What is involved in the buying process? An OCQ Guide!

Buying a property is an exciting time, but also fraught with uncertainty. An emotional journey from the moment you apply for a mortgage to the day you get the keys, you may be surprised at how much of a roller coaster the whole process can be.

Added to this already broiling mix, is the uncertainty of buying in the village, town or city where you live. Manchester, for example, is experiencing a boom in property prices with housing market analysts estimating that house prices in the city are beginning to outstrip those in London. This is great for sellers, not so great for buyers who may find themselves frozen out of the market.

The buoyancy of the housing market is often taken as an indication of the health of the country’s economy; Manchester’s property market is booming!

Photo credit: Moyan Brenn on Flickr

Photo credit: Moyan Brenn on Flickr

Key words, terms and points in the buying process explained

Price and Offers – when you apply for a mortgage, you will hopefully receive an ‘offer in principle’. You can show this to sellers as this means you have an agreement from a bank or other lender that show you are a genuine and potential buyer.

This offer will determine your price range of property; buyers commonly look at the top of their price range to get the best long term investment option. But, you will rarely pay the price the vendor is asking! They set their price and you negotiate from that price. Normally, the agent will do this on your behalf but remember, they are commissioned by the seller hence the agent’s ‘loyalty’ rests with the vendor. If you do not get the property at the price you want (or need it to be), it may be back to the drawing board.

Mortgage – is the name given to the loan that is used to purchase a property. Currently, securing a mortgage is tough but can be done and there are some great deals to be had if you are prepared to shop around. Preferably, before viewing properties and making offers, secure a mortgage in principle.

Solicitor and/or conveyancer – are essential to the property buying process as they are the specialists who will oversee every aspect of what can sometimes be a complex process. Essentially, they work within the legal framework of purchasing a property and do everything to ensure that all legalities are in place.

In order to purchase a property in Manchester and across the UK, you need the deeds to the property and land. The legal process of purchasing a property can be long and drawn out as it follows traditions and legalities laid down over previous decades. These documents that effectively detail the history of the property will need to be checked thoroughly!

A conveyancer is a specialist who deals with the legal process of transferring these deeds from the seller to you, the buyer. There is also the process of obtaining local authority searches, all of which is done to make sure you are investing in a property that is not under threat of nearby developments etc. that could de-value it.

The house survey – this can be a process that can add significant cost to the buying process but is the detailed inspection of a property by a surveyor instructed by the buyer. There are different ‘levels’ of surveys, from a basic inspection to a detailed one, which will cost more. For those buying older properties or a property that they intend to extensively renovate, a more detailed survey may be a wiser investment.

Exchange and completion – These two events are part of the conveyancing quote process and occur between your solicitor and the vendor’s solicitor. Exchange occurs when you pay the deposit on the property – this can be anything from 5% upwards. If at this point you pull out, you will lose this money! If the seller pulls out after this stage, you can seek compensation.

Completion takes place usually within 4 weeks of exchanging contracts, although exchange and completion can happen in the same day. Completion is when the balance of the mortgage is transferred from your lender and the seller’s solicitor receives the balance of the amount owing for the property. From this point on, you are the new owner of the property and you can now focus on enjoying your new home!

Buying a house does not need to be stressful, particularly if you do your research, know what will happen at what stage and which parts of the process could cause issues – be prepared! This article was written by Online Conveyancing Quotes.

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