Purchasing a property can be stressful, regardless of whether it’s your first time or your twenty first – but it doesn’t have to be. We have put together this handy guide to help understand the process and answer any questions you may have.

First and foremost, it’s important to get the right advice from the right people. A reputable company will be members of a redress scheme such as The Property Ombudsmen (TPO). It is also useful to take advice from agents that are passionate and knowledgeable about the area of which you want to buy. Don’t be afraid to build a relationship with your agent, it’s important for you to feel that you’re in safe hands.

Manchester is an incredibly diverse city with each area having its own, unique identity. From the bohemian Northern Quarter to historic Castlefield, there is plenty to enjoy. Explore and familiarise yourself with the area you’re drawn to. Ask yourself, where will you be working or studying? Where do you want to socialise? Which transport network do you need to be close to? These questions will be integral in helping you choose the right area for your new home. To help, we have created a map of Manchester to help you along your way…

Should you be purchasing your new home with a mortgage, be sure to consult with one of our Mortgage Advisors. Their expert advice will ensure you have a full picture of your budget and monthly costs to support your search and help you find your dream home. Get in touch with us today to realise your buying power.

If the answer is yes, now could be the perfect time to consider renting the property out or selling. Our lettings team are on hand to help you through the renting process, discuss rental yield and the elements of property management.

What if you are ready to sell your existing property? Now is the time to get your property valued by local agents. At Goodwin Fish, we do it all, from valuation through to marketing, and would be thrilled to assist you with your selling journey. The best time to start looking for your new home is once your property is on the market, and you have accepted an offer from a buyer. It is always useful to know where you sit in the chain, for example if your buyer is selling a property too.

A ‘Power Buyer’ is a buyer who has nothing to sell and a mortgage in principle. This refers to first time buyers, people that have already completed the sale of their previous property, or even cash buyers. If the market is moving quickly, or if listings are in short supply, vendors can afford to be picky when it comes to accepting an offer, therefore holding the title of ‘Power Buyer’ means that you are in a highly favourable position.

Understanding the process of finding a property

When you have your financial ducks in a row, we will need to know exactly what you want. Tell us everything. From what you want from your area to whether you’re looking to adopt a dog in the next few months. Don’t hold back. Everything you tell us helps us help you find the right property. It will also save you time viewing unsuitable properties.

Have a list of questions to ask your viewing representative – there really is no such thing as a silly question. Getting all the information you need will help you decide whether this is the property for you. Why not construct a list of criteria that you need from a property in order of importance? For example, would you be willing to sacrifice a parking space if you had access to award winning amenities? Should you require any information that the viewing representative does not have to hand, they will be able to direct your questions over to the vendor for further clarity.

Once you’ve found your dream property, you will need to place an offer and have it put forward to the vendor. To place an offer, you will need to ensure that you have all your personal information readily available, such as proof of deposit, proof of identification and your mortgage in principle. If you’re selling a property then confirmation from your agent or solicitor that it has sold subject to contract, is certainly worth including to support your offer. This will also be your opportunity to put forward any conditions to your offer. These could include whether you want to keep any furniture, or if you wish to inherit the tenant that is in situ. Once you have submitted your offer and are awaiting a response, it’s always worth considering what figure you would be happy to negotiate up to, should the vendor counter your offer.

Congratulations, your offer has been accepted!

When you’ve received the great news that your offer has been accepted by the vendor, you will need to instruct a solicitor. We have a panel of solicitors that we can introduce you to – we don’t take any referral fees, and a position on our panel is gained solely through working together on multiple occasions. Solicitors differ vastly when it comes to their services and prices, so don’t be afraid to shop around and be honest with them about what is important to you. Once you and the vendor, have instructed solicitors, your agent will issue to Notification of Sale to all parties and the conveyancing will begin. At this point, you must be ready to send funds to your solicitor to pay for searches etc.

Now is the time to formally apply for your mortgage. Although this will be slightly different to acquiring a mortgage in principle, your advisor will be able to support you every step of the way. Once you have applied for your mortgage, your lender will make all the necessary checks into your background and finances. They will also contact your Estate Agent to gain access to the property to perform a valuation or survey. A valuation or survey is instructed on behalf of the lender to not only understand the structural integrity of the property but to ensure that you are not paying more than what the property is worth. If the surveyor highlights a structural issue or ‘down values’ the property, you and your agent will discuss the possibility of renegotiating the sale price. Once your lender has everything that they require, and is happy with their findings, they will issue you with a formal mortgage offer. This offer will have an expiry date, and it is very important that you provide your agent with this date, as it means that they can engage with all parties to ensure that the sale is finalised before the offer expires.

The conveyancing process can be quite daunting, especially if you haven’t gone through it before. Your agent will be progressing the sale on a weekly basis – checking in with you solicitor, and those representing the vendor. You could find it useful to also contact your solicitor monthly to get up to date information. It may also be worth giving them the authority to discuss your purchase with your agent so that communication is clear and there is a vested interest in progressing the sale as the quickest possible rate.

Once your solicitor has everything that they need to sign the file off, they will report to you. This is to make sure that you are happy with their findings and willing to progress to the point of exchange. At the point of exchange, you will need to pay your deposit, so now is the time to start considering withdrawing ISAs etc. A date will be agreed between all parties to exchange and then to complete – these can happen simultaneously if absolutely necessary.

When the day finally arrives, you’ll likely be very excited to collect your keys! However, your agent must be notified that completion has taken place by either side’s solicitor before they can release the keys to you. This means that all monies must have cleared with the vendor’s solicitor. Once this has happened, your agent will contact you with the exciting news! You can then pick up the keys to your new home.


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