Buying a Property – Making an Offer

When you are confident you have found the right property, you can make a formal offer subject to contract and to a satisfactory survey. You may have to pay a holding deposit at this stage to the estate agent, held on behalf of the buyer until it is time to exchange contracts. This will usually be refunded if the seller pulls out.

The next step is to make a formal application to your chosen lender for a particular mortgage. The lender will need quite a bit of information about the property, and also about you. They will check if you are able to repay the loan over a long period, and that the property is in a good condition. The other people that will also help you with the purchase is your Solicitor and the Surveyor.

The role of a surveyor

You need to know you are getting good value for money and your lenders needs to be certain the property is suitable for a mortgage. The lender will commision a qualified valuer to look at it. You would normally have to pay the fee, but some lenders will offer free valuations.

The valuation is not a thorough survey, so it is in your best interest to consider a more in-depth survey(Homebuyer’s report), or even a full-structural survey, sometimes referred to as a Building Report. The Homebuyer’s report is less detailed but give a good general overview of the building’s structure and condition. A Building Report, on the other hand, goes into mcuh more details. It will cost more and is advisable for older properties.

The offer of an advance

Unless the valuation or other enquiries are unfavourable, the lender will make a mortgage offer based on the valuation of the property or the purchase price, which ever is lower. Once you have accepted this offer, the legal procedures have to be completed before you can have full ownership.

The role of your solicitor

Your solicitor’s main job will be conveyancing – legally transferring the ownership of the property over to you. Your solicitor can help negotiate with the seller if any repair is needed on the property, and after your survey report, whether you would want to put forward a lower offer. They can also help check out any road contruction plans in the area that could also effect the property.

When contracts have been drawn up and agreed, and your solicior has recieved your mortgage offer, then contracts are exchanged. A 10 per cent deposit is normally required at this stage.

Completion normally takes one months from the date of exchange, though it can be shorter or longer depending on what the buyer and the seller has agreed.