1 Decide what you’re looking for and where
Think about what your needs are - for example:
2 Decide on your budget
Think about what you can afford to spend. You’ll need to budget and plan for:
3 Get finances in place
If you can’t afford to buy a home without borrowing money, you can apply for a mortgage. Most lenders will give you an idea of how much money they are willing to lend you, called a ‘mortgage or agreement in principle’.
4 Find a suitable property
There are several ways to find a property. Most people use an estate agent – find out more about estate agents, their contracts and fees in ‘Using an estate agent – selling a property’. You can also buy direct from the seller (a private sale) or at auction.
5 Make an offer for the property
Once you’ve found a property, you’ll need to make an offer to the seller. ‘Making an offer on a home’ explains how to do this.
6 Hire a solicitor or conveyancer
Your solicitor or conveyancer will deal directly with those of the ‘vendors’ (the sellers).
7 Get the property surveyed
Once your offer is accepted, you should get the property checked for any defects in its condition that might affect the value. To find out more about the different types of surveys, see ‘Property surveys’.
Your mortgage lender may need a separate valuation to confirm the value of the property.
8 Apply for a mortgage
If you don’t have the money to buy the property outright, you’ll need to make a full application for a mortgage. To find out how, see ‘Mortgage application process’.
9 Exchange contracts
Solicitors for both sides will get the buyer and the seller to sign a contract. This says you agree to the terms of the sale and to buy the property. You and the seller must now stick to the terms of the contract or face going to court.
The contract will list items that are included in the sale or that you’ve agreed to buy (for example, electrical items or furniture).
You’ll usually need to pay a deposit of 10 per cent of the house price to the seller at this point.We are your local property experts. Request a market appraisal and ask us for market advice.
“An excellent estate agency who I can highly recommend to anyone who wants a fast, stress-free sale. Their staff are very courteous and helpful.”
S Whitton, Southampton