As you work through the process of buying a property, you’ll come across various people that play vital roles in the journey. Familiarising yourself with these individuals and their responsibilities will help you navigate the home buying experience with confidence.
We’ve teamed up with L&C to share a breakdown of who’s who and what you can expect from each of them…
An estate agent’s primary responsibility is to market and sell properties. If you’re a buyer, they’ll show you properties they think you’ll be interested in and can provide further details on these homes, like ground rent and service charges.
Additionally, estate agents facilitate communication between solicitors, buyers, and sellers to expedite the buying process which is an incredibly important part of ensuring the process runs smoothly. Once the sale of a property is complete, estate agents receive a fee which is paid by their client and commission rates typically range from 0.9% to 3.6% of the purchase price, while some may charge a flat upfront fee.
Mortgage broker or advisor
A mortgage broker or mortgage advisor assists you in researching the mortgage market and finding the best deal to suit your needs. They’ll discuss your mortgage preferences, timeframe, income, expenses, and budget to determine the mortgage options available to you. Once they recommend a suitable mortgage, they can guide you through the application process.
Before going to a mortgage broker, prepare your financial information, such as income and household expenditure, to speed up the process as they’ll need this information to guide you. It’s also worth keeping in mind that some brokers are tied to specific lenders, while others have access to a broader range of deals across the entire mortgage market.
Brokers must disclose their fees upfront and they typically receive a payment from the lender upon mortgage completion. Some brokers, like L&C, don’t charge additional fees, whilst others may charge a flat fee or a percentage of the mortgage amount.
Mortgage lenders assess your ability to afford the mortgage you’ve chosen and ensure its suitability. Each lender offers various mortgage options, so it’s crucial to research different offerings across lenders before making a decision.
An important point to note is that getting a Decision in Principle before you start looking at homes gives you an idea of how much a lender might be willing to lend you. This will also prevent you from looking at properties outside of your budget and help you focus your search.
To make sure you’re aware of what would be expected financially, understand both the monthly payments during any special deal and the payments after the deal ends before applying for a specific mortgage. Consider the overall cost of the mortgage, including arrangement fees, rather than solely focusing on the headline interest rate.
The solicitor’s main responsibility is to carry out the conveyancing process, which involves legally transferring the property from the seller to the buyer.
They conduct necessary searches before the purchase can proceed, arrange contract exchange and completion, and facilitate the property’s registration with the Land Registry.
Conveyancing fees typically range from £950 to £1,700, and searches cost around £250 to £350, depending on the property’s price.
Make sure you inform the estate agent of your chosen solicitor’s name once your offer is accepted. When it comes to timeframes, solicitor searches usually take two to three weeks to complete, but additional inquiries may arise based on the results.
Once contracts are exchanged, you’re committed to purchasing the property.
A surveyor’s role is to assess the value and condition of the property. A valuation survey is required by the lender, but you can also opt for a more detailed survey to identify potential structural problems, damp, or subsidence.
If the survey reveals that significant repairs are needed, you may negotiate a reduced offer to account for the cost. Basic surveys usually cost around £250, while more comprehensive surveys can start at £600. Opting for a more comprehensive survey could be worthwhile if it uncovers major issues with the property, even though it may cost more than a basic survey. Surveyors can also provide guidance on property renovations and obtaining planning permission.
A firm mortgage offer is usually provided by the lender after they approve the surveyor’s valuation. Make sure that any surveyor you consider is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and is accepted by your chosen lender.
Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
Content provided by OnTheMarket.com is for information purposes only. Independent and professional advice should be taken before buying, selling, letting or renting property, or buying financial products.