Looking for a new home can be a time of great excitement. However, it can also be a time of anxiety with many different people to deal with and unfamiliar procedures to be negotiated. For most people, buying a home is their largest single investment, and one which, unlike most other purchases, is expected to appreciate in value and therefore could be significant in providing for the future security of you and your family.
Whether it is your first property or retirement home, we can coordinate your whole move and by contacting us early, you can ensure that you are given the correct advice.
It is important that you make contact with a solicitor either directly or via one of our property shops to take any instruction from you.
STAGES OF A HOUSE PURCHASE
Before house hunting you must ensure that either you have the funds available or are assured of the availability of a suitable mortgage.
If the whole or part of the purchase price is to be realised from the sale of your existing home it is very important that you are professionally advised on your present property’s value and saleability, unless of course it is already sold. We can assist by offering a free valuation and market appraisal of your present property, without obligation, by one of our very experienced local Valuation Managers.
If you require a mortgage, we can offer the services of a totally independent Mortgage Adviser, again without obligation. The Mortgage Adviser can research the market taking account of your own individual circumstances and ensuring you get the best mortgage terms available. If you go direct to a lender such as a bank, they will only offer you their company’s financial products which may not be the ones most suited to your needs.
Finding a Home
One of the best sources of properties ‘For Sale’ is the local Solicitors Property Centre. Visit the Centre, try their website or look at the weekly Property Guide. Study the lists, obtain property schedules, and view as many properties as possible. Experience has proved that it is normally a mistake to rush and purchase the first property you think you like.
Once you have seen a property you wish to purchase, notify us immediately because at this stage, speed is of the essence. We will contact the selling agent to register interest on your behalf. This does not put you, or for that matter the seller, under any legal obligation but requires the selling agent to keep us advised if there are further developments.
We will also check if there are other ‘noted interests’ or if any surveys have been carried out. We will then confirm this to you and advise you accordingly.
There is a legal requirement for all new properties on the market from 01 December 2008 to be marketed with a Home Report. A Home Report is a pack containing three documents, a Property Questionnaire, a Single Survey and an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The Property Questionnaire is completed by the seller of the home. It contains additional information about the home, such as Council Tax banding and factoring costs that will be useful to buyers. The Single Survey contains an assessment by a surveyor of the condition of the home and the open market value. The Energy Performance Certificate contains an assessment by a surveyor of the energy efficiency of the home and its environmental impact. It also recommends ways to improve its energy efficiency. The Home Report will be made available on request to prospective buyers of the property and it is the responsibility of the sellers to produce this Report and to bear the costs.
Making an Offer
If there is no other interest in the property we will normally try to expedite the next few steps quickly in the hope of lodging an early offer with a time limit for acceptance. If however there are other interests, the selling agent will generally set a ‘closing date’ (e.g. 12 noon next Wednesday) to give all those interested an equal opportunity to offer.
Either way, one of the first steps is to examine the Home Report. This enables us to advise you as regards any special conditions which it would be appropriate to attach to any offer. Indeed, it is sometimes necessary to insist that the Seller provides an updated Single Survey in view of the date of the original in the Home Report.
Once we have examined the report we will contact you to discuss your proposed purchase. If you decide to make an offer, we will take your instructions and discuss a suitable date of entry and any extras the seller has indicated are to be included, especially if these are not included in the sales particulars.
After the offer is submitted we shall advise you once we receive a decision from the seller’s agent and if successful, we will contact you again when we receive the formal letter of acceptance to discuss any further qualifications.
The offer, subsequent formal letters containing qualifications and the final letter concluding the contract are referred to as the ‘Missives’. It is important to remember that once an offer is submitted and unconditionally accepted in writing, you become committed to proceed with the purchase as does the seller to the sale to you.
After your offer is accepted we then proceed with the conveyancing. This is the process by which the title of the property is transferred to you.
We will examine the Title Deeds and report on these to you. We check to ensure that the seller is the rightful owner and that there are no outstanding loans secured on the property or unusual restrictions or conditions in the Title.
We will ascertain whether the property is affected by relevant local planning or road proposals or if there are any repairs notices. We will also ensure that all necessary consents, warrants and completion certificates were obtained for any alterations or additions that are reported to us by your surveyor.
We will liaise with any lender you may have in order to obtain your loan funds.
Settlement of the Purchase
On the agreed date of entry, in exchange for payment of the purchase price, we will receive the title deeds and keys for the property and then attend to the registration of the deeds in your favour.
If we do not already hold funds for you it is important that we receive these from you in plenty time before the settlement date to allow for normal bank clearing requirements.
You may require to arrange bridging finance. if so please ensure that your bank has the necessary funds available in good time.
After you get the Keys
You should immediately check the property to ensure it has been left in good order and that all ‘extras’ agreed with the seller have been left. Also test any central heating and if there are any major problems or defects notify us immediately. If we are advised quickly it may be possible to have these problems rectified at the seller’s expense under the terms of the missives.
Protecting your New Asset
You will need to arrange house and contents insurance and if you have not already made a Will, this is a good time to do so and give you peace of mind. We can arrange all of these for you so please just let us know if you require our assistance.
This page covers general house purchase procedures. However, no two transactions are the same.
Unforeseen problems can arise and we endeavour to resolve these as quickly as possible at the same time keeping you fully informed
At Miller Hendry every effort is made to ensure that the purchase of your home goes as smoothly as possible with the minimum of inconvenience for you, our client. Please contact your nearest office to discuss your requirements.