BUYING A PROPERTY
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Buying a property is for many the biggest investment that they will make. Here are some steps that can be taken to ensure that your purchase proceeds as smoothly as possible:
ARRANGE A MORTGAGE
Find out from your bank, building society or other lender just how much money they will lend you. Alternatively a good mortgage broker will be able to explain the various options that are available and to direct you towards the most favourable offer to fit your circumstances.
APPOINT A SOLICITOR
You will need to find a solicitor who specialises in conveyancing and preferably one with a good knowledge of the London market. They will be able to provide an estimate of their charges.
SEARCH FOR A SUITABLE PROPERTY
Once you have your mortgage arrangements in place, research the property prices in the area in which you wish to buy. Unless you are very familiar with the area it will be useful to carry out some research in order to establish the type of property you will be able to purchase within your budget. You will then be in a better position to react when a suitable property is offered to you. With our extensive knowledge of the stock of property in Little Venice, Maida Vale and St. Johns Wood we will be able to guide you as to where you are most likely to find the ideal accommodation.
SUBMIT AN OFFER
Once you have found a suitable property, submit your bid. This can be done verbally and/or in writing, making the terms of your offer very clear. If your offer is accepted we will notify your solicitor giving them all the information they require to proceed with the conveyance.
MONITOR YOUR PURCHASE
If you are raising a mortgage, notify your mortgage broker or lender. Your lender will normally instruct your solicitor to act on their behalf. Keep in touch with your solicitor to ensure he is receiving all of the information he has requested from the vendor's solicitors and that the sale is proceeding smoothly. We will be in regular touch with both parties' solicitors and will alert you to any problems that require attention.
SURVEY AND VALUATION
Your mortgage lender will normally appoint their own surveyor to carry out a valuation of the property and although you will be sent a copy of their report we recommend you do not rely solely on it. You should obtain either a Homebuyers Survey/valuation or a full survey.
Once your solicitor has completed his enquiries and received your written mortgage offer a date is agreed for exchange of contracts and completion of your purchase. Two identical contracts are signed by the purchaser and vendor and exchanged. At this point the purchaser pays the agreed deposit, normally 10% of the purchase price. Both parties are now legally bound to proceed to completion and if you do not it could result in the forfeit of your deposit. The property must be insured by the purchaser from the date of exchange.
Make arrangements for your move on exchange. Book a furniture remover and have change of address cards printed. Organise builders to carry out any work that you want done at the property after completion. Arrange for the connection of a telephone and for the utilities (electricity, gas and water services) and council tax to be put into your name.
On the day of completion the outstanding balance is transferred to the vendor's solicitor and your solicitor will inform you when the transaction has taken place. At that point the property becomes yours. Keys can be collected and you can move in. After completion, your solicitor will have the conveyance stamped by the Inland Revenue and the transaction is registered with the Land Registry. The Deeds will be handed over to you or your mortgage lender after these legal formalities are completed. The appropriate stamp duty is liable and payable on completion.
We will endeavour to liaise with you on a regular basis throughout the transaction in order to keep all parties updated.
Vickers and Co. are members of the Property Ombudsman Scheme and subscribe to their Code of Practice, further details are available on request or at www.tpos.co.uk
Please ask for a copy of our in-house complaints procedure.