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Buying and selling
The Buying and Selling Process

Buying and selling property can be a very stressful experience. There are many complex issues you need to grapple with including dealing with real estate agents and arranging mortgages.

The Buying Process: Tips

  • How much can you afford? Look at your finances carefully and decide on a realistic budget of what you can afford. It is a waste of your time as well as those of the estate agents, sellers, and mortgage providers, if you view properties you cannot really afford.

  • Choosing a Property. Once you have agreed on a budget, you can start the process of buying and selling by looking for your ideal home using the services of a real estate agent. Factors to consider when choosing a property include location, school catchment area, and proximity to amenities.

  • Prepare Your Finances. In order to ensure the process of buying and selling is as smooth and speedy as possible, arrange a mortgage before you find a house you want to buy. Mortgage lenders will generally issue mortgages in principle agreements stating that, subject to valuation, you are a guaranteed a loan up to a certain amount. If you can ensure your mortgage is in place, this will indicate to the seller that you are a serious buyer. However, if this is not possibly, arrange a mortgage as soon as possible once your bid has been accepted.

  • Viewings. Real estate agents can organize a number of viewings on your behalf. It is common practice to have a second viewing on a property you are interested in buying.

  • Making An Offer. When buying and selling and deciding what offer to propose, remember that the advertised price is not necessarily what you will have to pay. Offers often come in slightly below the asking price. However, if you are in a buoyant housing climate, you may want to offer the asking price or more, just to secure the property, or for fear of being ‘gazumped’. If your offer is rejected, be ready to go back and offer a higher price. Be careful not to get into a bidding war as you may end up overpaying for your property. The bidding process is usually managed by the seller's real estate agent.

  • Real Estate Lawyer. You will need to employ the services of a real estate lawyer to oversee the legal aspects of buying and selling property. It is a good idea to choose your lawyer before or at the same time as choosing your property.

  • Inspections. Once your offer has been accepted, you will need to pay to have an inspection to point out any structural or other problems.

  • Exchange and Completion. The final two most important stages of the buying and selling process involves the exchange of contracts between both parties’ solicitors and agreeing a completion date. When exchange takes place, the buyer is usually required to puts down a 5% deposit. After this point, the buyer will lose his/her deposit if s/he abandons the purchase. If the seller pulls out, the buyer can claim compensation.

In order for completion and transfer of ownership to take place, you must make arrangements with your mortgage lender and your solicitor to have the funds ready to transfer to the seller’s solicitors.

The Selling Process: Tips

  • Property Evaluations. In order to obtain an accurate evaluation of your property when buying and selling, make sure you get more than one property evaluation from a real estate agent. It may be reassuring to have a high valuation, but you do not want to put buyers off.

  • Fees. It is a good idea to provide incentives to your real estate agents when buying and selling property by negotiating a good commission. You want your estate agents to work hard for you and drum up lots of interest in your property. It may useful to agree to a full fee if the asking price is achieved, but a downward sliding scale if offers fall below it.

  • Making the best of your property. Before putting up your property for sale, it is always a good idea to spruce up your property to make it look as attractive as possible. Finish any DIY jobs, clear the garden, do a general tidy up before each viewing. Buyers are influenced by the little details!

If you keep these buying and selling tips in mind, buying and selling property should run as smoothly as possible!

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