So, how can a potential purchaser prepare for the purchase process? Here are a few useful tips if you are thinking of buying a property, whether you are a first time buyer, looking for a larger family home, or even down sizing.

Shop around for the best mortgage product around. There are so many now it can be daunting, so perhaps speak with a mortgage adviser. For union members and members of other professional bodies, there are often links to lenders or professional advisers who can obtain a preferential product for you.

Speak to a solicitor or conveyancer early on to get an idea of legal costs – remember to factor in searches, Land Registry fees and Stamp Duty as well. And make sure that any quote you are given for legal costs is up front, and contains no hidden extras. Some less scrupulous firms may give you a seemingly very cheap headline fee to attract you, but will then reveal the very many extras once you have committed to them.

Always have a survey done – the most detailed you can afford. Remember, whilst a seller cannot lie about a property, they have no obligation to disclose information relating to the state and condition of a property unless you specifically ask them the question. The doctrine of “Buyer Beware” applies, so make sure that you check things like the boiler and the electrics. And make sure that you flag up any potential issues to your solicitor – matters such as complex parking arrangements, extensions, any concerns you may have about the boundaries.

Similarly, always have searches carried out if recommended by your solicitor. If you are having a mortgage, your lender will insist on all searches being carried out. However, even if you are buying for cash, there may be relevant issues such as contamination, flooding, breaches of planning requirements that you would not find out without the relevant search. Better to spend an extra £100 at the outset, than have a nasty shock after moving in which could cost thousands to resolve.

Set realistic target dates, and remember that nothing is set in stone until the all important exchange of contracts.

At Morrish we know that moving can sometimes be a stressful experience, but our helpful and sympathetic property team will do all that we can to ensure that it is also an exciting and positive experience.

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