The internet has transformed the way in which we search for a new home and we are still a nation obsessed by the purchase of that home! So how do you go about making this most important purchase.
Your search area will be defined by your desire to have ease of access to the things you find important, family, schools and child care, work, hobbies/recreational facilities, transport systems – railway and bus routes, etc.,. People in London and the Home Counties are often happy to live up to 2 hours travel distance from their place of work if it allows their children to go to the right school, or to pursue their hobbies at the weekend, or the financial incentive that they can purchase a better property in a more rural location.
So you have identified your search area but what next? Years ago you would have had to visit the area and register with all the local agents, purchase the local newspaper and scour its contents for properties that meet with your purchase criteria. From an Agents perspective in some respects we long for those days but progress has meant that you do not have to visit the area you can browse all the properties that are on the market in your chosen area, and within your price range by visiting the major Property Portal. You can draw your search area, define your search with numbers of Reception and Bedrooms and view these properties from the comfort of your armchair such is the reach of the internet.
Interaction with an Estate Agent follows when you wish to arrange a viewing and it is at this point that you will begin to find out which Agents are professional in their approach to you as a potential purchaser and their vendors. Is the viewing arranged in a professional manner and will you be met by the vendor or a member of the Agent’s sales team. If you have questions regarding the property are they answered in a timely manner and is the agent well informed regarding the property and the surrounding area. If you lack confidence in the agent at this stage, how will you feel when it comes to making an offer and progressing your purchase through to exchange and completion.
A professional and proactive Estate Agent will imbibe confidence in a potential purchaser from the outset by having an indepth knowledge of the property he/she is selling. Questions regarding the property and surrounding area will be answered in a timely manner and if the property in question is not suitable then they should be trying to ascertain what other properties they have on their books may fulfil your requirements.
Once you have found your dream Cottage, House, Rectory or Farm then the negotiations begin. You will make your initial offer, or indeed your best and final offer and you must have confidence that the Estate Agent puts forward your offer in the best possible light, having ascertained whether or not your purchase is chain free, if there is a chain then how well progressed is it, what level of finance is required, etc.,. These negotiations can be over very quickly and on other occasions they can become protracted, however, they must be conducted in a professional manner.
Offer accepted then the Agent will require your Solicitors details in order to produce the Memorandum of Sale which sets out in full the details of your proposed purchase. A copy of this document is forwarded to the Solicitors acting for both parties and it is at this stage that you would instruct your Surveyor or Mortgage Broker with regards to a Survey of the property. As part of the Mortgage process a Survey and Valuation of the property would be required but these can be at different levels and you can discuss the best one for you with your Qualified Surveyor.
Once the Survey has been carried out and a Mortgage offer should be issued to your solicitor, who alongside this will be working on the content of the Contract Package on your behalf. Local Authority Searches will have been applied for and once your Solicitor has had any queries raised answered to his or her satisfaction then he or she will be in a position to report to you on the title to the property and at this point if all is well they would ask you to put them in funds with regard to the 10% deposit that will be required upon an exchange of contracts. It should be noted that upon exchange of contracts the completion date is fixed and it is not recommended that removal firms are booked until this time.
At Abbot and Slater we pride ourselves in our knowledge of the sales process being able to guide purchaser and vendor through the sale and purchase of a home. Our staff have an indepth knowledge of local Surveyors, Solicitors, Removal Companies and so much more to ensure that whether you are purchasing your first home or moving for the 10th time that the process is as straight forward as possible.