Buying Process


1Arranging your mortgage and other costs

Finding the right mortgage to suit your own circumstances can be daunting. With so many lenders, schemes and rates available, where do you start? Unless you’re really sure on what you’re doing, seek advice from an independent financial adviser. It will certainly help us to help you if you get a mortgage agreement in principle to enable you to move quickly if need be.

2Register your interest

You should visit estate agents in and around the area you wish to move to. Register your requirements and budget with them and get on their mailing lists. Once you’re registered, they should then send out details of relevant properties to you. You can also keep an eye on the local market by browsing the local property press or property portals like Zoopla and Rightmove.

3Finding the right property

Make yourself comfortable with a glass of your favourite tipple. Think about your ideal property and write a list of the ‘Must Haves’, the ‘Nice to Haves’ and, most importantly the ‘Definitely Don’t Wants’. This can help you to decide which properties to view and then tally up scores for each of the properties you visit. More importantly, it will give you a good list of deal-breakers so nobody’s time is wasted viewing unsuitable properties.

4Making an offer

Once you have found your ideal property, you should make an offer to the agent. You must carefully consider how much you can realistically afford. Add up the mortgage offer plus any equity you have in other properties. Don’t forget to allow for stamp duty and solicitors' fees. Once the vendor has accepted your offer, you should instruct a solicitor to start the buying process. If you don’t already have a conveyancer or solicitor in mind, we can recommend one to you.

5Offer agreed

Once you receive an offer acceptance, the wheels are then put into motion to lead up to the final exchange of contracts (which, from beginning to end, takes between 6 to 8 weeks on average). This is called conveyancing. We will liaise between your solicitor and the vendor’s solicitor, working up and down any chain, to ensure that your purchase goes through as smoothly as possible.

6Conveyancing

This is the legal term for the transfer of ownership of a property from one party to another. Your solicitor will liaise with the vendor’s solicitor while carrying out Land Registry and Local Authority searches to establish the boundaries of the property, any restrictive covenants or potential developments in the area that may affect your enjoyment of your new home.

7Survey and mortgage offer

Unless you are a cash buyer, this is the time to formally apply for a mortgage on this property with your financial advisor or lender. Your lender will require a survey for mortgage purposes, but this is merely to establish a valuation. You may also choose to undertake a full structural survey, although this is usually advisable on a period property or a property of non-standard construction. Any issues highlighted may either affect the lender's ability to offer a mortgage in its entirety, or impose special conditions on the mortgage offer. The survey may also highlight any expensive problems to you before you purchase the property.

8Exchange of contracts

Up until this point, either party can withdraw from the sale without financial loss. When your solicitor has received; satisfactory replies to all their searches and enquiries, a copy of a mortgage offer, a signed contract and the deposit has been paid (usually 5-10%), they can then proceed to exchange of contracts. From this point, the seller and buyer are legally committed to the deal so, if the buyer pulls out for whatever reason, they lose their deposit. The sales contract is signed by both you and the vendor and the deposit is transferred or paid by your solicitor to the vendor's solicitor. At that point, the date is then set for completion. This can be pretty much straight away (called a Sim – simultaneous exchange and completion) or up to 28 days later, depending on your requirements.

9Completion

Completion is the formal process of transferring the balance of monies due from the vendor’s solicitor to the seller’s solicitor. This process will be dependent on your circumstances and any other parties involved in the buying chain. Once the monies have been received, you can collect the keys and you are the legal owner of your new home.

10Moving in

Congratulations! You are now the proud owners of a lovely new home. We will provide you with a welcome pack providing you with everything you need to know, from the location of gas and electricity meters, mains water stopcocks, local authority details, waste collection day, etc. Remember to get your mail re-directed and don’t forget to tell your bank, your employer, HMRC, DVLA, insurance companies, council tax, doctor, dentist and any schools that you have changed your address. Agree meter readings, transfer the phone lines and other utilities. Book the removal company, defrost and disconnect your white goods. Tell your friends and organise the party. Don’t forget the cat! Disclaimer: This information is provided as a guide only and may not reflect your individual circumstances. You should obtain professional advice when buying or selling a property and Equity London accept no liability if you rely on the content of this guide and do not obtain professional advice.

Residential sales

Moving home is not complicated, but can be a daunting prospect, and we recognise that your home is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. Buying and selling property is a very people-oriented business and good communications are essential for a successful move. Our aim is simple: To provide the best possible service, assist you from start to finish and communicate regularly throughout the whole process, whatever your property matter.

Residential lettings and property management

With so much legislative change in the lettings sector, it’s imperative that you use a professional and competent agent to make sure you are compliant with safety and legal legislation. Our clients vary from first time investors to some of the biggest corporate property companies in the UK. Our dedicated team will value an individual property or an extensive portfolio and apply the same level of professionalism to both. We deliver a tailored and personal service to each client’s specific needs.

Block management

We offer a hands-on block management service for large or small residential blocks. We tailor make our service on each management instruction dependent on their needs and manage all accounting, repairs and legal compliance.

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