Guide to Buying Property
By registering your details with Wilfords London, you’re on your way to finding the perfect property. We have a great selection of properties, most of them architecturally and interior designed. Our goal is to help you find the place of your dreams through Wilfords, whether you are looking for the perfect family home or a piece of London to add to your portfolio.
We at Wilfords have compiled this guide from our years of experience to make your search and acquisition stress-free and enjoyable.
1. Determine your budget
Before you embark on your search, talk to your bank to determine how much you can borrow and which mortgage product — if needed — suits you best. The Money section of The Sunday Times features a section inside the back page called ‘Best Buys’ that each week highlights the best mortgage options available — a great resource. We also recommend you speak with an Independent Financial Advisor to ensure you find the right product among the many thousands available. If you don’t know an IFA, we highly recommend Grant Holmes at Bentley Holmes with whom we have worked closely for more than a decade.
Inside tip: Buy-to-let mortgages are a specialist product and it is always wise to consult an expert mortgage broker for this type of loan.
2. Register your details with Wilfords London
Register with us over the phone on 020 7361 0400, use our online registration form or let us welcome you to our offices in Holland Street, just off Kensington Church Street, W8, for a coffee and a chat. We’ll ask you lots of open-ended questions to best understand your requirements, not only the number of bedrooms you need but also your lifestyle, taste and time frame. This way, we show you properties only in the right area that match your search criteria.
Inside tip: We have found, at every level of purchase, that there is almost always one compromise. Be ready to recognise the compromise that works for you.
3. Make an offer
When you have found the property that is right for you, the time has come to make an offer. If you make an offer verbally it is always a good idea to follow it up in writing. You want to make it as easy as possible for the vendor to accept your offer. An email from a buyer’s solicitor confirming that they are instructed to act on behalf of a party who does not have a related sale and has a mortgage approved in principle will get a much better response than an offer made verbally without supporting emails from solicitors and mortgage providers.
Inside tip: Making an offer does not bind you legally. There is no legal obligation until contracts are exchanged.
4. Agree terms
Once we have negotiated and agreed a price for the property and the fixtures and fittings you wish to include in the purchase, Wilfords will draw up a memorandum of sale putting your solicitor and the seller’s solicitor in contact with one another. At this point, you will instruct your mortgage provider (if you have one) to survey the property, as you cannot exchange contracts until your solicitor has received your mortgage offer. You will also agree a target date for exchange and completion at this point.
Inside tip: Your mortgage provider’s surveyor will provide a valuation for their purposes. If you want to get the full picture about the property you are about to buy, you may also wish to consult your own surveyor — we are happy to make recommendations.
Once your solicitor has received the contract and supporting documentation, he or she will apply for local authority searches and raise any enquiries they may have.
Inside tip: It’s at the conveyancing stage that experienced estate agents like Wilford’s are enormously helpful, providing information and progressing your sale quickly and efficiently.
6. Exchange contracts
When any issues have been resolved, your solicitor will report to you and ask you to sign a contract. You will pay a deposit — normally 10% of the purchase price — and solicitors then exchange contracts. A date for completion will be agreed and confirmed.
Inside tip: It’s time to stop looking at property pages and estate agents’ websites. You’re nearly there.
The remaining balance will be transferred from your solicitor’s account to the sellers and, once received, completion takes place. Wilfords will inform you and arrange for you to collect your keys.
Inside tip: Wilfords would be happy to drop off the keys to your new property to you — with a bottle of champagne to celebrate!
For a free market appraisal for sales, lettings or both, please contact us.
To download a copy of our sales terms please click here