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Glossary
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Buying and selling process
The Buying and Selling Process

Buying and selling property can be a very stressful experience. There are many complex issues you need to grapple with including dealing with real estate agents and arranging mortgages.

The Buying Process: Tips

  • How much can you afford?  Look at your finances carefully and decide on a realistic budget of what you can afford. It is a waste of your time as well as those of the estate agents, sellers, and mortgage providers, if you view properties you cannot really afford during the buying and selling property process.

  • Choosing a Property.  Once you have agreed on a budget, you can start the process of buying and selling property by looking for your ideal home using the services of a real estate agent. Factors to consider when choosing a property include location, school catchment area, and proximity to amenities.

  • Prepare Your Finances.  In order to ensure the process of buying and selling property is as smooth and speedy as possible, arrange a mortgage before you find a house you want to buy. Mortgage lenders will generally issue mortgages in principle agreements stating that, subject to valuation, you are a guaranteed a loan up to a certain amount. If you can ensure your mortgage is in place, this will indicate to the seller that you are a serious buyer. However, if this is not possibly, arrange a mortgage as soon as possible once your bid has been accepted. 

  • Viewings.  Real estate agents can organise a number of viewings on your behalf. It is common practice to have a second viewing on a property you are interested in buying.

  • Making An Offer.  Throughout the buying and selling property process, when deciding what offer to propose, remember that the advertised price is not necessarily what you will have to pay. Offers often come in slightly below the asking price. However if you are in a buoyant housing climate, you may want to offer the asking price or more, just to secure the property, or for fear of being 'gazumped'. If your offer is rejected, be ready to go back and offer a higher price.  Be careful not to get into a bidding war as you may end up overpaying for your property. Additionally, be sure your offer does not take you over a stamp duty threshold.  The bidding process is usually managed by the seller's real estate agent.

  • Conveyancing and Solicitors.  You will need to employ the services of a conveyancing solicitor to oversee the legal aspects of buying and selling property. It is a good idea to choose your conveyancer before or at the same time as choosing your property.

  • Surveys and Valuations.  Once your offer has been accepted during the buying and selling property process, you will need a surveyor's report to point out any structural or other problems. Your mortgage lender will employ its own valuer to carry out a brief survey, called a valuation, which is paid for by you. If the valuation comes back satisfactory, you will be offered a mortgage. However, it is generally worth paying out the extra cost of a more in-depth full survey. This can be costly, but it is usually worth it if it reveals any significant and expensive problems in the property.

  • Exchange and Completion.  The final two most important stages of the buying and selling process involves the exchange of contracts between both parties' solicitors and agreeing a completion date.  When exchange takes place, the buyer is usually required to puts down a 10% deposit. After this point, the buyer will lose his/her deposit if she abandons the purchase. If the seller pulls out, the buyer can claim compensation.

In order for completion and transfer of ownership to take place and finish the buying and selling process, you must make arrangements with your mortgage lender and your solicitor to have the funds ready to transfer to the seller's solicitors. 

The Selling Process: Tips

  • Valuations.  In order to obtain an accurate valuation of your property, make sure you get more than one valuation from a real estate agent before starting the buying and selling property process.  It may be reassuring to have a high valuation, but you do not want to put buyers off.

  • Fees.  It is a good idea to provide incentives to your real estate agents by negotiating a good commission. You want your estate agents to work hard for you and drum up lots of interest in your property during the buying and selling property process.  It may useful to agree to a full fee if the asking price is achieved, but a downward sliding scale if offers fall below it.

  • Multiple agents.  In order to get as much publicity for your property as possible, you may want to employ the services of more than one agent. However, carefully check the agent's terms and conditions as some insist on 'sole agency', which means that even if you sell your home privately or through another agent, you will still be charged a commission fee.

  • Making the best of your property.  Before putting up your property for sale and starting the buying and selling property process, it is always a good idea to spruce up your property to make it look as attractive as possible. Finish any DIY jobs, clear the garden, do a general tidy up before each viewing. Buyers are influenced by the little details!



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