Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. So whether you are:
- A First-time Buyer
- Trading up to a bigger home
- Downsizing to a small home
- Looking to Invest in a Buy to Let
How it works
Starting your search
Before starting to look for a property to buy, it's imperative to get your finances in order and have a clear idea of your budget. If you find your dream property but don't have proof from a lender that you can secure the necessary mortgage, you could lose out to another buyer in a stronger position, and it could all end in tears. Stephenson Browne has close links with a independent mortgage broker who would be happy to offer you any help and advice you may need.
If you have a property to sell that will help finance your purchase, and you would like Stephenson Browne to value your current property, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
It's also a good idea to make a list of what you're looking for. How many bedrooms do you need? Is outside space a priority? Do you need a garage or car parking space? What transport links do you want to be close to? It's also a good idea to consider which of these criteria are set in stone, and which are more flexible.
Once you have a clearer idea of exactly what you're looking for, pop into one of our offices, give us a call us and we will give you the details of all available properties that meet your criteria. We will also continuously update you when new properties become available.
Making an offer +
Once you have found a property that you'd like to buy, you can make an offer which we will put forward to the vendor for consideration. Before putting an offer forward for our vendors to consider, we will need to qualify your financial position and are always happy via our independent mortgage advisers to help see if we can save you some money. After any negotiations have taken place, hopefully your offer will be accepted. At this point, we will ask you for your solicitor's details in order for your purchase to proceed (we can aid with this process/obtain quotes if desired). We will also prepare a memorandum of sale and send it to all parties involved, to confirm what has been agreed.
The conveyancing process +
After you've sent off your mortgage application (if relevant), the conveyancing process begins. This is the process of legally transferring the property from one person to the next, and is normally carried out by a solicitor. Your solicitor will act as an intermediary between you, the mortgage lender and the seller, looking over any contracts on your behalf. They will also deal with the Land Registry, sort out Stamp Duty Land Tax and organise for your funds to be transferred during the sale, as well as check for any structural risks, such as subsidence, following a survey of the property. (There are two types of survey (we can help) in addition to the valuation that your mortgage company will insist on: a HomeBuyer Report, which should highlight any urgent repair work needed, and a full Building Survey, recommended for older properties or buildings of 'non-standard construction'). Once any surveys have been completed to your satisfaction, you've received your mortgage offer, you have sorted out insurance for the property, and the rest of the paperwork is in order, you're ready to exchange contracts and move in. Upon exchange of contracts, you will be asked to pay a deposit, which is non-refundable should, for any reason, you pull out of the purchase after exchange.
Upon exchange of contracts, you will agree a completion date, which is the date when you legally become the new owner of the property. On this date, once the outstanding funds have been transferred by your solicitor to the vendor's solicitor, you will receive the keys and move into your new home. At this point, you will need to read the meters and contact the utility companies to inform them that you have moved in, as well as contact your preferred telecommunications company and the local council for Council Tax purposes.
Now all that remains is for you to settle in and enjoy your new home!