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So You Want to buy or sell a house?

Buying and selling a house or indeed any property can be a daunting process. However, we are here to help you through the process and to ensure that your transaction proceeds as smoothly as possible.

The Conveyancing Process
Once an offer has been accepted on your existing home and you have had an offer accepted on the property that you would like to buy, it’s time to start the conveyancing process. This is a quick guide to some of the things you need to consider at this early stage. For more detailed information see our Guide to Selling and Guide to Buying

Deciding to sell

From a buyer’s point of view there is nothing more frustrating or stressful than setting your heart on your dream home, incurring costs by way of survey fee and solicitors’ costs only for the sellers to admit prior to exchange that they are not serious about moving just yet! The advice here is that if you are selling you should avoid putting your home on the market until you are ready. Otherwise make sure that any potential buyer is aware from the start that you are still looking for your own “dream” home and that the process may therefore be delayed. Up front honesty during the conveyancing process is much better for all concerned and helps to keep stress levels from rising! Remember the buyer will also have probably accrued considerable costs in the hope of purchasing your property.

Instructing an Estate agent

Before an Estate Agent can market the property an Energy Performance Survey must be commissioned and an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) obtained. Generally speaking your Estate Agent should be able to recommend an Energy Performance Assessor. It is always advisable to use an estate agent that has been recommended to you, or one that you have used in the past. Always find out and agree their charges and what kind of service you can expect. As is often the case, cheapest may not necessarily be the best.

Getting a Mortgage

If you need a mortgage to buy your new home, it is always wise to get it approved in principle at an early stage. A mortgage approved in principle is not a formal mortgage offer, (for which a formal valuation on the property you intend to purchase will need to be carried out by the Lenders valuer), but it will give a good indication as to what a bank/building society would be prepared to lend you when the formal application is made for a specific property. Having this information enables you to go house hunting knowing exactly what you can afford to buy and will help to convince a seller that you are serious and more importantly, able to fund the purchase.

Wait for an Acceptable Offer

It is recommended that you wait until you have an acceptable offer on your home before making an offer on one which you would like to purchase. Often a selling estate agent will not allow you to make a formal offer until you can confirm that you have an acceptable offer on any property you need to sell in order to proceed. However, this doesn’t prevent you from looking and getting an idea of what is available so that once you have an acceptable offer on your own existing property you are in a position to make an offer on your preferred new home.

Accepting an Offer

A good Estate Agent should establish the financial position of the proposed buyer making an offer for your property, for example; is the buyer genuine? Can they afford it? Are they cash buyers or do they need a mortgage? Have they sold their own property, and what stage is the transaction at? Potential buyers will often say that they are cash buyers when in fact they may have some money saved for the deposit and/or they do not need a mortgage but they still have a house to sell. You will need to ensure that a “cash buyer” is someone who has ALL the money in the bank and does not need to sell another property in order to be able to proceed with the purchase.

Moving Forward

If you are thinking of buying or selling and would like to discuss matters further then please do not hesitate to contact us for a “no obligation” consultation when we would be happy to discuss the process with you and provide you with an indication of the costs involved in respect of legal fees, disbursements and Stamp Duty.

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Buying and Selling process

Newnham & Jordan Solicitors offer a competitive range of legal services & advice including Conveyancing Solicitors and Property Lawyers in many towns in Dorset, Hampshire & Wiltshire.