First Time Buyers


You've made the decision to take the bold steps onto the property ladder; exciting times lie ahead! As with so many aspects of life it feels as though everybody has an opinion on what you should (or should not!) do; similarly we've all heard of "the nightmare purchase" that your friends' friend had and the stress-free one that another friend or relative experienced! Tylers seek to make the process as straightforward as possible, providing advice where required and guidance throughout the process, avoiding jargon and unnecessary fuss. We firmly believe that you should be able to talk through any queries regarding your purchase in confidence of receiving sound advice from experts with many years of experience. From the moment that your offer is accepted until the time you collect your keys you will deal with an experienced member of our team; you will always be treated as an individual, not "just another buyer".The property market is continually evolving with the Government having announced no stamp duty charge for first time buyers purchasing upto £300,000 as opposed to a charge from a base of £125,000 for those moving up or down market, new mortgage products, proliferation of energy performance certificates, chancel searches and suchlike all adding to the potential for confusion. To assist we have compiled a guide to the process; please read at your leisure and feel free to contact our experienced team at either branch for further information or advice.

Buying A Property - What Happens Next?

After taking the decision to buy your first home it can feel both exciting and perhaps a little overwhelming as to what to do next.

Initially it is worth deciding what the "essential" and "desirable" features of the property would be; a reasonably comprehensive list of criteria will assist us in matching you to the suitable properties.

It is worthwhile taking advice from financial advisers as to your financial buying power; an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) will be able to source mortgages from the entire market of lenders and advise which are the most suitable for you. This will save a significant amount of time and effort! The adviser can also provide advice on buildings and contents insurance, payment protection and life cover. We work closely with Stuart Nunn Mortgages; their local representatives Andy Peacock and Elisabeth von Hippel can be contacted on 01223 214400 or 01638 660303 for an informal chat without pressure or obligation.

Your first contact with estate agents will probably be with members of staff known as negotiators. These are the public face of agency and are there to help and guide you, but remember they are working for the owner! They will be pleased to arrange appointments to view properties listed with us for the purpose of inspecting their suitability. Sometimes the owner will show you around the property, on other occasions a Tylers representative will meet you there, although at weekends they may not be experts in all the homes we have available. Please ask questions when you feel it necessary; at Tylers we may research the answers and call you back rather than simply guessing! You can expect to hear from a negotiator the day after your viewing appointment to establish your opinions on the property; the purpose of this is to check whether the property suits you, or what you would change to make it fit your requirements. With the benefit of this feedback we may, of course, be able to find a more suitable home for you.

When you decide that you have found the right property, it's time to put an offer forward to the seller (often called vendor) via our team of negotiators.

There is certain information which you will be asked to supply to assist the seller in making a decision to accept or reject your bid:-

  • Your "buying position"- is your offer subject to another sale?
  • Your financial position - do you require a mortgage and has it been "agreed in principle" by a lender?
  • Do you expect items such as carpets, curtains, white goods, or furniture to be left or indeed removed by the seller? Is the offer subject to this?
  • Is there a timescale within which you must move, or a time before which you cannot move?
  • The price which you are prepared to pay for the house.

We will report the details of your offer to the vendor and confirm to both parties in writing. If the offer is rejected we will tell you why; you have the opportunity to revise terms and submit an alternative bid if you wish to do so. At this stage the offer is "subject to contract" and not legally binding to either party but we expect both vendor and potential purchaser to act in a professional and moral way throughout.

When your offer is accepted we will ask you for your solicitors" details; it is entirely at your discretion which firm to employ. We would be pleased to make recommendations of firms who provide a good service if you would find this helpful. We have dealings with many firms on a day to day basis and can advise which we feel are most suitable. It is important that the solicitors are instructed promptly; once appointed we will withdraw the property from the open market and confirm details in writing to all parties.

At this stage you will be familiar with and trust the negotiator dealing with the sale; they will look after the transaction to ensure as smooth a move as possible - keeping you up to date with developments on your purchase, with the rest of the "chain" if there is one and generally advising, guiding and informing. If you have any questions (regardless of how trivial they may seem!) please contact us as we are here to help.

We, your solicitor and financial adviser will ask you to provide proof of your identity in order to comply with money laundering regulations. Your solicitor may also ask you for funds to cover "out of pocket disbursements". These are the searches which they will conduct to tell you more about the area that the property is located in and any responsibilities which it may have. Your financial adviser may ask for a survey fee to satisfy both you and your lender that it is a fair price paid and that the basic structure is sound.

It is not uncommon for searches to reveal planning applications on nearby properties which the solicitor will discuss with you, and sometimes potential historic obligations to maintain the chancel of a local church!! These issues are generally resolved by a simple insurance policy; arranged by the solicitor, called an indemnity. , these are: • Basic Valuation - all that is required for mortgage lenders purposes and suitable for properties still under NHBC guarantee (10 years). This will only point out major defects. • Valuation and "Homebuyer" survey - significantly more detailed but also more expensive to commission. This report highlights further potential issues and may recommend further specialist surveys such as "damp and timber", "electrical", or "gas safe- gas inspection" This survey is recommended for properties over 10 years old. • Full Structural Survey - a comprehensive, detailed report generally without valuation element to it recommended for unusual older properties, those obviously in a dilapidated state and conversions.

For advice and recommendation as to the most appropriate survey for your purchase please contact Tylers residential team on (01223) 214400, (01223) 235111, (01954) 260952 or (01638) 660303. We will be pleased to recommend a number of reputable local firms of Chartered Surveyors.

Your solicitor will raise enquiries (ask questions) of the sellers solicitor and other parties (such as the local council etc.). When they have all of the replies, your mortgage offer from the lender, the "fixtures fittings and contents" form - an inventory compiled by the seller of which items are staying and which are going, they will provide you with a comprehensive "report on title" for you to read. They may ask that you visit them in the office to review the report with them and ask you to sign the documents.

Signing the contract, transfer document (TR1) which transfers the property to your name, mortgage deed, etc does not in itself tie you into the transaction. It is prudent to do this as soon as possible; even if others in the chain are not quite ready. The solicitor will hold these documents – signed - in the utmost good faith that they will not execute the "exchange of contracts" without your express consent to do so. Failure to sign in advance can cause minor delays when everybody else is ready if your solicitor does not have an available time to see you for a day or two!!

In order to effect the exchange - which is conducted over the telephone and confirmed in writing by the solicitor - you will have to have paid your deposit to them. The deposit funds must be "cleared funds" - a personal cheque can take over a week to clear thereby delaying exchange of contracts. It is recommended that you pay the deposit via the CHAPS system through your bank to the solicitors" client holding account. A bankers draft is also considered to be as good as cash.

When contracts are exchanged the transaction becomes legally binding on both parties, the completion date is set and the solicitor will order the mortgage funds from the bank to be ready for completion day. It's time to start packing and choosing which colours to paint your new home!

Completion usually takes place in the late morning with the seller generally aiming to be out of the property (leaving it clean!) by lunchtime. Tylers will have discussed with you the arrangements for transfer of keys; either direct from the seller or from a Tylers office.

Now it’s time to find that perfect home…please call any Tylers office or pop in for a coffee and a chat.

We look forward to helping you.

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