Buying a property - the process
Hudsons guide to buying your new home
For a brief explanation of each step in the buying process simply click on each sub-heading.
If you require further information or advice please contact our office on 020 7323 2277 where our experienced staff will be pleased to help you.
Mortgage, Area and Must-haves!
Unless you have cash to spend on your property you will need to borrow money in the form of a mortgage. It is good to get an idea of how much you can borrow by speaking to your bank. Even better if you can actually go through a pre application with your lender as they will do all the financial checks prior which will speed the process along later.
Whist it can be beneficial to use your own bank that know you, mortgage brokers will be able to offer you rates from a variation of lenders and shop around for the best deal for you. Often they take a lot of the hassle out of the process and can save you time and money, although some will charge a small fee for doing so.
Once you have a budget you can do your research online to find out what areas give you the style and size of property you are requiring. A good first port of call is Rightmove as they will give you an overview of all the different areas and the prices you will pay to live there. The questions to ask yourself are:
How many bedrooms will you need?
Do you require outside space?
And location, are the transport links good enough for you given the amount of time you are likely to use them?
Do you have any non-negotiables?
Costs to Consider
There are a number of costs to be taken into account when buying a property and it is advisable to budget your finances. Typically this will include:
- Solicitor's fees
- Stamp duty
Up to £125,000 0%
£125,001 - £250,000 1%
£250,001 - £925,000 5%
£925,001 - £1,500,000 10%
£1,500,001 plus 20%
There is an additional 3% due on the total amount should you already own another property and this is classed as a second home.
- A Survey/Valuation (if required). A valuation is the minimum needed when taking out a mortgage and is paid via the lender. You can undergo your own survey either a homebuyers report or a full survey.
- Land registry fees
- Local authority search fees
- Bank transfers
- Service charges (if leasehold)
- Mortgage arrangement fees (if applicable)
- Redecoration costs
- Removal costs
It is always a good idea to retain a little of your budget as an 'emergency' fund for any unforeseen costs that may arise. Our staff will be happy to advise you on the likely costs of any of the above.
Once you have decided on an area/s you should register with some local estate agents. At Hudsons we will immediately begin assisting you in the search for your new home and will invite you to undertake a tour of our properties that best match your price range so you can get a better idea of what you can expect for your money. The more specific you can be about your requirements, the more we will be able match you to your ideal property.
If you are searching for property in London’s West End you can register with Hudsons by calling in at our offices at 24 Charlotte Street or by using our online registration form. You will find our contact and registration details by clicking on the Register Now or Contact Us links.
Viewing a Property
Depending on the market, viewing as many properties as you can within your price range will give you the best knowledge of values in your chosen area. In a buoyant market stock can go quickly with decisions needing to be made quickly and choice often minimal, however on slower markets you have time on your side to take a more informed decision based on comparable properties you have visited.
At Hudsons we strive to arrange property viewing appointments at times that best suit you, and will accompany you on weekdays, evenings and, by appointment on weekends.
Making an Offer
Once you have found your ideal home and decide to make an offer, the agent will submit the offer, on your behalf, to the seller both verbally and in writing. It is wise to tell the estate agent all the positive points on your side, especially timescale and if you have already got a mortgage offer in principle.
Any offer you make on a property will be subject to contract, and is not legally binding, for you or the seller, until the exchange of contracts.
Make sure you have a good solicitor to act for you as they can be the difference between success and failure when it comes to a property purchase. If you have not used a solicitor before, Hudsons are happy to recommend one of our trusted and recommended solicitors.
Once your offer has been accepted the agreed sale terms will be confirmed in writing to all parties. It is at this stage of the process that the exchange of contracts and completion dates should be agreed/targeted. At this point you will instruct your legal representative to begin the conveyancing process and your mortgage advisor/bank need to move your mortgage application (if applicable) on to the next level. Once your mortgage is agreed in principle your mortgage lender will appoint a surveyor but non-mortgage buyers may wish to organise their own independent survey.
Hudsons will be happy to recommend a local surveyor to act on your behalf if required.
When the vendor's solicitor has obtained the property's title deeds and any other relevant documentation, they will prepare a draft Contract of Sale and seller’s pack. When this is received by your solicitor they will go through the paperwork and raise any queries they need answering.
Once your solicitor has received responses to any queries, gained satisfaction from a local search and received your mortgage offer they will send you or invite you in to sign the contract of sale. This is the time that you will need to provide your deposit (normally 10% of the selling price). Once this is undertaken you will be in a position to proceed to Exchange of Contracts.
Subject to completion of formalities, with all parties having signed the contract, the deposit is forwarded to the seller’s solicitor. It is at this stage contracts are formally exchanged and the transaction becomes binding for both the seller and purchaser.
The completion date is agreed on exchange of contract (but can be brought forward by mutual consent) completion is normally between one to four weeks after the exchange date.
After the contracts have been formally exchanged, your moving arrangements must begin. If you are selling and buying a property simultaneously, this will involve a considerable amount of organisation and it is advisable to begin arrangements in plenty of time. Key points to address will be:
- Furniture removals
- Confirm change of home address
- Insurance (you must insure the property from exchange of contracts)
- Transference of utilities
- Redirection of post
- Arrange for parking permits if required, this may include changing the address of where your vehicle is registered
Once the property has been vacated and the seller's solicitor confirms that the remaining monies have been received, completion can take place. This is normally around lunchtime but can be delayed by a few hours.
Congratulations you can now collect the keys to your new home!