no liability if you rely on the content of this guide and do not obtain professional advice.

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Letting Fee Information

Holding deposit - Capped at 1 weeks rent

Security Deposit Capped at 5 weeks rent for annual rental under £50,000, or 6 weeks rent for annual rental over £50,000

Rent - The agreed monthly rent

Changes to tenancy - Capped at £50 inc VAT

Early termination charge - Not exceeding the landlord’s financial losses

Late payment of rent - Interest of 3% above BoE base rate for each day the rent is late, once it is 14 days overdue

Replacement keys - Reasonable costs or give the tenant the option to purchase themselves

Utilities, council tax, communication services, TV Licence etc - Tenants own responsibility unless otherwise stated in contract

Client Money Protection Scheme Membership details - Client Money Protect

Property Redress Scheme Membership details - Membership No: PRS024899