Buying a house is probably the biggest financial decision that you’ll ever make. It can be a lengthy and complicated business, which while exciting is often fraught with stress and worry. At Pocock Shaw it’s our job to make sure that the experience is as smooth as possible by tailoring our service to your individual needs and walking you through every step of the process – from viewing to offer, negotiation to completion.
Through each of our offices we handle residential sales on behalf of a wide range of people, from those looking to get on the first rung of the property ladder to people downsizing as they prepare for retirement. Our friendly, experienced staff are always on hand to answer your questions.
Whatever your circumstances we can help you through each step from understanding maze of legal paperwork, negotiations with the seller, dealing with surveyors and solicitors, and finding a good mortgage deal. Only when you’ve got the keys to your new home do we consider our job done.
If you would like to be kept up-to-date with any new properties which match your criteria, please register your details with us.
To enable you to unravel the complexities of buying your home, we have set out below an overview of the various procedures involved:
Registration: The first requirement is for you to register your details and property specifications which can be achieved in a number of ways i.e. by email, fax, phone, in person of by completing our registration form. This will give us an insight into your personal requirements, thereby enabling us to modify the details sent to you. Once registered, you are then in a position to receive details from us directly in person, via mail or email or download and print these out from our website. We also offer an SMS text service direct to your mobile phone.
Viewing: Our friendly team are available to arrange those all-important viewings of your selected properties. Please contact us to arrange a mutually convenient time.
Mortgage: In order to speed up your house buying process, it is advisable wherever possible; to get a mortgage agreed in principle before any final decision on your new property is made. This has the advantage of providing you with a clear indication of what is affordable and the fact that you have a mortgage agreed in principle is also attractive to sellers.
Making Your Offer: Once you have located your ideal property, your offer will be submitted by us to the vendor for their consideration. This is done both verbally and in writing.
NB: Please note that all offers are “subject to contract” and therefore neither party is legally bound until the contract is actually signed.
Accepted Offer/Instructing Solicitors: As soon as your offer has been accepted by the vendor, you should instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf. Your solicitor will handle all legal requirements of your purchase (property conveyancing). At this point, you also need to formally proceed with your mortgage application and instruct your mortgage consultant/broker accordingly.
Survey: The next step is to obtain the Mortgage Valuation, as required by law. This will be conducted by a Chartered Surveyor acting for your Lender. The report is to provide a Valuation i.e. determine whether the amount to be loaned is secure and also deals with the basic condition of the property. Since you as the buyer are also provided with a copy, it allows both parties to evaluate the findings prior to entering into a commitment to purchase.
NB: However, we would not recommend that a buyer relies solely on the Mortgage Valuation survey as the inspection is limited and although it may cost a little more to obtain a more detailed report yourself, this could in the long run save you from making a costly mistake.
There are two types of survey available:
Homebuyer Survey/Valuation – this is the mid-range option as it is more expensive than the Mortgage Valuation but less than the Building Survey (see below).
It is a basic service and therefore more appropriate to properties in apparently good condition and conventionally constructed. The survey’s purpose is to highlight any pressing or significant defects and problems which are likely to have an overall impact on the value of the property.
The objective of the Homebuyer Survey is to provide a more in depth report which will assist the buyer in making an informed decision whether to proceed with the purchase and also whether the agreed price reflects the actual value. Moreover, the professional opinion of the surveyor as contained in his report will also set out particular features of the property which may possibly have an effect on the present value and potential future marketability.
Building Survey – Unlike the Homebuyer Survey, this is suitable for all types of property whether conventional or unconventional. The term “unconventional” encompasses properties that have an unusual construction, are historic or Listed Buildings, have been extensively altered or where major work is planned.
The Building Survey is comprehensive and lists full technical details of the construction, materials and condition. It highlights the full spectrum of defects from the more serious down to the insignificant and the terms of the survey are therefore tailored to fit the client’s specific needs.
However, it should be noted that this does not include a valuation and is only conducted by prior agreement.
Searches: These are conducted by the buyer’s solicitor who submits a local authority search to the local borough council. Its purpose is to ascertain if there is any planning consented previously granted on the property or if there are any other local issues which may have an impact on the purchase. In some instances, the search may also include an Environmental and Drainage search.
Draft Contracts: The draft contract is drawn up by the seller’s solicitor and is forwarded to the buyer’s solicitor for consideration. Any additional queries or questions will be asked and answered and the contract amended accordingly, subject to final approval.
Mortgage Offer: The Lender is now in possession of the Mortgage Valuation survey and, subject to the findings of this report; receipt/approval of the mortgage application and provided all references and checks have been conducted satisfactorily, the Lender will send a formal mortgage offer to the buyer and their solicitor. The document is then signed and returned and funds requested by the buyer’s solicitor.
Exchange of Contracts: Once the contract has been signed by both parties, a deposit (normally a small percentage of the purchase price) is paid by either bank transfer or banker’s draft. At this stage, the parties agree on a date for completion.
Completion: Completion usually follows a few days or weeks after exchange of contracts. The balance of the purchase price is transferred by the buyer’s solicitor to the seller’s solicitor and the keys released – Congratulations! You are now the owner of your new home!