The buying process
After your offer has been accepted by the seller (the vendor), you need to send your mortgage application form to the lender who will then instruct a surveyor to go and look at the property and produce a valuation report.
You need to commission your own survey of the property at this point, especially if it is an older property. This will let you know if there are any structural problems.
The next step is to get a solicitor to help you with the legal side of the purchase. You should provide them with details of the property, the seller and their estate agent and your own lender.
The lender then receives the valuation report and makes a final agreement to lend you the money for the purchase. The lender may specify certain terms to be fulfilled before the money is lent, such as work that needs to be carried out on the property. If this is the case, get at least three quotes per job and then either arrange for the seller to pay or negotiate a reduction in the asking price.
The surveyor will revisit the property for another inspection after any work is completed. If they are satisfied, the lender will agree the mortgage.
Your solicitor will now conduct searches on the property through the land registry, which you pay for upfront. This is to check any plans for the area which may affect your property. They will also ensure everything is in order with the title deeds. If so, they will draw up the legal paperwork and send it to you, along with their bill.
At this point, you sign the contract your solicitor has sent and give them your deposit. They will then arrange a completion date for the purchase.
You can now start planning your move as you are legally committed to the purchase and, all going well, you will be free to move in on the completion date. Start arranging direct debits for your bills and ensure your insurance has been sorted out.
Call the seller’s estate agent on completion day to arrange picking up the keys. You need to have buildings insurance in place and it is advisable to complete arrangements for contents insurance at this point.
Collect the keys and move in!