Buying Process

Getting started
When deciding to buy a property, whether for the first time or your latest new home, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much can I realistically afford to borrow?
  • Am I looking for a new build, looking to purchase an older property or looking to build my own property?
  • If purchasing an older property, how much time and money can I invest on any improvements?
  • What amenities do I need nearby?
  • What area do I want to live in?
  • What size of property do I need?

Answering these questions will help you structure your search for your perfect new home.  


Searching for that perfect property
There are many advantages to both new homes and purchasing older properties.

haart have some brilliant search facilities to assist you in narrowing down the search results to find exactly what you are looking for. These include:

  • Being able to search by your current location;
  • Searching by your budget (don’t forget to check out the Mortgage Calculator to help guide you);
  • Search by property type;
  • Set a minimum number of bedrooms to determine size of property you are interested in;
  • Prioritise results by selecting the features you require in a house, such as a garden, garage etc. You can also enter your own features you are looking in the keyword search;
  • You can also search by Leasehold, Freehold, chain free and properties that are holding an open house;
  • Click on the map view to find a property by searching for properties near a particular school, transport links, shops or food and drink outlets.

Carry out a property search today.   


Viewing a property
Viewing a property is exciting and key to finding the right home for you. However, there are still some essential things you need to look for to make sure it is right for you.

Here are our top tips:

  • Remember to thoroughly look over the outside of a property as well as the interior;
  • Even if you are buying alone, take someone with you on a viewing to get another pair of eyes looking for things you may miss;
  • Check for damp. It can be a big concern and expensive to remedy if you miss it. Look out for mould, musty smells or dark patches on walls and ceilings;
  • Don’t forget about the structure of the property. Keep an eye out for cracks, even hairline cracks, on the walls, around windows and doors and on the ceilings. These may need further investigation. If in doubt, get a full structural survey carried out on the property to put your mind at rest;
  • Many people think that having a mortgage valuation means they have had a full structural survey carried out on the property. Unfortunately this is not the case. Take a look at the different property surveys available;
  • Allow yourself plenty of time, not just to view the property but also to look around the local neighbourhood and the amenities available in the area;
  • Have more than one viewing so that you can see anything you may have missed on the first viewing and ask any further questions you may now have. It can also be helpful to view the property at different times of the day to see any changes in different lights or surrounding area noise and traffic levels;
  • If there is any ambiguity over anything, such as rights of way, parking availability, ownership of the garden etc., ensure any answers to your queries are answered in writing.


Making an offer
When you have decided the property is right for you, it is time to make an offer. The most important element is that you have done your homework. Look into the local area, what similar properties in the area have sold for and what current demand is for properties of that type in the area. That way, you will be in the best position to place a reasonable offer that is more likely to be accepted.  How long the property has been on the market can also sometime affect how likely the seller is to accept an offer lower than the asking price.

Ensure that you are honest. If you are a first time buyer or chain free, ensure the estate agent and the seller are aware of this. This may mean you can move at a quicker pace and put you in a more favourable position that others that may also be placing offers.

Sealed bids work slightly differently and it is even more important that you make it clear what your bid is and what flexibility you have in terms of dates around completions. It can be very useful to ensure the estate agent selling the property is aware of your full situation, including the details of your solicitor and mortgage broker.

Make sure your offer is subject to contract and subject to a satisfactory survey.


Once the offer has been accepted
Once the offer has been accepted, it is worth asking the seller to take the property off the market to hopefully avoid other potential buyers from making offers. The estate agent will usually ask for details of your solicitor and mortgage offer in principle in order to action this.

It is now time to get all the legal work and necessary surveys completed. Unless you are a cash buyer, you will need to complete the lenders application form and forward on any documentation required such as:

  • Proof of address (for the length of time specified by the lender);
  • Proof of identification;
  • Your P60 and Proof of earnings (for the length of time specified by the lender);
  • Bank statements (for the length of time specified by the lender);
  • Utility bills (for the length of time specified by the lender).

A mortgage valuation will be carried out on the property. To have a more detailed survey carried out, take a look at the different property surveys available. Once the valuer has completed the survey and sent the reports to the lenders, provided they are satisfied with the price agreed, you should receive your formal mortgage offer along with the square footage of the property and the re-instalment costs that you will need for your building insurance

Your solicitors will be busy progressing the draft contract of the house purchase and running searches on the property. You will also need to start looking for buildings insurance, as once the property has exchanged, you are then liable for the property.


Move onto the next stage - Property Lawyers