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5 steps to clinching the home of your dreams

Published on 22 March 2022 | Modified on 14 December 2022

Written by Stacey Bennett
Conveyancing Solicitors

Estate agents up and down the country are telling us that their biggest problem at the moment, in the aftermath of 2021’s stamp duty holidays, is the lack of housing stock available to sell.  There is no shortage of people wanting to buy, but there just aren’t enough good houses for sale.  This means that we are very much in a seller’s market.

If you are a buyer, you will want to make sure that the seller sees you as the safest bet.  The person they want to sell to.

Here are 5 steps to secure your new home:

  1. Visit a mortgage broker before you even start looking at properties. Found out how much you would comfortably be able to borrow, and obtain an ‘offer in principle’ from your chosen lender.  This offer confirms that the lender has carried out all its credit checks and affordability checks and is happy to lend to you.
  2. Instruct a solicitor at an early stage – if you have a property to sell, they could prepare a ‘seller’s pack’: they would review the legal title of your current property to make sure that there are no hidden snags which could hold up a sale; and they can make sure that all paperwork is in place to make sure your sale goes through quickly. Let the estate agent and your potential seller know that you have arranged this – it will give them piece of mind when considering whether a long chain might jeopardise the transaction.
  3. Make sure you have provided your solicitor with all necessary ID documents, and that you have all your financial paperwork to hand. Your solicitor will need to carry out ‘source of funds’ checks for your purchase.  They will need to know how you have accumulated the funds. Any evidence  you can provide such as letters confirming inheritances; copies of court orders if the funds are from a divorce settlement; sample bank statements showing regular savings etc, can really help. It can feel intrusive to be asked these questions, but they are necessary regulatory enquiries.
  4. If friends or family are helping you financially with your purchase, let them know in advance that they will also need to provide ID and evidence of their source of funds.
  5. Be ready to be flexible about your moving date – your seller is likely to also need to find somewhere to buy. Not always easy in today’s seller’s market…

Above all – make sure the estate agent knows that you have taken all these steps.  This will prove to them, and your seller, that you are a committed and trustworthy buyer. That might just mean you pip someone else to the post when the seller is weighing up multiple offers.

If you are house hunting, Poole Alcock would be delighted to help you with a conveyancing quote, or call us on 0800 470 0338. Speak to our team and quote “DREAM HOME” for a further 10% off our legal fees!

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