Buying a home can be a stressful experience – but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few handy tips to make it as smooth-sailing as possible.
You need to jump through a few hoops when buying a home and even if both you and the seller are keen to exchange contracts promptly, there can be delays.
So here are eight top tips for a smooth property transaction.
1. Understand the jargon
First of all, get to know the lingo. Arrangement fee? Standard Variable Rate? Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee? There’s a fair share of industry terminology involved when it comes to buying a home, so make sure you understand the key terms before you kickstart your property search. Utilise google and search any terms you come across and aren’t sure about.
2. Consider selling before buying
If you’re already a homeowner, think about selling your property before you start looking for a new one. It is easier to buy a home chain-free, but you need to consider where you will live – and storage costs – in the interim.
If you’re eyeing a new-build home, then a part exchange scheme may be the answer. It allows you to effectively trade in your existing home as part-payment for a new one purchased from a developer or house builder. This can make the whole process a lot easier and simplier dealing with the developer directly for both your purchase and sale providing the part exchange deal they offer works for you.
3. Get organised
Get your ducks in a row. Speak to a mortgage advisor to confirm your budget and get an agreement in principle. Then work out what you can and can’t afford before you arrange any property viewings.
Also, have all the relevant paperwork ready before you formally apply for a mortgage. Requirements will vary between lenders but they typically include proof of your income and outgoings as well as proof of your identity and address.
Remember that a formal mortgage offer has a shelf life and if you fail to complete the purchase before it expires, you’ll have to start the process again. This is typically between 3-6 months so check this with your chosen lender.
4. Ask the seller to take the property off the market
Found your dream home? Make sure one of the conditions of your offer is that the property is taken off the market. It will help prevent another buyer from making an offer the seller can’t refuse.
5. Pick professionals
Work with people you trust. You will rely on a raft of different firms, or individuals, during the home buying process. They will typically include a surveyor, solicitor, and removals company. Ask friends and family for recommendations and hire carefully. Listen back to Podcast episode 13 where we discuss in more detail who you should have in what we call your property power team and how to select these professionals.
6. Respond promptly
Be ready to review, fill out, sign and return all documents quickly and efficiently. Your solicitor will no doubt send through a lot of information about your property, including local authority searches. There’s no need to rush things. But sitting on the paperwork will only hold up the process.
7. Communication is king
Stay in regular contact with both your solicitor and the estate agent to ensure that you are up to speed with the purchase and that it’s on track. It’s a good idea to agree a weekly update between all parties to cut the chances of miscommunication.
8. Be realistic
Finally, set a realistic target for exchanging contracts so that everyone in the process has the same deadline to work towards. You can always amend the timescale between exchange and completion if you and/or the seller need to delay moving.
So that concludes this episode of Ask the Estate Agent Podcast. You can contact us anytime using the links below:
So don’t forget to contact us with any subjects you would like us to cover or questions you would like answering in the coming episodes and until next time I would like to thank you for listening and goodbye for now.