When you start your hunt to buy a property in our area, make sure you register with AshcroftGuest either through our website, or by phoning or visiting our office in Stockton Heath. As new properties meeting your criteria come on the market, we’ll alert you by email and/or telephone. If you areinterested in viewing a property, contact us quickly as our properties don’t hang around for long!
Getting finance in place
When, or ideally before, you start your property hunt, it’s worth making sure you have your finances in place. Make sure you can easily access savings etc and you know the withdrawal terms. If you are planning to purchase your property with a mortgage, shop around for the best deal and rates. We can recommend an independent mortgage adviser should you require one. Don’t forget to budget for any renovations and removals costs and don't forget you may have stamp duty to pay. The rules for calculating stamp duty have recently changed resulting in a reduction in the amount payabe for the majority of house purchases. Your solicitor will deal with how and when you pay stamp duty. It is currently charged at the following rates:
Purchase price of the property
Rate of stamp Duty
|–Up to £125,000||Zero|
|Over £125,000 - £250,000||2%|
|Over £250,000 - £925,000||5%|
|Over £925,000 - £1,500,000||10%|
On a house purchase of £275,000 the stamp duty is calculated as follows:
0% on the first £125,000 = £0
2% on the next £125,000 = £2,500
5% on the final £25,000 = £1,250
Total Stamp Duty payable = £3,750
The previous rates would have resulted in a stamp duty liability of £8250
If you have any questions please contact us.
Viewing a property
There really is no substitute for getting inside a property, so when you spot something you like the look of, contact the selling agent quickly to make arrangements to view. We are available to show you around at times to suit you including evenings, Saturdays and Sundays. Some appointments may be with the vendor but all should always be booked through the agent. Well meet you at the property unless we make other arrangements with you and show you around. Feel free to take your time and ask as many questions as you like. Check the outside as well as the inside and think about viewing at different times of the day or at weekends as well as weekdays to get a proper feel for the location.
Making an offer
Once you’ve found a property that you like, discuss with us the offer you would like to make. We will ask you to confirm how you intend to fund the purchase of your property and the availability of any deposit (usually 10% of purchase price). If you already have a mortgage arranged, we will ask you to provide an agreement in principle (AIP) document and we will require the details of any broker or financial advisor who is involved - just so we can clarify where things are up to and the likeley timeframe for processing your mortgage application.If you are buying without a mortgage, you will need to provide some evidence of finance and we will discuss this with you at the time.
If you are in the process of selling your own property in order to buy, then we will also confirm the status of your sale with your own estate agent.
Remember, although we’re working on behalf of the seller we will make sure our advice to you is honest and realistic. After all, a sale will only happen if everyone is satisfied and a mortgage will only be granted if the offer price is sensible and in line with current market conditions.In order that the seller can make the best, informed decision it is necessary at this stage for the above information to be provided promptly and whilst we will still put forward all offers to our client, their decision can be influenced by this.
Putting forward your offer
As members of the property ombudsman, AshcroftGuest follow a strict code of practice and you can be assured that we will notify our client of every offer you make promptly. You will receive confirmation that your offer has been put forward from us in writing (usually by email).
The negotiation process
Any purchase situation requires all parties to be happy with the outcome. At AshcroftGuest, we are committed to providing a transparent and fair process to achieve this. The vendor’s decision will be based on a number of factors including timescale and the level of offer you make as well as your current position. We are here to negotiate on behalf of our client but also to ensure that you are treated fairly and kept fully updated.
If you are buying with a mortgage, a survey of the property will be booked by a surveyor on behalf of your mortgage lender. This is to protect their interests by valuing the property and highlighting any major defects that would negatively affect the security of their loan.
Usually you are able to ‘upgrade’ the valuation to a home-buyer’s report, which gives a little more detail on the condition of the property.
If you are not purchasing the property with a mortgage, then you can instruct a survey independently should you require.
Once your mortgage lender has received the survey report and is satisfied with the results and their other checks, a mortgage offer will be issued. A copy of the mortgage offer will be sent to your solicitor along with details of any conditions attached to it including how long its valid for.
In law, conveyancing is the transfer of legal title of property from one person to another. its carried out by a solicitor or licensed conveyancer who you appoint. Once an offer has been agreed between you and the seller, we will contact each party’s solicitors to confirm the details of the sale. Offers are not legally binding until contracts have been exchanged. From now until exchange, you will need to be in close communication with your solicitor and we will also be in regular contact with you and your solicitor, as well as the sellers and their solicitor to make sure that your purchase goes through and on time.
Exchanging contracts is the point when your purchase and the sale becomes legally binding on both sides. Many years ago the solicitors for the seller and buyer would meet and actually exchange contracts in identical form signed by their respective clients. This does not happen today and exchange is usually agreed by the solicitors over the telephone, using a standard set of 'undertakings'. Once exchanged, there is a legally binding contract between you and the seller for the sale and purchase of the property.
You can only exchange contracts if your mortgage offer (if applicable) is with your solicitor and only when you have paid a cleared deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) to your solicitor’s account. Your solicitor will tell you and us when contracts have been exchanged and the completion date (moving day!) is then set by agreement and is also contractually binding.
Completion or moving day is when the purchase of your property is finalised! On the day of completion, both parties have to fulfil the terms of the contract, in other words, the seller must vacate the property and execute a deed transferring ownership and the buyer must send the full purchase price (less the exchange deposit) by the time in the contract.
Your solicitor and mortgage lender will transfer the outstanding balance to the seller’s solicitor. Your solicitor will contact you to let you know the money has been sent and shortly afterwards the vendors solicitor will contact us to let us know that they are in receipt of it. We will then let you know and make arrangements to release the keys to you.
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"Having sold our house through AshcroftGuest we were delighted to also purchase our new home through them too. Their commitment to making the processes as smooth as possible is fantastic and their assistance goes way past completion dates. We are now in our fifth home and AshcroftGuest has been the best agency we have come across. We would definitely recommend them and should we move again they will be the first people we call."