At Hurst we realise that the purchase of your home is the most important and expensive transaction you are ever likely to make. We also understand that this is not something you will likely do regularly and therefore we have in each area we work, appointed an experienced team of local property experts, to guide you through the process.
The Buying Process Explained
The first requirement is for you to register your details and property specifications with us which can be achieved in a number of ways (i.e. email, phone, in person, or by simply CLICKING HERE and completing our registration form. This will give us an insight into your personal requirements, thereby enabling us to modify the properties we bring to your attention. Once registered, you are then in a position to receive details from us directly, via the communication route that best suits you. Many of the better quality properties are sold to our database before they even have time to reach the internet, so to get the best new properties first register with us.
It's important to understand what price you are able to pay up to and therefore we recommend if you require a mortgage to purchase that you seek advice on how much you can borrow, the likely deposit size you will need and what are the associated costs of purchasing. This ensures you only look at property that is affordable to you and also gives you the confidence to offer should you see something you really like. Most lenders will issue an AIP (Agreement In Principle) which is advisable to get as this will also save time once you do find a property to purchase.
Our friendly team are available to arrange and escort you around those all important viewings of your preferred properties. Our offices are open 7 days a week so please contact us to arrange a mutually convenient time.
Making Your Offer
Once you have found a property you wish to purchase, the next step is to make an offer via us which we will submit to the vendor for their consideration. This will be put to the owner both verbally and in writing. We will then let you know our clients response and if accepted, a sale can be agreed subject to contract. If not accepted, we will report our clients views back to you and if you wish to improve your offer, a process of negotiation will begin, which we will guide you through, with a view to trying to agree a price that is acceptable.
Agreeing The Purchase
Once your offer has been accepted you will need to instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf, at Hurst we have specialists in this field we work with and will be happy to introduce you to them. Your solicitor will handle all legal requirements of your purchase known as property conveyancing. Also at this point you will be asked to formally identify yourself to allow us to comply with Anti Money Laundering Legislation. Finally if a mortgage is required you will need to organise to make your broker/lender aware of your purchase and fill in a full application asking for a mortgage on the specific address you have agreed to purchase.
It is generally the requirement of any mortgage for a surveyor, appointed by the lender to carry out a Mortgage Valuation and basic survey before a mortgage offer can be approved/released. Even if you do not require a mortgage it is still recommended that you instruct a surveyor to check the property is structurally sound before you purchase. The basic report is designed to provide a Valuation (I.E. Determine whether the amount to be loaned by the lender 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 you and the lender to evaluate the findings prior to entering into a commitment to purchase/lend. Should you wish for a more detailed survey to be carried out you can often ask the surveyor acting for the lender to carry this out for you at the same time, albeit at an increased charge.
There are generally two types of advanced 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). The objective of the Homebuyer Survey is to provide a more in depth 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 their 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. Full Structural Survey – This 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. This type of survey is often carried out where structural concerns/issues already exist or after the aforementioned surveys results are in, where they point to areas of concern that require more detailed further investigation.
These are paid for by you the purchaser and conducted by your solicitor who submits a local authority search to the borough council in which the property is located. Its purpose is to ascertain if there have been any planning consents previously granted on the property or if there are any other local issues in the immediate areas surrounding the property which may have an impact on the purchase. In most instances, the search will also include an Environmental and Drainage search. A mortgage company will generally require all these searches, however even if purchasing without a mortgage, we would still recommend that you have the searches carried out, to ensure you have all the information that may affect the property before concluding the transaction.
The Draft Contract
The draft contract is drawn up by the seller’s solicitor and is forwarded to your solicitor for consideration. The contract detail the parties involved in the transaction, the price agreed and all the relevant legal documentation on the property. Your solicitor will read through the content before asking any queries/questions they may have via the seller's solicitors about the legal title.
The Mortgage Offer
Once the Lender is in possession of the Mortgage Valuation/Survey Report and, subject to the findings of this report and provided all references and checks have been conducted satisfactorily, the Lender will send a formal mortgage offer to you and your solicitor. The document is then signed and returned and funds requested by your solicitor once a completion date is agreed.
Completion is usually agreed anytime up to a week or more after exchange of contracts, although sometimes they do occur on the same day as exchange if prearranged. The balance of the purchase price is transferred by your solicitor to the seller’s solicitor and the keys released – Congratulations! You are now the owner of your new home!