A step-by-step guide to buying London property
Before you start looking for a property to purchase it’s important to have a clear idea of how much you can afford to spend and to have a mortgage agreed in principle if one is required. This will help ensure that any offer you make will be taken seriously, something that’s particularly important when multiple buyers are competing for the same property. At Fraser & Co, we recommend using independent mortgage advisors, Omega Financial Services Ltd. They have access to the entire market and exclusive rates to help find you the best mortgage deals available.
Once your finances are in hand, next you need to register with Fraser & Co by phoning or visiting one of our offices to discuss your property requirements in detail. You can also register online by clicking here. With a wide range of properties to choose from, we are confident we can help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
Finding your ideal property
As soon as you have registered, we will send you a choice of properties that match your criteria. And, if you register to receive property alerts, we can keep you constantly up-to-date via email when suitable properties come onto the market.
At Fraser & Co, one of our experienced negotiators will always be on hand to accompany you on viewings in order to answer any questions you may have. Our UK offices are open from 8:45am-6pm Monday to Friday and 9am-1pm on Saturdays and viewings by appointment are normally conducted during these hours. However we appreciate that these times may not always be convenient if you work long hours, so we are very flexible and will endeavour to arrange viewings outside these hours if necessary.
Making an offer
As soon as you have found a property you would like to purchase, we will put your offer forward to the seller, both verbally and in writing, clearly stating any special conditions you may have. At this time you may need to demonstrate your ability to proceed with the purchase by providing evidence of appropriate funding, e.g. a mortgage agreed in principle.
Instructing a solicitor
The successful purchase of a property can often rely on the instruction of an efficient and experienced solicitor. It is sensible to appoint a solicitor who is familiar with the area you're moving to and specialises in conveyancing. At Fraser & Co, we can recommend a number of tried and tested solicitors who can assist with your purchase if required.
Once any negotiations have taken place and your offer is accepted, we will write to all parties to confirm the agreed price and prepare a memorandum of sale. At this stage we will ask you to confirm your solicitor's and mortgage broker's details. You should then ask your mortgage broker to proceed with your mortgage application (if relevant) and instruct your solicitor to begin the conveyancing process.
During the conveyancing process, your solicitor should raise any issues that require clarification on receipt of the draft contract from the seller's solicitor, as well as requesting any necessary local searches and agreeing a date for the exchange of contracts. At Fraser & Co we will assist your solicitor by chasing the vendor for missing information to keep the process moving and we will keep you informed every step of the way.
Survey and mortgage offer
If you are funding your purchase with a mortgage, an independent valuation will be carried out by a surveyor on behalf of the mortgage lender to ascertain the property’s value. Whilst this report could possibly touch on structural problems that are immediately apparent, it’s generally advisable to upgrade the valuation to a homebuyer report or full building survey for extra peace of mind. If you are buying with finance already in place, it’s still important to get a professional survey of the property carried out to ensure there are no unexpected surprises further down the line.
After the mortgage valuation report is received, a formal mortgage offer will be sent to you and your solicitor which you will need to sign and return.
Exchange of contracts
When everything has been agreed, exchange of contracts can take place. When the contract has been signed by both parties and the deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) paid, the completion date can be set. If you back out of the purchase now for any reason you will forfeit your deposit.
On the day of completion, the balance of the purchase price (usually 90%) is transferred from your solicitor to the seller's solicitor's account and, once the funds have cleared, keys to the properties are released and you will be the legal owner of your new home!