What is the Property Buying Process in the UK?

Going through the property buying process? You likely have questions about the process as a whole or just part of the process. Fortunately, most of those questions are pretty easily answered. This guide can help!

What You Can Afford

The first step to buying a property in the UK is finding one you can afford. You should think about the cost of living in comparison to how much the amount of money that you make. There are online mortgage calculators to help you figure out how much you could end up paying with a mortgage. Using those will help you come up with the right number. There are a number of other costs to factor in as well. First, think about Stamp Duty. This can be quite costly, so check to see what bracket you’re in and what you might have to pay on a home before you put in an offer. Additionally, you’ll want to think about mortgage fees, as they can range from £0-£2,000. Finally, consider removals costs.  Keep in mind that you don’t want to stretch yourself too thin either with the mortgage payment or the cost of moving itself.

Apply for a Mortgage

Applying for mortgages can be time-consuming so it is better to start applying early. You can get a mortgage from a wide variety of places including traditional banks and mortgage brokers, and there are pros and cons associated with both kinds of lenders. Before applying for a mortgage, you should check your credit report to ensure there are no errors.

After you’ve applied, you should receive a mortgage ‘in principle’, which tells how much money your lender is willing to offer and how much interest will be added. You can let potential sellers know that you’ve already been approved for a mortgage once you have this statement, as it makes you a far more attractive buyer.

Find the Right Home

The next step is perhaps the most fun. It’s time to shop for a home that meets your needs. You’ll likely look at lots of properties before you find a perfect fit, but when you do, you’ll know it right away! After you find a property that is in your price range, you need to make an offer. This is typically done through an estate agent. If your offer is accepted, you’re ready to move on to the next step.

Arrange for a Conveyancer and a Surveyor

A Conveyancer will handle all of the legal aspects of transferring the property from the seller to you. They may ask for 10 per cent of their fee as a deposit. Their fee is usually £500-£1,500 and 20% VAT. During the process, they check for issues in the community or plans in the community that may impact the value of your property.

Once you have a Conveyancer who’s ready to take on the job, you’ll also want to arrange for a surveyor. They’ll let you know about any potential problems with the property that may affect the overall price of the home.

Finalise Your Offer

After you’ve had your survey and your Conveyancer has drawn up all of the paperwork, you’re ready to exchange contracts and finalise your offer. Keep communications open throughout this process, as this can be fairly stressful. The seller could be unhappy with the final offer, and that could affect the overall sale of the home. If, however, you’re both happy with the terms of the contract, you exchange contracts and set a date of completion. From there, you’ll finalise your mortgage paper and arrange for a removal company.

The Day of Completion

The last step in the process is the day of completion. There your solicitor will transmit the money from your mortgage company to the seller. You’ll arrange funds for your solicitor to use to pay your Stamp Duty as well as the solicitor for their services. Finally, the solicitor will transfer ownership with the Land Registry so that you officially become the owner of the property.

The property buying process isn’t complex, but if this is the first time you’ve ever tackled it, it can be a bit overwhelming. Work closely with your estate agent and your Conveyancer, and they will help you get through the process!