Your Step By Step Guide to the Homebuying Process

Buying a new home is one of the most exciting experiences. But the homebuying process can be tricky to navigate and it’s easy to feel stressed if you’re not prepared.


Whether you’re a first-time buyer or you just haven’t moved in years, our step-by-step guide to the homebuying process will help prepare you for a stress-free purchase.


1.  Get your affairs in order

First, you need to ensure you have the money to buy a new home! This might sound obvious, but when looking at your finances, make sure you budget for things like renovations, removal costs, solicitor fees and stamp duty.


2.  Speak with a mortgage advisor

If you’re buying with a mortgage, it’s best to speak to an advisor as early as possible to understand how much you can borrow. This is referred to as an ‘Agreement in Principle’ and it can help you decide your price range and location.


If you don’t have a mortgage advisor, we can help recommend a local expert.


3.  Contact your estate agent

Once you know your budget, contact your estate agent to register your details. You can let them know your preferred area, number of bedrooms and any other desirables.


Registering your details with an estate agent is a quick and easy way to find properties that match your criteria as soon as they go on the market. You can register with us here;


4.  Find a solicitor

When you start viewing homes, it’s a good idea to look for a solicitor. You won’t need to use them yet, but having a solicitor in mind can speed up the process later on.


Make sure you get several quotes and check out their reviews. A good solicitor can make a huge difference to making the homebuying process stress-free! We can help recommend local conveyancing solicitors.


5.  Make an offer

Once you’ve found a home you like, you can make an offer. If you’re also selling your home, it’s best to wait until you have an offer yourself, but you can discuss this with your estate agent.


To make an offer, let the estate agent know your plans. They can give you advice and answer any questions.


Before an estate agent starts negotiations, they’ll ask for proof of a few things, such as:

  • Your available funds, like the deposit, or savings if you’re a cash buyer
  • Your ‘Agreement in Principle’
  • Your ‘Memorandum of Sale’ for your current property


6.  Instruct your solicitor

When your offer has been accepted, it’s time to instruct your solicitor. Get in touch to let them know you’re ready to start the conveyancing process.


7.  Undertake a survey

Before you proceed any further, you can commission an independent survey. Surveys are designed to provide reassurance and a heads-up on any future upgrades the property may need.


Bear in mind that surveyors will usually report every defect (or risk of one), which can be overwhelming. But it’s not as concerning as it appears since every property will have some risk.


However, if the survey highlights a major concern, you can talk to your estate agent, solicitor or the surveyor for advice.


8.  Get your mortgage offer

Even if you don’t undertake a survey yourself, your lender (if you have one) will do their own survey on instruction from your mortgage advisor. It won’t be as in-depth as an independent survey, but it will ensure you’re paying a fair price.


It’s unlikely that your lender will take issue with the price, as your estate agent will have made sure that your offer was of good value for both parties.


Once the lender is happy with their valuation, they’ll issue a mortgage offer to your solicitor. This will confirm their commitment to lend you the funds.


9.  Conveyancing takes place

Once you have your mortgage offer, your solicitor and the seller’s solicitor will undertake conveyancing to progress the sale. During this time, you’ll be sent various important documents to read and sign.


Your solicitor will notify you when you need to take action, but it’s best to check in regularly to help things progress quickly.


10. Contracts exchange

Once the paperwork is complete, you’ll be ready to exchange contracts. This is the most important (and exciting) part of the homebuying process, as it’s when the sale/purchase becomes legally binding.


Just before you exchange, you’ll need to pay your deposit, stamp duty and any outstanding conveyancing fees to your solicitor. The exchange will happen as soon as the money has cleared in your solicitor’s account.


11. Purchase home insurance

Even though you won’t have the keys in your hand just yet, you’ll be liable for any damage that takes place after exchange.


Although it’s unlikely that anything will happen, it’s a good idea to protect yourself by purchasing home insurance immediately after exchange.


12. Completion

Shortly after exchange, the purchase of your property will be finalised. This is referred to as ‘completion’.


Congratulations! You can now pick up your keys and move into your new home.


To start your journey with iMove, contact one of our property experts today!