You'll need to jump through a lot of hoops when buying a home. Even if both you and the seller are keen to exchange contracts as soon as possible, inevitably there can be delays.
We’ve pulled together eight top tips to make buying a home as smooth (and as quick) as possible.
1. Get to grips with the terminology
There's a fair share of unfamiliar language involved when it comes to buying a home.
Arrangement fee? Standard Variable Rate? Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee? It can help to get to know the lingo.
Make sure you understand the key terms before you kickstart your property search.
2. Consider selling before buying
If you're already a homeowner, think about selling your home before you start looking for a new one.
It's easier to buy a home when you're chain-free. But you'll need to factor in renting and storage costs in the meantime.
If you're eyeing a new-build home, then a part exchange scheme may be the answer. With part exchange schemes, the developer buys your home from you, removing the worry of a chain.
3. Put yourself in a strong financial position
Speak to a mortgage advisor to confirm your budget and get an agreement in principle.
Once you’ve found your home and had an offer accepted, you will need to then formally apply for a mortgage.
Make sure you have all the relevant paperwork organised beforehand.
Mortgage lenders typically ask for proof of your income and outgoings as well as proof of your identity and address.
Remember that a formal mortgage offer has a shelf life and if you fail to complete the purchase before it expires, you’ll have to start the process again.
4. Ask the seller to take the property off the market
Found your dream home? When you make your offer, ask that the property is taken off the market immediately.
This will help to prevent another buyer from making a higher offer.
5. Pick your professionals carefully
It pays to work with people you trust during the home buying process.
This will usually include a surveyor, a solicitor and removals company.
Ask friends and family for recommendations and hire carefully.
6. Make sure you’re responsive
Be ready to review, fill out, sign and return all documents quickly and efficiently.
Your solicitor will no doubt send through a lot of information about your property, including local authority searches.
Sitting on the paperwork will only hold up the process.
7. Communicate effectively with all parties
Communication is king!
Stay in regular contact with both your solicitor and your estate agent.
This will ensure that you are up to speed with the purchase and that it’s on track.
You might agree to a weekly update between all parties. This will cut the chances of miscommunication over what is expected from whom and when.
8. Be realistic at the timescale
Everyone wants to buy a home quickly. But it’s sensible to be realistic.
Set a target for exchanging contracts so that everyone in the process has the same deadline to work towards.
You can always amend the timescale between exchange and completion if you and/or the seller needs to delay moving.