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Three Things You Should Do When Buying a Property

So, after painstakingly trawling the internet for hours, researching key locations and viewing several properties, you have now had an offer accepted on your next home.  Congratulations! The time invested has paid off. But what’s next?  If you haven’t bought a property before there are a few things you still need to do before you get your hands on the keys.Here, independent estate agents, Jacobs Steel, provide the top three things that you should do next:

  1. Instruct a solicitor

It is important to find a reliable solicitor who specialises in property.  You may find one by recommendation of family, friends or even your estate agent.  What is important is that you are comfortable with them and trust them to handle your legal documents and adhere to the correct procedures in a timely manner.

The role of a solicitor when buying a property is vast.  To move your accepted offer through to completion a legal representative will undertake many tasks including:

  • Check boundaries of the property
  • Undertake land searches
  • Ensure what is being sold is what you have agreed and are expecting
  • Assess any reports or documents surrounding the purchase
  • Liaise with all parties where required including your mortgage provider
  • Manage transfers of funds including stamp duty and land registry fees where appropriate

…and any other legal documents and procedures that need to be completed for your sale to reach fruition.SurveyIt is always a good idea to have a survey conducted on the property you are investing in, as this is possibly the largest purchase you will ever make. A surveyor will:

  • Check whether a mortgage is viable, and you are paying a price in line with other similar, local properties.  This can be passed to the lender to assure them that their investment is a sound one
  • Look for any glaring problems or defects that could impede on the current and future market value.  This could include structural damage, movement, the condition of the roof, etc.
  • Give an overview of the property which provides key details such as the number of bedrooms, living areas, kitchen, and bathrooms
  • It is not uncommon for the surveyor to provide a lender with an estimate of how much it may cost to totally rebuild the property if something went tragically wrong
  • Once the report is complete it will be sent to the potential lender based on their expert opinion. All elements will be examined before the lender will consider giving you a mortgage offer

Your solicitor can also receive a copy of this report and advise you of any potential problems the survey reveals.SearchesThere are several searches that frequently need to be prepared in the process of buying a house.  These are often referred to as land searches and comprise checking:

  • With the local council’s planning department for any future plans of development
  • For preservation orders on the property or surrounding trees
  • Specific searches for water and drainage

The final report will assess all the findings and from here any specific questions on the property transaction can be raised. Where required further clarification can be made on the likes of planning permissions giving you the full picture.