A checklist for buyers


A checklist for buyers


When it comes to purchasing a property, you want to be prepared from the get-go and here at iMove Estate Agents, we want to provide buyers who are looking to purchase in Torquay, Paignton & the wider Torbay & Teignbridge areas with as much information as possible, which is why we have written this checklist, just for you!


So, where to begin?


Step 1 – Find out how much you can borrow


First off, you want to find out how much you can afford to purchase at. As surprising as it sounds, a lot of the time buyers can get a little ahead of themselves and start viewing properties without speaking to a mortgage advisor and are left feeling disappointed when finding out the house they want to buy, is out of budget. The most efficient and accurate way to find out what you can borrow, is by speaking to a mortgage broker at your bank or even better, an independent mortgage broker who can shop around for the best deals and provide you with an agreement in principle (A.I.P).


Step 2 – It’s time to get viewing


Now that you know how much you can afford, it’s time to hit the property portals! The most popular property portal is Rightmove and most agents advertise here. A close second is Zoopla and you will also find lots of other portals such as Onthemarket.com, Onedome, The house shop and plenty more. We find the best two to keep an eye on, is Rightmove & Zoopla, but make sure you don’t just look on one or the other, because you could miss your dream home as not all agents advertise their properties on both portals.


Another brilliant way to finding your next home is to register your details with local agents. Here at iMove, we call and email our registered buyers before our properties hit the portals.


Step 3 – Asking the right questions


When viewing a property, it’s important to know certain information about what you are thinking of buying and we can all get carried away when we see something we like and forget to ask anything at all. A few things to ask are:

  1. What is the reason for the current owner’s selling?
  2. What is the seller’s position? Knowing this information will help estimate timeframes and if you will be in a chain waiting for the seller to find somewhere to buy
  3. Has there been much work carried out on the property recently?
  4. How old are the electrics and have they been tested in the last 5 years?
  5. If there is a boiler, has it been regularly serviced/maintained?

 If the property is leasehold:

  1. How long is left on the lease?
  2. How much is the maintenance, ground rent and any other compulsory fees?
  3. What is the setup for maintenance repairs, general upkeep of the communal areas and exterior?
  4. Who is the freeholder/management company?
  5. Are there any restrictions in the lease that you should be aware of? For example: Are pets allowed and are you allowed to let the property. 

Step 4 – Making an offer


After all the time-consuming effort (although fun) of scrolling through the property portals and viewing houses before finding the right property, you will want to ensure you are in the best possible position to be making an offer.


When submitting an offer, you may want to provide the following information, as this allows the estate agent to confirm you are a serious buyer to their seller:

  1. Your A.I.P or contact information for your mortgage broker to confirm you have the finances in place
  2. Proof of deposit
  3. Your estate agents contact information if you are under offer

 Step 5 – Choosing the right solicitor


Congratulations, you’ve had an offer accepted and it’s time to find a solicitor. This part can be done before you have an offer accepted but most firms will need certain information such as; purchase price and if the property is freehold or leasehold to provide an accurate quote and it’s quite common for this part to be done once an offer has been accepted.


Most of the time estate agents & mortgage advisors will have a firm they recommend but it’s important to do your own research, because choosing the right solicitor is crucial. You want the process to be simple, communication to be great and most importantly, to make the process straightforward.


There are lots of options out there and quotes will vary dependant on the size of the company, whether they offer a no purchase, no legal fee service and how they operate.


Step 6 – Submit your mortgage application


Going back to Step 1, you would have already spoken to a mortgage advisor and now it’s time to give them a call, to let them know your exciting news and would like to get your mortgage application submitted!


Step 7 – Do you need a survey


It’s always recommended that you have a survey to ensure the property is in good order and that there won’t be any nasty surprises when you move in.


If you are purchasing with a mortgage, some lenders offer discounted rates on some surveys. Typically, the lender would instruct a ‘mortgage valuation’ to be carried out and this is a basic level to confirm the property is worth what you are buying it for. The most common survey option that buyers choose is called a ‘Homebuyer report survey’ and is sufficient for most properties.


Get in touch with a surveyor and they will advise you on what level of survey would be suitable for the property you are looking to buy.


Step 8 – Arranging removals


If you are going to use a removal company to help you move, it’s important to obtain quotes because they will again vary in prices and you may need a larger company who can accommodate your move (for those who have lots of stuff) – Not all removal companies are the same!


Once you have received the quotes and decided on what removal company you’d like to use, you should communicate with the estate agent and your solicitor to gain a rough idea of when your exchange will be taking place and an estimated completion date. Most removal companies will request a deposit when you officially book a day for them to move you and we recommend to our clients that on the day of the exchange (or a day before) confirm the completion date with your removal firm to ensure they are available and if so, get them booked.

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