Top Tips for a Smooth House Purchase

The process of buying a house – and the legal conveyancing that comes with it – can be complicated and stressful. It can often feel like you’re in over your head.

But making sure you do the right research and having the right team behind you can help to make things less confusing.

We’ve put together some of our top tips for buying a house in this guide. So you’ll have the best chance of a straightforward conveyancing process:

1. Consider a mortgage broker

A good mortgage broker will make the process of finding the right deal much simpler. Working with a broker who checks the whole of the market will mean there are no deals left undiscovered. You’ll be able to find the best rate, saving you money in the long run.

2. Get your agreement in principle early

Before you start looking for homes, you should arrange a mortgage agreement in principle. This lets sellers know that you’re serious about buying, and it can put you ahead of other buyers who haven’t been approved for a loan.

3. Be realistic about what you can afford

Knowing your maximum budget is useful, but you should also think about what you can comfortably afford. Do your sums carefully and plan for the different financial scenarios you may end up in. Remember that the future can be unpredictable.

4. Find out what the fees are

There will be additional fees on top of the cost of your new home. These include legal fees, the cost of property searches and surveys, and potentially stamp duty (depending on the value of the house and whether it’s your first time buying a property).

5. Think about the chain

Getting involved in a house sale chain can be complicated. If you can, consider prioritising properties that don’t have a chain. This will help to ensure you don’t have to wait to complete on anyone else’s schedule and will reduce the chance of issues cropping up.

6. Do your house price research

You’ll want the best deal for your new home. But your seller will also want to get as much as they can for their property. Make sure you’re checking what nearby and similar properties have sold for recently. This will help you get a better idea of how much to offer.

7. Request that the property is taken off the market

You can tell the estate agent you’re dealing with that you’d like to make an offer on the condition that the property is taken off the market if it’s accepted. This reduces the chance that someone else will see it and make a higher offer before you exchange contracts.

8. Choose the right conveyancer or solicitor

Your conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor will be at the centre of your house purchase. They’ll handle the legal paperwork and communicate with all the parties involved, which is why it’s so important to choose a reputable conveyancing firm.

9. Act promptly

The best thing you can do after the conveyancing process has started is provide everything your solicitor needs quickly. If you have to fill out a form, provide your ID or answer a question, try to do it as quickly as you can. This will help to reduce the chance of delays.

10. Get a survey

A full survey is different to a lender valuation. It provides more information on the condition of the house and allows you to make an informed decision about buying the home. A survey is optional but it is a good idea, especially if you think there might be problems with the property.

11. Check your fees carefully

Some solicitors may make mistakes or try to charge you more than was originally agreed. This is why it’s important to check what you’ve been charged after the completion of your purchase. Choosing the right conveyancing team will also help to prevent errors like these.

12. Remember there are no silly questions

When it comes to conveyancing, the professionals are the experts. You won’t be expected to know everything, so don’t feel like you should. If you aren’t clear on something, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.

Our tips for first-time home buyers

When you’re buying a house for the first time, it’s normal to feel a bit daunted. But there are things you can do to make the process easier. These are our three top tips for first-time buyers:

1. Check your credit rating

Your credit rating will have a large impact on the type of mortgage you can secure. It’s always best to check your credit score as early as possible as this will give you time to make any necessary improvements.

2. Look at government schemes

There are a number of government schemes set up to help first-time buyers get on the property ladder. Or you could also consider purchasing a shared ownership home, where you own part of the property and pay rent on the rest.

3. Use your position to your advantage

Sellers will often be eager to sell their home as quickly as possible. This means that your position as a first-time buyer could work to your advantage. Make sure to let the seller’s estate agent know that you’re not involved in a property chain as soon as possible.

Whether you’re buying your first home or moving from an existing property, our conveyancing solicitors could help you. We work with specialist firms who can help to make the process less stressful.

To find out more, just get in touch or start your enquiry online.

Note: First4Lawyers offers this information as guidance, not advice. Before taking any action, you should seek professional assistance tailored to your personal circumstances.


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