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The home buying process - what are the key stages?

Updated: Jan 29

Quite simply there are two key elements to buying a first home......

1.Have a good deposit (over 10%) and

2. Be ready to compromise.


But I want....

Have a good deposit (around 10%) and be prepared to compromise on location or type of property

Nowadays we are spoilt with almost everything at a push of an app or click of button. From Dry cleaning to food delivery and even looking at property. But the property industry is glamorised as a thing of surprise and wonder and up to date with technology. However when it comes to the reality of property purchasing everything takes time and you are at the mercy of lenders, , solicitors, estate agents, councils, leaseholders, other government departments, other buyers (being gazumped) and so on. It's enough to go renting.


The basic property buying process after finding a property.


1. Accepted Offer (not Auction) At Offer stage you have made an offer on a property and the vendor has agreed to the price you offered. It should be confirmed via an estate agent (or other professional in writing and you should ask for written confirmation from a vendor if they are selling independantly.

2. Mortgage application ( around 3 weeks)

This is where you choose a mortgage broker to arrange a mortgage (if you need one) The mortgage brokers are independent of the seller and estate agent it is important to consider this before choosing a mortgage broker. Are they independent? Are they all of market? This way you ensure they are only working for you.

3. Choose a solicitor and property checks (4-6 weeks)

If you don't have a solicitor already it us important to instruct a solicitor. Your mortgage advisor or estate agent can advise on this. The solicitors job is to check all the facets of the mortgage, ownership, the property, the deposit and identities as well as leaseholder issues and so on. The solicitor also checks what's included in the sale of the property such as fittings and fixtures.

4. Signing of contracts

Signing of contracts is an important stage as this occurs once all of the above has taken place. The solicitor drafts the contract to purchase along with communications with the sellers solicitor. Once the documents have been signed you can start sorting out moving dates. This is a good time to arrange home movers

5. Exchange (of contracts)

Exchange of contracts is when your deposit (typically 10%) is sent to the sellers solicitor along with the signed contracts. Exchange of contracts means you are legally bound to buy the property and if you delay or back out of the deal you most likely will lose your deposit to the seller.

6. Move in

On the day of moving you will be contacted by your solicitor to tell you that the transaction has taken place and you can start moving in. He/she should also tell you where to pick up the keys (which in my experience they never know). Ask the vendor (through the solicitor or the estate agent) before the moving date to clearly let you know where to retrieve the key and at what time.

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