• Lewis Dean Estate & Letting Agents


Buying your first property in Poole can seem a confusing process. But following a simple 10 step checklist will help the process to run more smoothly. 1. Ask the estate agent key questions about the vendor: – Why are they selling? – Are they buying somewhere else? If so, has their offer been accepted? – What are the seller's timeframes? You don't want to find out later you will be waiting months to move in. – If it is a leasehold property, how long is the lease? A short lease can be very restrictive and possibly costly to renew. – If it is leasehold, what is the current service charge and ground rent and are any major works planned? What are the insurance costs and management fees? 2. Get your mortgage in place. A mortgage offer in principle confirms that a mortgage company is willing to lend to you. The estate agent will want you to have a mortgage offer in principle at the time of your offer. If you need a local Poole mortgage broker let us know and we can give you several numbers of fabulous people. 3. Decide whether to have the property surveyed. This is not a requirement but is always recommended. Organising a survey quickly prevents delays, especially if issues are flagged up that need resolving. Your mortgage company if you have one will want a mortgage valuation survey carried out to protect their investment. 4. When comparing conveyancing quotes (legal fees for your purchase) ensure that they are like for like. Some conveyancing quotes will include extra fees for dealing with a mortgage, a leasehold property or filing your Stamp Duty Land Tax return. We always recommend using a high street conveyancer or one that you can meet in person, we do shy away from the online firms that offer a cheaper less personal service. 5. If you have a Help to Buy ISA and you want to claim the Help to Buy Bonus, contact your bank to check how long it will take for your ISA account to be closed. Some banks will close it on the day of request but some take longer and you don't want this to cause delays when it comes to exchanging contracts. Don't close however without first speaking to your solicitor. 6. Tell your solicitor at the start of any of the purchase money is not coming from you, such as a gift from a family member or friend as this does add a little more work for them to deal with. 7. Check how much Stamp Duty Land Tax you will need to pay. It's a confusing topic when buying and your solicitor will be able to help. There is also a useful Government web site that calculates any payments (if any.). Click HERE 8. Understand the difference between ‘exchange of contracts' and ‘completion'. Exchange of contracts is the point at which you enter into a contract to buy the property from the seller and the seller enters into a contract to sell the property to you. Your purchase is not legally binding until you have exchanged contracts, so before this stage either party can pull out. Completion is the day when the full purchase price has to be paid to the seller and you are provided with the keys to the property – at this stage you are then the legal owner of the property. (yay) 9. Understand what is meant by the word ‘deposit'. When applying for a mortgage you will be asked how much money, the deposit, you will be putting towards your purchase. When solicitors use the word deposit they are referring to your exchange deposit. This will most likely be 10% of the purchase price. 10. Take time to choose a solicitor, someone who will be able to explain the process and terminology to you clearly and is there to guide you through the transaction from beginning to end. A friendly non jargon waffling solicitor is a must for everyone! (Content provided by OnTheMarket.com is for information purposes only. Independent and professional advice should be taken before buying, selling, letting or renting property, or buying financial products.)

If you would like any help or guidance with buying or selling a property in Poole for the first time we are here to "hold your hand" through the process from start to finish. Call me on 01202 621900 for FREE help.

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