So, you have decided to move. Great! You are in the right place.
The sales market can be extremely daunting, competitive, and fast-moving, however for us, the buying process is an opportunity to build a relationship with you and your family to understand your requirements.
The next step is to get yourself in the best possible position. This will vary depending on your circumstances:
If you are already a homeowner, you need to decide what to do first – should you look for that ideal property before selling your own or vice versa?
Most people sell their current home at the same time as buying a new one, forming a property chain. Selling before you buy has risks, but it can also have great advantages.
Advantages of selling before you buy:
- It puts you in a stronger position when buying. The seller you want to buy from would almost certainly prefer a buyer who has the cash in the bank (and/or a pre-approved mortgage) rather than enter a chain, where their sale is dependent upon you finding someone to buy your house.
- You remain in control of the sale of your own house – because you will not need to make a quick sale, you will not be pressured into selling cheaply.
- You will know exactly how much you can spend because you will have the money from your sale in the bank – buying your new home won’t be dependent on you achieving the expected price on your existing one.
- If the economy is in a state of flux and it looks likely house prices will fall, then houses get more affordable as you wait.
- If you sell first, expecting to be able to buy quickly after, you may be disappointed and instead have to rent for a time, which can prove very costly.
- If prices are rising fast, by the time you’ve sold your house and sorted out somewhere to rent, a new house will be much less affordable. For example, if you rent for a year, and prices rise by 10% in that year, then you will only be able to afford 10% less.
Renting can be stressful, but being in a chain, being gazumped, or feeling you have undersold can be worse.
- If you do sell before you buy, make sure as many things as possible are organised beforehand such as getting your mortgage pre-approved so you can buy quickly. This will make you even more attractive to a seller. See our step-by-step guide to buying and selling at the same time to help you.
- Being organised also helps to avoid delays. See how long it takes to buy and sell.
- Do your research before you sell. Decide what area you want to buy in, and what sort of property you want to buy.
- When you are ready to sell, decide what price you should sell for, compare the performance of local estate agents before short-listing and appointing an agent.
If you don’t already own a home, you’re in a great position.
You’re classed as having nothing to sell; or ‘chain free’. If you’re renting, we would advise you to hold off giving your landlord notice until you are further down the line.
How much can you afford?
The amount you can borrow will be assessed on the amount of deposit you have available, your credit score and income and outgoings. Your deposit should be as large as possible – then more products, options and competitive rates are likely to be available to you. You will need to provide details of your income and outgoings. Your credit score will also be taken into account.
We can help you with arranging finance. Call us on 02476 01 65 45 and we can arrange a free consultation with one of our expert mortgage brokers who will advise on all available products.
Let the search begin!
Once you have decided where you want to live, which is never simple, searching for a home is often the fun part. Being the biggest purchase of your life, it’s good to be as prepared as you possibly can be. Here’s a house-buying battleplan with 23 tips for first time buyers and home movers.
Making an offer and getting it accepted.
After months of searching, you’ve found your perfect property. Your deposit is sorted, you have a provisional mortgage decision from a lender and so now it all comes down to making your offer. Time for your best poker face.
So how do you play it? Do you put in a high offer to clinch it, but risk paying over the odds? Or put in a low offer but risk losing your dream home? Everything feels like it’s riding on this one move.
As stressful as it may be, there are some steps you can take to increase the chances of your offer being accepted. To help you we’ve put together a four stage plan of attack.
Step 1. Know what you’re up against.
First things first, you need to do your background work. As any top coach will tell you, the key to success is in the preparation. The more you know about the market and the house on offer, the better positioned you are to decide your approach.
Step 2. Leveraging to your advantage.
Having completed your research, the next stage is about how you position yourself in front of the estate agent. Building a relationship with your estate agent will help ensure you’re getting the best possible advice about your purchase. Make it clear you have the finances in place. The seller will be less interested in someone who will take a long time, may not be able to raise the funds, and could pull out later. If you have your finances in place with a large deposit, then you will be much more attractive to the seller.
Step 3. Making the offer.
The first step is to speak to the estate agent. By law estate agents must pass on every offer they receive to the seller. Once the estate agent has passed your offer on, if the seller is interested, then the negotiations start (via the estate agent).
It is a good idea to put the offer in writing (a telephone call followed up by an email will be fine) to reduce scope for confusion or argument later.
Step 4. Sealing the deal.
Once your offer has been accepted, you’re almost on the home straight. Before cracking open the champagne, you should be aware that even after an offer has been made and accepted by the seller, it is not legally binding on either side (in England and Wales; there are different rules in Scotland). In fact, until the exchange of contracts either party can still pull out. To help stop this happening, once your offer has been accepted, ask for the property to be taken off the market straight away.
Instructing a conveyancing solicitor.
Picking the right conveyancing solicitor can be like picking a needle out of the haystack. Do you rely on recommendations from family or friends or pave your own way and select one yourself? Do you go for the cheapest fees? Or do you find the one with the best rating on Google?
Our points to consider when picking a conveyancing solicitor will give you all the information you need to make the best choice.
- Make sure that your appointed solicitor is on the panel of the bank or building society you’re using for your mortgage.
- Solicitors will all charge fees, these can be wide ranging, depending on location and reputation, so find out the fee structure before you instruct (best to get a full breakdown).
- A great way of evaluating a solicitor is to check what the previous clients have to say about them as a conveyancer.
- Ask your friends and family for recommendations.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your solicitor what experience they have and what qualifications they hold.
- Hiring a local solicitor could significantly speed up the completion process.