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Alternatively call us on 020 7277 6699

Free Instant Online Valuation

Or call us on 020 7277 6699

Buyers Guide

The key steps involved with buying a property are summarised below. If you need any further information or advice, please don't hesitate to contact us.

  • Sell your existing property (if you have one)
  • Work out what you can afford
  • Get a “mortgage in principle”
  • Register with us
  • View properties
  • Make an offer
  • Exchange and complete contracts

Selling your existing property (if you have one):

If you have a property to sell, the first step you should take is to put it up for sale.Why is this an important first step: in case you see a house you want to buy, you may not be able to buy it without the money from your own house. Also, many estate agents consider you a 'non-proceedable' buyer - which means, you are a potential buyer but you can't actually proceed because you need to sell your own house first. So, if there is another buyer who is 'proceedable' they may well see the house of your dreams and buy it first!

We can help you in sell your home, click here to arrange a free no obligation valuation of your home or contact us.

Work out what you can afford:

Mortgage Arrangement fees - a fee charged by lenders to cover the cost of setting up the mortgage. Some lenders waive by this fee. Our partners, a firm of professional, independent financial advisors would be pleased to provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation on what mortgage options are available to you, and the associated costs.

Lender's valuation (basic valuation) - all lenders require a valuation of property to assess whether it is actually worth the price being paid for it. This type of valuation is organised by the mortgage lender but you will be expected must cover their costs. The cost of valuation depends on the value of the property.

Professional survey- you may wish to commission a more detailed survey in addition to the basic mortgage valuation, there are generally two types of survey: the homebuyers report (which costs around £500) and the more comprehensive building survey (structural survey) which could cost anything up to £1000, depending on the value of the house. A professional survey can be arranged for you through us, please contact us for more info.

Legal/Conveyancing Fees - you will also need to instruct a solicitor to deal with all legal aspects of buying the property that you want. We promote a range of different and very competitive conveyancing options - please ask us to find out more.

Stamp duty - This is a government tax, charged for purchase of properties above 125,000. The following thresholds will apply to your purchase accordingly up to 125,000. The next 125,000 (the portion from 125,001 to 250,000) 2%. The next 675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000) 5%. The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million) 10%, the remaining amount (the portion above 1.5 million) 12% so, for example if you are paying 275,000 for your home, the SDLT owed is calculated as follows on the first £125,000 = £0.2% on the next £125,000=£2,500. 5% on the final £25,000 = £1250. So, your total SDLT = £3750.

Land Registry Fee - the land registry is the government department that manages the register of all properties in England and Wales. It charges a fee - typically £40 or so, but is dependent on the property price - for transferring the registration to the new owner.

Local Authority Search Fees - local searches will be carried out by your solicitor/conveyancer to ensure there are no potential problems such as planning permission on neighbouring properties or plans for new roads nearby. The fee can vary depending on which local authority your new home is located in, but you should budget around £150 to cover this charge.

Other Search Fees and Disbursements - These include an index map, commons, the coal authority, land charge, company searches, bank transfer and fees, allow about £70 to cover an average house purchase.

Sales/ Estate Agent's Commission - If you're selling your property as well as buying one, the sum charged by your estate agent has to be taken into account. Usually, this is charged as a percentage of the property price. Please call/ contact us to learn more about fees or related services.

Removal Fees -

If you're on a tight budget, you could arrange to do all the packing and removals work yourself, however given the scale of this task, we recommend you seek professional assistance. We have partnered with removals services to assist you. Please contact us to learn more.

Get a 'mortgage in principle' -

Getting a mortgage and buying a house are usually very much intertwined.

When you find a house. You'll probably have to move fast to secure it. To prevent being delayed while sorting out a mortgage we highly recommend you first get a 'mortgage in principle' agreed. Having this in place means you should be able to get the actual mortgage quicker when the race to buy your chosen home begins. You can get this offer in writing to show estate agents and sellers - who will then see you as a serious prospect and not a time waster.

A 'mortgage in principle' is a conditional offer made by a mortgage lender that - provided the information you give them is correct - they will 'in principle' give you loan you have discussed with them. Knowing what you can afford will also help you narrow your search and give you a considerable degree of confidence.

Our partners, a firm of professional, independent financial advisors, would be pleased to provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation on what mortgage options are available to you, and the associated costs. Contact us to find out more.

Register with us -

Once you have worked out how much you can afford the next stage is start looking for a property.

To find your ideal property. We need to know as much as possible about your requirements. You can register with us either online, by phone or by visiting one of our offices, where one of our consultants can assist you with your search.

Once we have a clear understanding of requirements, we will assess all properties that meet your criteria. When you have registered, details of suitable properties can be sent to you by SMS, email, or in the post - depending on your preferences.

View properties -

This is the fun bit!

It's always good to have a good brainstorm about what exactly you will be looking for in your new home. After all, you can't ask for a refund if you decide you don't like it after four weeks! You may well have to make some compromises in the house you buy so decide now what your 'must haves' and 'nice to haves' are. For instance, an ensuite bathroom a 'must have' or a 'nice to have'? Remember to consult your husband/wife/partner and children - so that you are all clear and agreed on what is really important to you all.

Viewing property on our books -

Viewings can be conducted from 9am-7pm Mondays to Friday and 10am - 4am on Saturdays. You can book a viewing by phone; Monday to Friday 9:00am - 6:30pm, Saturday 10am - 4pm. Sunday by appointment. You can also book a viewing online through 'book a viewing' link presented against each property you find on our property search engine.

We usually conduct all property viewings as the vendor may not always be present. Sometimes, a vendor gives us a specific time for viewings, although we do ask them to be as flexible as possible.

After the viewing we will answer any immediate questions and do usually contact you the next day for your thoughts and general feedback.

Please be on time for viewings, we will arrange to meet you at the property or if its more convenient, at our offices, where we can take you buy car, sometimes we can collect you from your home or place of work, depending on where this may be.

Make an offer -

How exciting! - you've found the house of your dreams and you want to make an offer.

Let's hope we've found it for you.

As soon as you've found a suitable property, we'll put your offer to the seller. Verbally and in writing. We always aim to communicate your offer on the same day. The offer will be subject to a contract being signed and there are no legal obligations on either side until this is done.

Sometimes there may be a process of price and negotiation and by working with us. Both vendor and buyer can benefit from the expertise of our consultants, who will work hard to facilitate an agreeable outcome that delivers the best result of all.

Exchange and complete contracts -

When your offer is accepted, the vendors solicitors/conveyancer will prepare a contract of sale, you will also need to appoint this solicitors/conveyancer to examine the contract, and raise any queries based on the title deeds and related property matters. To help secure a legal and professional contract, we offer a range of different and very competitive conveyancing options that you can choose form. Please contact us to find out more.

When your solicitor has replied to their enquiries.

  • A completed satisfactory local search.
  • A copy of a mortgage offer.
  • A signed contract and a deposit cheque.

They can then proceed to exchange of contracts. A deposit cheque is normally required for 5-10% of the purchase value of the property.

We recommend that by this stage you confirm arrangements for moving day - i.e a removals service with us. We can put you in touch with one of our reputable removal's services. Contact us to learn more about this removals service.

Contract completion can be on the date of exchange or can be anything up to 28 days later depending on your requirements on completion, your solicitor hands over the remainder of the purchase money to the vendor's solicitor and you can then move into your new home. Keys will be handed over to you by us. Along with a “welcome pack” that includes various items of information that we expect will be of help to you - including final meter readings for electricity/ gas, location of water stopcocks, meters and so forth.