Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long does it take to buy a property?
Q: How much deposit will I need to get a mortgage? When do I pay this?
Q: Should I arrange my mortgage before I start looking for a property?
Q: Should I retain the services of my existing solicitor?
Q: Will I need to get the property I want to purchase valued?
Q: Can I pull out of my purchase?
Q: If I decide to make an offer, how will I know this has been accepted?
Q: What does exchange of contract mean?
Q: Do I have to come in to your office to sign a contract?
Q: When do I find out what date I can move in?
Q: The Surveyor has found a problem with the property that I'm looking to buy, what I should do?
“How long does it take to buy a property?”
The length of time it takes to buy a property varies and no two transactions are the same. On average, we find that it is usually around 8 weeks before contracts are exchanged, but this can vary depending if the property is involved in a chain.
“How much deposit will I need to get a mortgage? When do I pay this?”
It is usual to pay 10% of the asking price, though your mortgage company may require more. If your purchase is dependent on a sale, your solicitor will typically use your buyer's deposit for your related purchase.
“Should I arrange my mortgage before I start looking for a property?”
If you know that you will need to take out a mortgage in order to buy your property, then it makes sense to seek financial advice at an early stage. Once you have provisionally arranged for the required mortgage funds to be made available to you, it is a good idea to obtain a mortgage certificate from the lender. This can then be used to prove to a seller or estate agent, that you have the necessary funds available to finance your purchase.
“Should I retain the services of my existing solicitor?”
If you have a solicitor who you know can work quickly and efficiently where conveyancing of properties is concerned, you can continue to use that firm. However, if you have any doubts we can confidently recommend one of our excellent solicitors.
“Will I need to get the property I want to purchase valued?”
If you are arranging a mortgage, then your lender will appoint a Valuer to inspect the property. However, this will often not consider the condition of the property in detail, so you should not rely on this report alone. Depending on the age and condition of the property, it might be best to get a Full Structural Survey, because if problems are found with a property after the exchange of contracts, the seller is not liable and as the buyer, you will have to pay for any necessary repairs. If you are buying a new build property from a developer, then there is greater statutory protection.
“Can I pull out of my purchase?”
Prior to the exchange of contracts, either party is able to withdraw from the transaction. However, once contracts have been exchanged, remedies for 'breach of contract' would be available for the suffering party. At this point, the seller would be able to keep your deposit.
“If I decide to make an offer, how will I know this has been accepted?”
Once we have received an offer for the property, we will speak to the Vendor. If the Vendor accepts your offer, we will normally contact you and inform you.
“What does exchange of contract mean?”
If your offer is accepted, your personal Client Manager will contact you to congratulate you! We will speak with you about dates for completion and discuss exchanging contracts on your behalf, before you agree the timescales and next steps for exchanging and completion with your Solicitor.
“Do I have to come in to your office to sign a contract?”
Exchange of Contracts is the process whereby all the parties in the chain commit themselves. Their Solicitors will telephone other Solicitors in the chain and promise to put their own clients' contract in the post that day. The parties themselves do not need to be present.
“When do I find out what date I can move in?”
The date set for you to move into the property, known as 'completion', will be agreed with your seller during the sales process. This date is usually confirmed by the Solicitors. We recommend at least one week between exchange and completion, to give all parties time to pack etc.
“The Surveyor has found a problem with the property that I'm looking to buy, what I should do?”
On occasions, buyers will find out that there are problems with a property before they have exchanged contracts. If this happens, you will likely have 3 options:
1. You can request that the seller corrects the problem at their expense
2. You can seek a price reduction to cover the cost of resolving the problem
3. If the problem is substantial, you may wish to withdraw from the purchase