Hilton King and Locke Buyers Guide

Step-by-Step Guide to Buying a Property

Step One - Calculate your Budget

Buying a property whether it be your first home, a move to a larger property or indeed downsizing is likely to be one of the largest transactions that you will ever make so it is vital that your budget calculations are correct from the outset. It is also wise to calculate the necessary costs and taxes involved too so that you are fully prepared. This will include conveyancing legal costs, a variety of local searches, surveys, land registry, potential removal costs and of course stamp duty.

Please use our Stamp Duty Calculator to work out the stamp duty that will be payable on your purchase.

Stamp Duty Calculator

It is important to work to a budget as this will ascertain the price range that is affordable for you therefore determining the properties that are available for you to consider viewing. Certain things will need to be taken into consideration such as, income, savings and any equity currently held in your existing property. We would always recommend obtaining an accurate up to date market appraisal from a local property expert. Hilton King & Locke will provide you with a comprehensive valuation that will take into account many important factors such as, the location and condition of your home, demand in the area as well as recent comparable evidence.

Step Two - Arrange and Choose the Right Mortgage

When applying for a mortgage we would always advise speaking to an expert in this field so that they can guide you through the process and ensure that your mortgage is placed with the right provider. Independent Mortgage Advisors will take into consideration your personal circumstances, specific incomings and outgoings and the best options for you from across the whole mortgage market.

Speaking to a mortgage advisor first and having a mortgage in principal with a specific lender will not only determine your budget but will also provide you with the confidence needed, putting you in the best possible position when viewing and negotiating on the property you wish to purchase.

Our recommended Mortgage Advisor, has access to the entire mortgage market and will be more than happy to assist you in helping you find the best possible mortgage available. Please see our mortgages page and contact us for further details.

Step Three - Find the Right Property

Register your interest with Hilton King & Locke by contacting one of our three local offices across Buckinghamshire and get to know the team at your local branch. We will be happy to discuss in detail your property requirements and see what we have available for you. Once we have a full understanding of exactly what type of property you are looking for one of our dedicated team will ensure that you are kept fully up to date with new properties that come to the market in your desired location and that fit your criteria.

Something else to be aware of is that some of the best properties in desirable locations, size or price sell before they are even uploaded onto the internet so it is vital that we have your correct contact details in order to inform you first, either by telephone or email.

You can also register online for automatic property alerts and hear immediately as soon as properties matching your requirements become available.

Step Four - View a Property

When you have decided which properties you would like to view then our extremely dedicated and friendly team are available to arrange those for you at your earliest convenience. Our offices are open Monday to Friday - 9am to 6pm, Saturdays - 9am to 4pm and our Farnham Common office is open 10am to 2pm on a Sunday, and can arrange viewings on any of the properties we market across our offices.

We will accompany you throughout your viewings and although we are as flexible as possible to arrange the viewings to suit yourself, our diaries do tend to get booked up very quickly, especially at weekends. Therefore please try and contact us prior to your preferred viewing date and time to avoid any disappointment.

Please feel free to ask as many questions as you like regarding the property, if we cannot answer them immediately then we will endeavour to find out the answers upon our return to the office.

If you would like to take any photographs in the property for future reference then please ask permission beforehand.

After the viewing has taken place it is beneficial for both yourself and the Vendor of the property in question if you supply us with your feedback. This will help in gaining a better understanding of your wants and needs enabling us to find you the perfect property.

Step Five - Arrange and Instruct a Conveyancing Solicitor

The successful purchase of a property can be reliant on the instruction of an efficient and experienced solicitor. They will examine the legal documentation for the property and raise a number of enquires in order to approve the contract of the sale.

Once your offer has been accepted we will create a memorandum of sale for all parties involved. This is an exchange of details between the solicitors who will then contact each other to start the conveyancing process. The solicitor along with ourselves will be on hand throughout the transaction to advise and guide you through the process.

As we know this is of course can be a stressful time ensuring that the legalities of the process are carried out efficiently and as quickly as possible therefore we can of course offer you a number of recommended solicitors that we use on a regular basis.

Step Six - Make an Offer

Congratulations! You have now found a property that you would like to buy. The next step is to make an offer to the sellers via your estate agent with the aim of getting an offer agreed. Think about your offer carefully and take into account a number of different things such as your budget, any competition from other interested parties and what would happen if your offer was rejected.

Upon making an offer you will need to demonstrate to the agent that you are able to proceed, for example provide evidence of your mortgage agreed in principal, your mortgage broker’s details and proof of funds for deposit. We will then put your offer forward to the seller both verbally and in writing and inform you of their response forthwith.

If your offer is accepted you will need to instruct your chosen solicitor and mortgage broker to proceed and we will then prepare a memorandum of sale and instruct the solicitors acting on behalf of both parties.

Step Seven - Conveyancing

As part of the whole conveyancing process your solicitor will do the following things:

  • Request local searches;
  • Raise any enquires that they have in the initial draft contract;
  • Raise any enquiries already provided in the seller's information pack;
  • Agree a date for an exchange of contracts with a set completion date.

Step Eight - Survey and Mortgage Offer

If you are obtaining a mortgage on the property you are purchasing then a survey will be booked by a surveyor on behalf of the mortgage lender that will identify any problems with the property as well as advising on the property value.

After the mortgage valuation report is received then a formal mortgage offer will be sent to both you and your solicitor which you will need to sign before it is returned.

If you are not getting a mortgage then we are happy to recommend a number of surveyors that can carry out a private survey for you.

There are no legal obligations until contracts have been exchanged.

Step Nine - Exchange of Contracts

Exchange of contracts take place when both solicitors are satisfied that everything is in order and all enquiries have been confirmed and agreed. The contract will be signed by both parties and this is when you will be asked to hand over a deposit (the normal requirement is 10% of the purchase price), this will need to be telegraphically transferred or paid in the form of a banker’s draft. A completion date will also be agreed and from this point all parties will be legally obligated to go through with the transaction.

Step Ten - Completion Day

The day of completion is when you physically move into your new property with all of your furniture and possessions. The remaining monies (usually 90%) are transferred from your solicitors to the sellers solicitors account.

We will release the keys once we have had confirmation that the money has cleared in the sellers solicitors account.

Congratulations, you are now the legal owner of your new home!

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This information is intended as a guide, to help you through the process.

We are aware that buying a property although very exciting can also be quite daunting and a little stressful too.

At Hilton King & Locke we endeavour to ensure that the buying process runs as smoothly as possible and will keep you fully informed and updated throughout, although please feel free to contact one of our experienced and dedicated team at any time who will be more than happy to help and answer any questions that you might have along the way.

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