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For any first time buyer, the prospect of purchasing a property can be daunting. To help ease any apprehensions that you may harbour, we have put together a list of frequently asked questions;

How Much Will It Cost Me To Move?

The main cost for a purchaser will be made up of SDLT (stamp duty land tax) and your legal fees. We can recommend one of our preferred solicitors who can give you an idea on price. The charges are based on a tapered system, rather than paying a fixed percentage on the whole amount, which is how it used to work.

  • £0 - £125,000 - no tax to pay
  • £125,001 - £250,000 - 2%
  • £250,001 - £925,000 - 5%
  • £925,000 - £1.5mill - 10%
  • £1,500,001 + - 12%

When Should I Arrange My Mortgage?

You should speak to your bank or mortgage broker before you begin your search. You need to know what's affordable and any offer you make will be taken far more seriously if you have an AIP or equivalent (agreement in principle) this is basically a document from a lender which confirms what they should be able to lend you, based on information provided by yourself.

What Information We Will Require When You Submit An Offer?

We will need to know what position you are in, i.e. are you a first time buyer, do you have a related sale, is it a buy to let etc… If you are a cash buyer we will ask to see proof of funds or an email from your solicitor to that effect. If you require a mortgage we will ask to see proof of deposit and an agreement in principle (AIP) If you don't have this we will ask you to be qualified by one of our in-house financial advisors.

When Do I Provide My Solicitors Details?

As soon as your offer has been accepted we will require your solicitor details. We can recommend local specialist conveyancers if you don't have access to someone who comes recommended.

Will We Keep The Property Off The Market Once My Offer Is Accepted?

Ultimately the decision lies with the owner, but we normally advise the property should be withdrawn from the market to show good will, in return we will expect you to carry out certain tasks within a mutually agreed timeframe. This will consist of instructing your solicitor whilst putting them in funds to start the conveyancing process and organising the bank valuation.

What Type Of Survey Should I Get?

You are not obligated to have a survey though it is generally prudent, particularly if you are buying an older/period property. Assuming you are getting a mortgage, the lender will always carry out a valuation which is simply there to make sure the place you are buying is worth what you have agreed to pay. Homebuyers and the more detailed building survey will highlight potential problems with the property and may suggest the need for further, more detailed surveys, such as timber and damp, electrical or structural survey. Once you have collated all of the survey information you may feel it necessary to re-negotiate the price you originally agreed.

How Long Does The Actual Process Take Once A Sale Is Agreed?

There are many factors that will have a baring on how long the process will take and each sale is different. As a general rule, a freehold purchase 'should' be quicker than a leasehold but this is not always the case and we have known sales range from as little as one week, or as long as six months. Generally, the average sale will take between 6 -12 weeks to reach exchange of contracts. If you need to work to a certain timescale, make that clear at the point of offer in order to avoid disappointment. You should also not order any items for the new home, book time off work or book removals until you have a completion date confirmed by your solicitor.

What's The Difference Between Exchange And Completion?

Exchange is when the purchase becomes legally binding, it's also the point when you must lodge your deposit, which is normally 10% of the purchase price. On exchange you will agree a completion date. Completion is the day you become the legal owner and when your solicitor transfers the remaining funds to the other side. This is the day when you can collect keys and take possession of the property.

What Happens On The Day Of Completion?

We will get a call from the sellers solicitor once completion funds have hot their account, confirming completion has taken place and we can release the keys. At this point we will contact you and arrange for you to come in and collect the keys or meet at the property.

Are You Members Of Any Recognised Bodies?

Yes, we are members of NALS, Property Ombudsman, Safeagent and DPS.

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