Buying a Property

A simple, step-by-step guide.

Register with Location Location

To find your ideal property, we need to know as much as possible about your requirements.

You can register with us either online, by phone or by visiting our offices, where one of our friendly, helpful staff can help you with your search.

Once we have a clear understanding of what you’re looking for, we’ll draw up a list of properties that match your criteria. We can send you details of these by text message, email or post – whichever works best for you.

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Viewings

You can normally arrange to view a property any time from 9am-8pm Monday to Friday, and 10am-5pm on Saturdays.

Booking a viewing is easy: just call us on (020) 7923 9222 Monday to Friday 9am–8pm or Saturday 9am-5pm or book a viewing online.

We usually conduct property viewings, and the seller is not always present. Sometimes, a seller gives us specific times for viewings, although we do ask them to be as flexible as possible. We normally keep keys and can access the property at a time that suits you.

We would ask that you try to be on time for viewings. We’ll arrange to meet you at the property, or if it’s more convenient, at our office at 18 Stoke Newington Church Street, and we’ll drive you to the property.

Sometimes, we can collect you from your home or your place of work, depending on where they are.

After the viewing, we’ll answer any questions you have. We’ll then usually contact you the next day for your thoughts, when you’ve had a chance to let things settle.

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Making an Offer

When you’ve found a property that suits your requirements and want to make an offer, simply telephone the Location Location sales office on (020) 7923 9222 and speak to one of the team. You must put the offer forward to us, not directly to the owner.

Be prepared to give us as much information as possible. In addition to the actual amount you want to offer, we’ll need to know:

  • Your purchasing position e.g. if you’re a first-time buyer, if you’re trying to sell an existing property, or if you have accepted an offer on your current home.
  • Full details of your financial situation in regard to the purchase, including who will provide and arrange your mortgage (if applicable) and what percentage will be lent, how much deposit will be provided and whether these funds are encumbered in any way.

It’s also essential to let us know what your timescales are when you make the offer.

If somebody else is making an offer on the same property, we’ll let you know, but we can’t give you the details of that offer.

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Negotiation

We’ll put forward the offer to the owner verbally as soon as we can, and in writing within 24 hours.

We’ll let you know the owner’s response as soon as they’ve made one. If they reject your offer and you decide to increase it, the process is simply repeated.

It’s at this stage that we’ll make you aware of any chain implications and the likely timescale of any agreed transaction. Do bear in mind that there are lots of variables here, so things are subject to change.

But we’ll keep you fully informed every step of the way.

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Agreeing the Sale

If your offer is acceptable to the property owner, we’ll need to check your purchasing status.

For this, we’ll need, if applicable, the contact details of your broker or mortgage lender, and any estate agent dealing with your current property sale.

It’s only when we have this information and have contacted the necessary parties for verification of your situation that we can discuss with the owner whether they’re prepared to stop showing their property to other prospective purchasers.

You’ll also need to have a solicitor/conveyancer lined up to act for you in the purchase.

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Initiating the Purchase Process

At this point, we’ll assign a Location Location sales progressor. They’re your single point of contact during the purchase process, and will confirm the agreed sale in writing to all parties.

Several things need to be in place before your solicitor is able to exchange the contract of sale which ultimately secures your purchase. It’s important not to lose momentum at this stage, so you need to get things moving as soon as possible on two fronts: finance and conveyancing.

We’ll cover those in just a moment. First, just a quick checklist of costs involved in the purchase.

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Costs to Prepare For

You’ll need to allow for costs that are incurred throughout the process, such as:

  • Mortgage Arrangement Fee
  • Valuation/Survey Fee
  • Solicitor’s Fee (including disbursements)
  • Search Fees
  • Deposit (usually 10%)
  • Buildings Insurance Premium
  • Stamp Duty (click here to calculate)
  • Removal Costs
  • Utilities Connection Charges

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Finance

If you’re using a mortgage provider for any part of the purchase, you’ll need to submit a full mortgage application to begin the process. This will require information about yourself and about the property you are purchasing.

Before your lender can guarantee to provide the funding you require, they’ll insist on inspecting the property. You’ll need to pay for this inspection and protocol requires that you include payment with the initial application.

Usually, your lender will offer you two types of inspection: a Basic Valuation will check only briefly the condition of the property and may comment only on its value.

Alternatively, a Homebuyer’s Report will provide much more detail on the overall condition of the property, and may make recommendations to check certain areas more thoroughly.

In either instance, this will normally be scheduled within two weeks of the property sale being agreed. It’s important to move quickly: any delay can often unsettle the seller and can lead to them instructing us to remarket their property.

When you get the valuation report or survey, you’ll need to send us a copy. If this report recommends or requires further investigation of any specific issues, access to the property can be arranged with advance notification. When considering the expected costs of any recommended works you’ll also need to consider the price at which the property has been secured, relative to the seller's original asking price.

Once your mortgage provider is completely satisfied with the value and condition of the property and your own personal situation, they’ll produce the Mortgage Offer.

This document guarantees the finance and must be in place before your solicitor can exchange the contract of sale. When you’ve received this, you need to send us a copy.

The Location Location sales progressor will need to contact your lender or broker throughout the sale process to monitor progress and to assist with any issues. So it’s important that you instruct your lender to communicate with the sales progressor directly.

This keeps everything moving smoothly, reduces delays and makes sure everybody knows what’s required of them.

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Conveyancing

Both buyer and seller will need a solicitor/conveyancer that can act for them and for their lender.

The choice of who will act for you is entirely at your discretion. The only restriction is that you can’t use the same person as the seller.

It’s important, however, that you instruct a solicitor/conveyancer who will deal with the purchase of your property promptly. They should be experienced in handling residential property sales, easily contacted and able to deal with your case speedily.

You’ll have to make a payment to your solicitor to start the process. They’ll also need funds for executing local authority, drainage and other possible searches on the property you’re proposing to purchase. Any delay in instruction or payment for these searches can directly affect the overall timescale of the transaction, so it’s important to act promptly.

The Location Location sales progressor assigned to your purchase will stay in constant contact with your solicitor throughout the sale process, to monitor progress and to assist with any issues.

They’ll liaise with all parties involved across the entire chain so it’s important that you instruct a solicitor who’s prepared to communicate with the sales progressor directly.

During the transaction your solicitor will:

  • Inspect the draft contract of sale, sent out by the seller's solicitor.
  • Check the property title deeds and land registry records, raise searches and enquiries, where they feel additional information is required.
  • Liaise with your mortgage provider.
  • Approve the contract and make sure all the relevant documentation is in place.
  • Arrange for you to sign the contract & pay your deposit. The deposit required is usually 10% of the agreed purchase price

Contracts can then be exchanged and the completion date (the day you actually take possession of the property) can be set. This is usually 28 days after exchanging contracts, but it can be sooner.

On completion, your solicitor hands over the remainder of the purchase funds to the seller’s solicitor and you can move into your new home.

You’ll get the keys either from us, or from the seller.

Welcome to your new home! We hope you’ll be very happy.

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