Full width project banner image

The Blog

  • Show all categories
  • Buying Advice
  • Selling Advice
  • Tenant Advice
  • Landlord Advice
  • Buying Process
  • Selling Process
  • Renting Process
  • Lettings Process
  • Lettings Advice
  • Sales Advice
  • Success Story
  • Howard's Latest News
Jan 25, 2023 What does sold STC (subject to contract) mean?

Sold STC (subject to contract) is when a seller has accepted an offer to buy their property, but before exchange of contracts. The estate agent should take the property off the market, put up a ‘Sold: STC’ sign outside the property and describe the property in online listings as ‘Sold STC’. There is, however, nothing legally binding about ‘Sold STC’ in England and Wales. It is an informal acceptance. Buyer and seller can both change their minds. If higher offers come in, an estate agent is legally obliged to pass them on to the seller. The buyer can also renegotiate the price or withdraw their interest in buying the property. It is only when contracts are exchanged that the purchase becomes legally binding. What is the difference between ‘under offer’ and ‘sold STC’’? When a property that is up for sale is described as being ‘under offer’, it means that an offer has been made by a prospective buyer. The sellers are considering it but not yet decided whether to accept it. Buyers can still make other offers. ‘Sold STC’ means that an offer has been accepted but contracts have yet to be exchanged. How long does sold STC take? There are no hard and fast rules for the length of time the sold (subject to contract) stage takes in the buying process. It will take as long as the financial and administrative aspects of the conveyancing process take to be put in place – such as the survey, the searches, the mortgage application, itemising the fixtures and fittings in the property. This might take anything between 6-12 weeks depending on the complexity of any issues found. Could the sale of a property sold STC fall through? Yes. There is nothing guaranteed about a property completing after it has sold STC. In fact 25% of all prospective purchases that reach under offer or Sold STC fall through. ‘Gazumping’ is a very real practice and there is nothing illegal about it. Sellers can still consider higher offers than the one they have accepted. Buyers can withdraw their original offer if the survey reveals a major problem with the building or a legal search has revealed planning issues about the area. Can you still live in a house sold STC? No, you can’t move into a house while it is still at the Sold STC stage. Contracts must have been exchanged and completed. When contracts are exchanged deposits are paid and there are major legal and financial implications in either buyer or seller pulling out. Protection from sold STC issues Because there is nothing legally binding about the ‘Sold (subject to contract)’ status, buyers and sellers have the freedom to do whatever they want up to the point when contracts are exchanged. Neither has more legal protection than the other while the property is still only Sold STC. Sign up today to be among the first to know about property for sale in your area. Let Howards help you find your next home We are dedicated to helping people buy a property. For more advice on the buying process, contact Howards today.

Apr 5, 2022 Howard's jargon buster

Think moving house is stressful? Then all of the added jargon that goes with the house buying and selling process can make it quite daunting. Our handy guide details some common terms and what they mean. Acceptance - If you wish to accept a lender’s mortgage offer, this document will need to be signed and returned to the lender. Amortisation - The gradual elimination of a liability, for example, a mortgage through regular payments over a set time period or the amount paid by way of capital or principle repayments on a loan annually. Annual Equivalent Rate (AER) - A notional rate that is often quoted on interest paid on savings and investments. It aims to demonstrate what your interest return would be if the interest was compounded and paid annually instead of monthly (or any other period). Annual Percentage Rate (APR) - The APR is a figure that is used to compare different mortgages. Defined by law, it includes repayments on the loan plus any fees such as booking, arrangement or redemption fees. The APR shows the true cost of borrowing, and should appear on all mortgage illustrations and quotes. Applicant - The name given to a potential purchaser, often used by estate agents/auctioneers. Appraisal Value – Property value as estimated by a surveyor. Appreciation – Increase in property value as a result of market condition changes. Arrangement Fee - This is a charge levied by the lender to cover the costs of administering and reserving the funds for certain types of mortgage. May be paid separately or added to the loan amount. Assured shorthold tenancy (ASTs) - This is the most common form of tenancy.  A tenancy can only be an AST if you are a private landlord or housing association, the tenancy started on or after 15th Jan 1999, the property is the tenants' main accommodation and you do not live in the property.  All of these must apply. Auction - A means of selling a property whereby it is listed at an auction and if the property does not reach the reserve price then it is not sold. If it does, then when the auctioneer's hammer falls that represents an exchange of contracts and the successful bidder is legally obliged to pay a 10% deposit and sign a memorandum of sale before leaving the auction. Completion usually takes places 28 days later and the buyer is not in a position to re-negotiate any of the stipulated terms and buys the property "as seen". Structural surveys and searches would have to be made in advance by a bidder. Base Rate - The lowest rate of interest a bank will charge when it lends money, used as a benchmark to set interest rates for borrowers. This rate is set by the Bank of England and is reviewed several times a year. Lenders will charge borrowers a margin above the base rate. Bridging Loan – A loan that is used to cover the overlap between the purchase of a new property and the sale of an old one. This will be a short-term loan. Building Survey – Full inspection of the property, carried out by a chartered surveyor. A detailed report will follow highlighting the condition of the property and any issues/defects. Buildings Insurance – An insurance policy that pays the cost of repair or rebuild in the event of your property being destroyed or damaged. This needs to be purchased before completion of your new property. Buy-to-let Mortgage – A type of mortgage specifically for those purchasing a property with the intention of letting the property out. Capital – Amount of money either put into buying a property or the deposit placed on a property. Capital Appreciation – Growth in the value of a property over time. Capital Gains Tax – A tax on profits above a fixed level made from the sale of financial assets such as property or shares. Capped-rate mortgage – A mortgage that sets a maximum rate on interest that a lender can charge for a specified period. Chain – Where a buyer is reliant on the completion of sale of their current property before they can complete on a purchase of a new property. Commission – An estate agent’s fee for selling the property. Comparative Search – The search that looks at sale values for similar properties in the same area as your property. Completion Date – The date of which the money is transferred from the buyer’s to the seller’s solicitor. The buyer will also become the legal owner of their new property on this date. Conditions of Sale – Details that set out the rights and duties of the seller and buyer. Contents Insurance – Insurance that covers the contents of your home such as your furniture, carpets, equipment like laptops and televisions. Conveyancing – The legal process surrounding the transfer of ownership of a property from a seller to a buyer. Covenants – The rules and regulations governing a property – these are contained in its Title Deeds or Lease. Deeds – The legal documents that prove ownership of a property. Deposit – Initial funds used as a payment upfront to a bank/financial institution in the purchase of property. Also known as mortgage deposit. Detached – A property that stands alone, and therefore not attached to another property. Disbursements - Fees paid by the solicitors on the behalf of a buyer. Examples include land registry and search fees and stamp duty. Also known as Legal Fees. Discharge Fee – Paid to some lenders for releasing their hold over a property once you have paid off you loan. This often occurs if you pay off your mortgage early before the standard term has run out. However, this is not always the case. Down Valuation – Where a lender restricts the amount you can borrow as a result of a surveyors valuation report indicates the property is not worth the sum sought. Draft Contract – A preliminary version of the contract drawn up when the sale is first agreed. This is uncorroborated version that will need to be confirmed by the seller’s solicitor and set out the conditions. Draft Transfer – A legal document issued by the purchaser’s solicitors setting out the terms and conditions of sale. Early Repayment Charge – A charge issued by the lender as a penalty if a mortgage is paid off within a specific period. Endowment Mortgage – Interest-only repayments combined with monthly premiums into an endowment policy. This is designed to pay off the loan at the end of the term. Energy Performance Certificate – This certificate measures the energy efficiency of a property using a scale of A to G. It is now a legal requirement to have a valid EPC before a property can be marketed. Equity – The amount of money either put into buying a property or the deposit placed on a property which exceeds the amount of any money borrowed against the property. Exchange of Contracts – The point at which confirmed and signed (by both purchasers and sellers) are physically exchanged. Both the buyer and the seller are now legal bound to the sale and purchase of the property at the agreed price. Fixed Rate Mortgage – A mortgage in which the interest rate is fixed/set for an agreed term or period of time. Fixtures and Fittings – These are the non-structural items included in the purchase of a property. These can include (but not limited to) light fitments, central heating boilers and radiators, bathroom suites, kitchen units, TV aerials and satellite dishes. Flexible Mortgage – An arrangement whereby you can increase or decrease your mortgage payments. Freehold – Where the owner of a property also owns the land that it is built on. Gazumping – This occurs when a seller accepts a higher offer on a property when they have already agreed on an offer from someone, prior to the exchange of contracts. Gazundering – This occurs when a buyer reduced their agreed offer prior to exchanging contracts. An example could be that the buyer has discovered some issues with the property following a survey report that was carried out, and therefore reduces the offer agreed accordingly. Ground Rent – A charge from the freeholder to the leaseholder. Guarantor – Someone who promises and signs to agree to pay the borrower’s debt or rent is the borrower or tenant defaults. Higher Lending Charge – An upfront, one-off charge to a lender to protect them against the borrower defaulting on the loan. This usually occurs on mortgages that are over 75% of the property value. Houses in Multiple Occupancy – A building of three floors or more that is occupied by three of more people. These people live as more than one household but share the use of facilities such as bathrooms and cooking facilities. Individual Savings Account Mortgage (ISA) - Interest-only mortgage linked to an ISA fund, which is designed to pay off the loan at the end of the period. Inflation - The rise in prices over time. Interest Charges – The charges that banks make on a loan, calculated as a percentage of the borrowed amount. Interest-only Mortgage – Now only offered with very strict lending criteria and aren’t available to everyone. A type of mortgage where the borrower only repays the interest on the loan for the duration of its term and repays the full loan amount at the end of the mortgage period. Joint Tenants – A form of ownership of land or property where there are two parties. If one of them passes away, their share of the property will transfer automatically to the remaining party which then gives them full ownership. Land Certificate – This document is issued by the Land Registry to the owner of the registered land as proof of ownership. This land document will include a copy of the register and the plan showing the extent of the land. Land Registry Fee – To be paid by a solicitor on behalf of the buyer to register ownership of property with the Land Registry (if freehold). Therefore once you purchase the property, you are the legal owner of the land. Land Search – This is where a formal application of an inspection of the Land Registry register. A certificate will be issued to show the current situation of the land in question. Lease – The legal document by which the Freehold or Leasehold owner of a property lets the premises or a part of it to another party for a specified length of time. Once this expires, the ownership reverts to the Freeholder. Leasehold – Where a person(s) owns a property but only for a set number of years. When the lease expires, the property returns to the freeholder. This is most common with flats; however, houses can also be built on leasehold land. Legal Fees - Fees paid by the solicitors on the behalf of a buyer. Examples include Land Registry and search fees and Stamp Duty. Also known as ‘Disbursements’. Listed Building – A building which has special architectural or historic interest which is officially listed so that it cannot be demolished or altered without prior local government approval. Maintenance Charge – Also known as service charges. These charges are the cost of repairing and maintaining external or internal communal parts of a building. These costs are charged to the tenant or leaseholder. Maisonette – An apartment, usually over one or two floors, which is self-contained and in a larger house. It will have its own entrance from the outside. Mortgage – An amount of money advanced by a lender (usually a bank or building society) on the security of a property. This is repayable over a long period of time. Mortgage Payment Protection – Insurance designed to pay your monthly mortgage for a limited period if you are unable to work due to illness, redundancy or disability. This is usually for a year. NHBC Scheme – A building guarantee that is available on some new build homes. Under this guarantee, any defects that occur within a specified time after construction are remedied. Negative Equity – When a property has decreased in value to below the level for which a loan was secured on it. Offer – The sum of money a buyer offers to pay for a property. Offer of a Loan – A formal document approving the mortgage you have requested and detailing the Terms and Conditions that apply. Office Copy Entry – The official document from the Land Registry which confirms the ownership of and borrowings against a property. Open House Event – A day or period of time of a day where a property for sale is open to a number of applicants to view at the same time. Open Market Value – The price a property should be able to achieve where there is a willing buyer and seller. Re-Mortgage – This is the refinancing of a property either by switching a mortgage from one lender to another or by taking out a second mortgage to take advantage of any equity gained by the rise in value of the property. Redemption – When a mortgage is fully repaid. Repayment Mortgage – A mortgage where the monthly payments are used to repay the interest and reduce the outstanding capital.  This means that each month you’re paying off a small part of your mortgage. Repossession – This occurs when a mortgage lender takes possession of a property due to non-payment of the mortgage the property is secured against. Retention – Where a lender has the ability to hold back part of a mortgage until certain conditions are met. Searches – A request or enquiry for information about the property held by a local authority or by the Land Registry. Semi-Detached – A property which is joined to one other property – this will be a house or bungalow. Service Charge – These charges are paid by the owner to cover the cost of providing various services which include (but not limited to) maintenance or repair of the building, communal areas, heating, lighting or security. Share of Freehold – Where a limited company owns the freehold on which a property stands and the shareholders of that limited company are the owners of the property. Short-term Tenancy – Occupancy of a rental property that starts at one day and can last for a few weeks or a couple of months. Sitting Tenant – This refers to a tenant who occupies a rental property when there is a change of landlord or the landlord decides to sell. Sole Agent – When the seller has agreed to sell their property through one estate agent only. Stamp Duty – A government paid tax to be paid by the buyer on a property. Usually expressed as a percentage of the purchase price and will vary depending on the value of the property. Standard Variable Rate – Mortgage lenders standard rate of interest. This can go up or down in line with market rates such as the Bank of England base rate Surveys – Inspection of a property and reports that comments of the structural conditions and more depending of the survey of survey you commission. Studio Flat – A flat which consists of one room that contains the cooking, living and sleeping areas with a separate bathroom or shower room. Tenancy Agreement – A contract between a tenant and landlord. The tenancy agreement will outline the terms and conditions of the rental agreement. Tenure – Conditions on which a property is held, for example leasehold or freehold. Terraced House – A property that forms part of a connected row of houses. Title Deeds – The legal title documents that prove ownership of a property. These are transferred to the new owner on the sale of a property and a copy is held by the mortgage lender. Title Insurance – The insurance policy which a buyer can take out to allow a sale to complete where there is a potential problem with the documentation in proving legal ownership of some part of the land they are buying. Title Search – An investigation carried out by a conveyancer or solicitor into the history of ownership of a property. This search will check for liens, unpaid claims, restrictions and any other problems that may affect ownership. Tracker Mortgage – A mortgage where the interest charged by a lender is linked to a rate such as the Bank Of England base rate.  This means your payments can go up or down. Under Offer – A status of a property that is for sale and the sellers have accepted an offer from a buyer. This is the status given before the exchange of contracts. Valuation – A basic survey of a property which estimates the value of the property for mortgage purposes. Mortgage lenders will need to see this before lending. Variable Base Rate – The basic rate of interest charged on a mortgage. Vendor – The seller of a property. Yield – The income from a property that is calculated as a percentage of its value.

Apr 1, 2022 Buying Process - Stage 7 - Final stages of buying

Exchanging contracts can be so exciting – it is that point when the property becomes yours! Unfortunately it can also be very stressful. So we have some tips and advice to help you. Until this point, either yourself or the seller can pull out of the house sale without incurring any penalties. Only once the identical contracts between buyers and sellers is signed and formally exchanged by the solicitors, is the sale legally binding. Either side can still pull out after contracts have exchanged, however, there will usually be large penalties to do so. Contracts typically exchange between 5 and 28 days before completion (however, on some occasions, especially where cash buyers are involved, exchange and completion can sometimes occur on the same day). Everything needs to be in place at the time of exchanging contracts, therefore the following should be completed: Offer, including fixtures and fittings, has been agreed; All mortgage valuations and chosen surveys completed; Formal offer received in writing; Funds for mortgage deposit confirmed; All relevant searches completed by your solicitors; Buildings insurance purchased as you are now liable for the property; Funding for the contract deposit is now sorted; Date of completion agreed between the buyer and seller. This will need to be confirmed in writing and written into the contract. Please make sure you read the contract carefully and fully understand it before you sign. Once this checklist is completed, you are ready to agree on a date and time to exchange contracts. This is usually handled by your solicitor. Final steps to completion You have gone through a lot to get to this point. Just a few more big steps and you are done – you will be ready to take possession and move in. Here is the checklist you need before completion: Visit the property again before you complete to make sure all is in place – including your fixtures and fittings; A copy of the title deeds will need to go to your mortgage lender; If your property is a leasehold, you will need to inform the freeholder that you will be completing on the property; Notify the utility companies that you are now the owner of the property; Inform your banks, credit card, place of work, mobile phone company and the DVLA of your new address; Set up your a post-redirection; Arrange a time with the estate agency to pick up your new keys. Are you looking to move and need mortgage advice?  Have a look at the Just Mortgages website. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE. Howards introduce to Just Mortgages Direct Limited which is an appointed representative of The Openwork Partnership, a trading style of Openwork Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Just Mortgages Direct Limited Registered Office: Colwyn House, Sheepen Place, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3LD. Registered in England No. 2412345

Apr 1, 2022 Buying Process - Stage 6 - Surveying services

Once your offer is accepted, it is really important to have a survey carried out on that property to assist you in understanding the condition of that building and to establish if there are any problems that need to be addressed – i.e. whether the property you are going to buy is a good investment without structural faults. You are also likely to need a valuation report from the mortgage lender: Valuation report – Mortgage providers usually insist on a valuation report before they will agree to lend you the money. This is to confirm that the property is sufficient security to cover the loan. If your home is still being built, the mortgage provider will carry out some checks on the builder and development. They will usually release the mortgage in stages, handing over the final money once the home is finished and can be valued. There are three main types of survey, and it can be confusing to decide which type to choose. It predominantly depends on how much detail you require from the survey and the age of the building. Condition report: The most basic of the three surveys and most suited to newer, more modern houses in a good condition. Typically costs £150-£300. Provides an overview of the property’s condition and focuses on things like the roof, walls, windows, floors and stairs. Highlights significant problems but does not go into detail, therefore further investigation will be needed. Provides the condition of each element in a clear ‘traffic lights’ ratings, identifying problems that need varying degrees of attention. It does not include a valuation or insurance reinstatement. Homebuyer’s report: The most popular of the three surveys and is suitable for modern properties as well as older properties that are deemed to be in a reasonable condition. Typically costs between £250-£600. Will include maintenance advice as well as necessary repairs that are needed. A useful report for issues such as cracks, damp or subsidence. Highlights any areas that do not meet building regulations. Non-intrusive report so will only look at parts of the property that are readily available - not behind walls, loft space or under floorboards. It is worthwhile paying extra for this report if there are some concerns you have about the property you are going to buy. Buildings survey: This report is useful for older properties, rare or unusual properties, properties in a poor condition, properties in which you are planning significant work or for any major concerns you have with a property. Typically costs between £500 and £1,000. Provides a breakdown of the structure of a property and the condition. Provides detailed information on how the property has been constructed, the materials used, the condition of the foundations, roof and walls. Provides advice of the maintenance as well as necessary repairs are needed. A more intrusive report that will look at the loft/attic space as well as under the floorboards. For new build properties, a survey is not likely to be needed, however, for peace of mind you can ask for a New-Build Snagging survey to be carried out. This will be carried out by an independent inspector and typically cost between £150-£200. After deciding which type of survey is best for you always write to your surveyor to confirm your choice with details of the property and area. New homes often come with a guarantee such as Buildmark that insure against major defects resulting from the builder’s failure to carry out the guarantor’s requirements. If your new home does not come with a warranty, or you’d like the peace of mind that a structural survey brings, you could decide to commission a homebuyer’s report. When buying a very expensive home, it may be worth your while to arrange for a full structural survey. The cost and time to complete your survey will depend upon which type of survey you have commissioned, and the size, condition and location of your home. It is best to get two or three quotes from different surveyors in the area to assess market rate. You may also wish to speak to your estate agent about typical costs in the area. Next steps: Final stages of buying Take a look at our quick guide to the Final stage of buying YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE. Howards introduce to Just Mortgages Direct Limited which is an appointed representative of The Openwork Partnership, a trading style of Openwork Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Just Mortgages Direct Limited Registered Office: Colwyn House, Sheepen Place, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3LD. Registered in England No. 2412345

Apr 1, 2022 Buying Process - Stage 5 - Property lawyers

Instructing the right professionals to assist you in moving home is essential. Which is where Howards Legal Services comes in, with its popular fixed, no-move, no-fee policy. No-move, no-fee It's never too soon to instruct your conveyancer if you want a fast move. Thanks to Howards Legal Services, our no-move, no-fee basis means we can get a head start on all of the paperwork. Budget with confidence All our fees are fixed and agreed with you when you instruct us so you can budget with confidence for your move from the start. Howards Legal Services will only charge you if you move. If for any reason your sale or purchase falls through, we will not charge you anything for our time. In addition, any part of your upfront fee that has not been used to pay disbursements will be returned. The very best lawyers Our lawyers work to strict service standards and have years of experience of conveyancing to ensure they provide a fast, efficient and professional service backed by the highest levels of customer care at all times. Next steps: Surveying services Take a look at our quick guide to Surveying services

Apr 1, 2022 Buying Process - Stage 4 - Once the offer has been accepted

Once the offer has been accepted, it is worth asking the seller to take the property off the market to hopefully avoid other potential buyers from making offers. The estate agent will usually ask for details of your solicitor and mortgage offer in principle in order to action this. It is now time to get all the legal work and necessary surveys completed. Unless you are a cash buyer, you will need to complete the lenders application form and forward on any documentation required such as: Proof of address (for the length of time specified by the lender); Proof of identification; Your P60 and Proof of earnings (for the length of time specified by the lender); Bank statements (for the length of time specified by the lender); Utility bills (for the length of time specified by the lender). A mortgage valuation will be carried out on the property. To have a more detailed survey carried out, take a look at the different property surveys available. Once the valuer has completed the survey and sent the reports to the lenders, provided they are satisfied with the price agreed, you should receive your formal mortgage offer along with the square footage of the property and the re-instalment costs that you will need for your building insurance. Your solicitors will be busy progressing the draft contract of the house purchase and running searches on the property. You will also need to start looking for buildings insurance, as once the property has exchanged, you are then liable for the property. Are you in need of mortgage advice?  Get in touch with a Just Mortgages advisor to talk through your options. Next steps: Property lawyers Take a look at our quick guide to Property lawyers YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE. Howards introduce to Just Mortgages Direct Limited which is an appointed representative of The Openwork Partnership, a trading style of Openwork Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Just Mortgages Direct Limited Registered Office: Colwyn House, Sheepen Place, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3LD. Registered in England No. 2412345

Apr 1, 2022 Buying Process - Stage 3 - Making an offer

When you find a property that you really like, even love, it is time to make an offer. Before you make an offer Before making an offer on a house you should do some research and have some fundamental things in place: A mortgage agreed in principle Unless you are a cash buyer, you should have accepted an offer on the property you are selling – sellers won’t take you seriously otherwise (unless they’re desperate) Find out how much similar properties in the local area have recently sold for Ask how long the house has been on the market, or how quickly the sellers want to move. They may be prepared to accept a low offer if they want a quick sale or the property has struggled to find a buyer. Sign up today to be among the first to know about property for sale in your area. Things to consider when making an offer Keep your emotions in check when viewing a house – if a vendor knows that you have fallen head over heels in love with their property, they are more likely to hold out for a higher offer from you. Don’t let your heart rule your head. If you have a budget stick to it.  Offering more than you can afford may get you your dream home, but it could turn into a nightmare if the bills are too much. How to make an offer on a house How much should you offer? The research you have done will help you get a feel for the level to pitch your offer. If the estate agent has told you that other buyers are interested, you might feel that you want to offer close to the asking price. If you think there is less competition for the property or the sellers want a quick sale, it may be worth offering 2-3% lower than the asking price. Making an offer before selling your property It is possible to do this, but unless a seller is desperate to accept an offer they are unlikely to consider yours. Not having your property under offer means that you are not in a position to proceed with a purchase. Estate agents and sellers may only allow you to book a viewing if your property is under offer. If there is high demand for a property ask yourself why a seller would choose to accept your offer? How to submit your offer It is usual practice to make your offer for the property over the phone. An estate agent will usually ring you soon after a viewing anyway. You could confirm your offer in writing via email, but this is not necessary until an offer has been accepted. What happens after the offer? After submitting your offer an estate agent will contact the vendor and get their response. The agent will let you know very quickly whether it has been accepted or not. If it hasn’t it will be up to you to decide what to do next; whether to make an improved offer or to end your interest in the property. Frequently asked questions Can I make an offer without a mortgage in principle? Again, it is technically possible to make an offer a house without having agreed a mortgage in principle with a mortgage lender. However, it is seen as more or less essential by sellers when reviewing offers. It confirms that a lender thinks that you can afford the repayments on a mortgage and is willing to offer you a mortgage in principle for the amount required to buy the home in which you are interested. Can I make multiple offers on different houses? You can do this, but again it is fraught with ethical issues. What if the offers on both properties are accepted? Assuming you only want to buy one house, it won’t go down well with one of the sellers if you withdraw from one of the prospective purchases. Although nothing is legally binding until you exchange contracts, buying a house brings with it certain responsibilities. If the sellers are in a chain other parties are involved, potentially spending hundreds of thousands of pounds, so you will not be very popular. It is always best to focus your attention on one property at a time when making an offer on a house. Can I offer over the asking price? There is no science to making offers on a property. Most opening bids will be lower than the asking price, but you will have to judge whether the property is priced fairly, how much interest it is attracting and how much you want it. Starting your bidding at over the asking price could encourage the seller to reject your offer – not because it is too low, but because they think they can get more from you. Should I get a mortgage in principle before making an offer? It is always advisable to have made an initial application with a mortgage provider. It proves that you can afford to fund the prospective purchase and indicates to the seller that you are serious and not wasting their time. Next steps: Once the offer has been accepted You should ask the agent to take the property off the market as soon as your offer is accepted. Check that they have done this. If they are still marketing the property you should ask why. You will need to instruct a solicitor and make a formal mortgage application. Contact your local Howards branch for help with your property search If you are interested in buying a property contact your local branch today. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE. Howards introduce to Just Mortgages Direct Limited which is an appointed representative of The Openwork Partnership, a trading style of Openwork Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Just Mortgages Direct Limited Registered Office: Colwyn House, Sheepen Place, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3LD. Registered in England No. 2412345

Feb 27, 2022 Buying Process - Stage 2 - Viewing a property

Viewing a property is exciting and key to finding the right home for you. However, there are still some essential things you need to look for to make sure it is right for you.  Here are our top tips: Remember to thoroughly look over the outside of a property as well as the interior; Even if you are buying alone, take someone with you on a viewing to get another pair of eyes looking for things you may miss; Check for damp. It can be a big concern and expensive to remedy if you miss it. Look out for mould, musty smells or dark patches on walls and ceilings; Don’t forget about the structure of the property. Keep an eye out for cracks, even hairline cracks, on the walls, around windows and doors and on the ceilings. These may need further investigation. If in doubt, get a full structural survey carried out on the property to put your mind at rest; Many people think that having a mortgage valuation means they have had a full structural survey carried out on the property. Unfortunately this is not the case. Take a look at the different property surveys available; Allow yourself plenty of time, not just to view the property but also to look around the local neighbourhood and the amenities available in the area; Have more than one viewing so that you can see anything you may have missed on the first viewing and ask any further questions you may now have. It can also be helpful to view the property at different times of the day to see any changes in different lights or surrounding area noise and traffic levels; If there is any ambiguity over anything, such as rights of way, parking availability, ownership of the garden etc., ensure any answers to your queries are answered in writing. Are you looking for mortgage advice?  Have a look at the Just Mortgages website for more information. Next steps: Offer accepted. What's next? Take a look at our quick guide to Offer accepted: What's next? YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE. Howards introduce to Just Mortgages Direct Limited which is an appointed representative of The Openwork Partnership, a trading style of Openwork Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Just Mortgages Direct Limited Registered Office: Colwyn House, Sheepen Place, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3LD. Registered in England No. 2412345