When is the best time to arrange a Mortgage?
As soon as you can is the best time. Having a budget will help you make informed decisions about which properties to view. The final amount you will be allowed to borrow will be determined after the mortgage valuation survey, so further along in the process. But before you start you will get an ‘Agreement in Principle’ from a lender, which will allow you to establish a price range.
What is the difference between Leasehold and Freehold?
These terms are used primarily for flats though they can, in some cases, apply to houses as well. A Freehold property means you are the owner and are responsible for maintenance and repairs. A Leasehold means ownership lasts only as long as the length of the lease. For both types of property, there will most likely be a service charge to pay, for communal expenses as well as a possible sinking fund to cover major building works and maintenance. Your solicitor will confirm these details but you should request confirmation before making an offer as this may contribute to monthly outgoings for the property. For more information on leaseholds, consult the Leasehold Advisory Service website.
What do I need to do once my Offer is accepted?
You will need to instruct a conveyancing solicitor. The estate agent then contacts the solicitor with the necessary paperwork, which includes confirmation of the agreed sale price and any agreed terms of sale. This is when the behind-the-scene role of an estate agent begins. Although the solicitor handles the legal matters, your estate agent is still required as the point of contact between all parties involved in the property chain.
What is the difference between a Mortgage Survey and a Home Buyer’s Survey?
The lending institution will require a Mortgage valuation which ensures the value of the property has been properly assessed. If the result is satisfactory, the lender will issue a Formal Mortgage Offer. A Homebuyer’s survey is a separate investigation. It is an in-depth survey which looks more closely at structural issues related to a property and is carried out at the request of the purchaser. For more information, consult the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors website. >www.ricsfirms.com/
What is the role of a conveyancing Solicitor?
Your solicitor will request the draft contract and supporting documents from the vendor’s solicitor. The solicitor will also carry out Local Authority and other Searches on your behalf as well as working with the vendor’s solicitor to transfer the Title Deeds. Your estate agent is vital during this stage as he/she offers support to both buyer and seller in making sure this process is carried out in a timely manner.
What happens at the Exchange of contracts?
Often called simply ‘exchange’, this is when the buyer becomes legally obligated to proceed with the purchase though they do not take possession of the property until completion. At this point, 10% of the agreed purchase price is paid to the seller via their solicitor. The period between exchange and completion is usually about a month but this can vary; it is even possible to do both in the same day though this can be quite complicated. Exchange also means a moving date can be established so this is the time to start getting quotes for removals, notify the relevant service authorities (gas, water, phone, broadband, electricity) and the Local Authority, as well as arranging the necessary Buildings and Contents insurance for the new property. Your solicitor can also advise at this stage.
What happens at Completion of the sale?
On completion day, the balance of the money is transferred between buyer and seller. The seller’s solicitor will confirm arrival of funds and promptly ring the estate agent instructing them to release the keys to the buyer. This is the day when you actually own your new home.