Who’s who in the house buying process?

The Lender

Most people will need to borrow money to purchase a property. It is helpful to know in advance of your property search how much you can afford. For independent advice it is useful to go to an Independent financial adviser who can look at what is available from all the lenders.

Prior to putting an offer in on a property it is worth having an ‘AIP’ agreement in principle from the lender.

The process can be slowed down if you do not have all your documentation together, this will include proof of I.D, 3 months bank statements and payslips. If you are self-employed you will need 2 years accounts.

The Estate Agent

Our job is to negotiate between the buyer and seller to achieve a price acceptable to both parties. Once this has been agreed we issue a Memorandum of sale to both the buyer and seller and both sets of solicitors. A key part of our job is then to progress the sale through to completion which involves liaising with all parties and accurately reporting information to all parties through the process. Once contracts are exchanged everyone can relax a bit. On completion day the solicitor contacts us as soon as the money is in, at which point we organise to meet the new owners at the property with the keys. This is where we are different from the usual estate agent who would get you to collect the keys from their office, which can make the process more stressful.

The solicitor 

Their job is to check title deeds or leases and carry out searches about the property’s surrounding area. They should also check through surveys and make sure the transaction is legally sound. People often use a solicitor they have used previously or through recommendation. We have solicitors that we recommend and our established relationship makes vital communication easier, they also offer competitive rates.

There is also no need to choose a local solicitor as most of the communication will be done by phone or email.

There is no set time as to how long this process can take. Again, though the buyer and seller can speed the process up by ensuring all paperwork required is provided promptly.

The Surveyor

There are 3 main types of survey.

The Home Condition survey – carried out by trained surveyors and gives buyers a plain English report on the condition of the property using a simple rating system.

The RICS homebuyer report – this gives a reasonably detailed report on the condition of the property and highlights any problems.

Building Survey report – Comprehensive and very detailed report.

Mortgage lenders will also require a mortgage valuation but this may not be released to the buyer. This valuation is basically a tick box exercise to confirm the value of the property.

When a report comes back surveyors should be more than happy to discuss and explain their findings.

The Removals Company

Normally recommendation is a good starting point in finding a removal company. Or often people use someone they have used before. A lot of people hire a van and move themselves. If you plan to do this we always recommend loading as much as possible the night before. There is always so much more to do than you think.

Once you have found a company they will discuss different levels of service provided and visit your home to provide a quote. Prior to the move they should also provide packing materials.

On the day of the move removal men should be there bright and early and aim to have the property empty by midday.


Blog by Sharon Westman