But if you break it down into simple, manageable steps and make sure you seek proper legal and financial advice, it’s actually easier than you think. There are seven steps you need to take:
- First off, you have to know how much money you can actually afford to spend on a property. That includes having all details of your savings, as well as stocks, shares or investments, to hand. Plus, it’s important not to forget about stamp duty, registration fees and legal costs. Needless to say, betting transactions and missed loan repayments are red flags to financial institutions, so ensure that these do not apply to you. It’s also necessary to have life insurance to buy a property, so get this sorted before house-hunting begins.
- Now you’re ready to pick a property. Once you’ve picked the right place, it’s time to appoint a solicitor, who will be able to help you with paperwork throughout the process.
- The first step towards securing your property is paying a refundable booking deposit to the estate agent, after which they can issue sales details – such as the names and current addresses of the buyer and seller, the price and the proposed closing date of the sale.
- Next, contracts are issued, as well as copies of title deeds. The contract is prepared by the Vendor’s solicitor. The solicitor needs to check the terms of the proposed contract and review the title documents. This involves examining any issue which may affect the property such as planning issues, rights of way, mapping issues etc. In the case of a second-hand property you should arrange for a building survey to be carried out. Your bank or building society will send you a loan pack, which needs to be completed and signed. After checking and signing the contract, it’s time to pay the contract deposit, which is usually 10% of the purchase price minus the booking deposit you’ve already paid.
- Next up, the contracts are exchanged and a binding agreement is made between the parties. Your solicitor will raise a requisition on title after loan acceptance documents have been returned to your bank or building society. This requisition on title is then sent to the seller’s solicitor.
- Next, the balance of funds are delivered and exchanged for the completion documents. Finally, it’s time for the close of sale. This is the good news: this is the time you get the all-important keys.
- But there’s still a bit of work to do: the purchase deed must be signed and be stamped by your solicitor. Then, the deed is sent to the land registry for registration. Regardless of how long this process takes to complete, at this point you’re now the legal owner of the property. Congratulations!
Buying a property doesn’t have to be an insurmountable hurdle. By following the tips above, you’ll be able to navigate the process without much difficulty.
26 February 2018