Step By Step Buying Guide

1. Arrange your finances

Before you start to view properties and start your property search it is advisable to arrange your finances and have a mortgage in principle agreed. You will need to produce evidence of finances and mortgage offer once you formally offer on a property and if you do not have something in place you could loose your dream property. Its also a good idea to know how much you can borrow and also what the best deal available is to you. Its always a good idea to shop around even if you do have something in place as the best case scenario is that you can save money and when it comes to buying a house there can be huge savings over the life of the mortgage.

At Foreign Homes we have a recommended broker that can search the entire market to find you the best deal without being restricted to anyone in particular unlike other brokers. They also have many exclusive deals and rates that are not available to everyone. Call us on 0208 9320 955

  • Can you recommend a broker who deals with the entire market?
  • Can they call me at times that suit me as I work late?
  • Will they give me a free no obligation quote?
  • Are they able to come and see me?
  • Will they be able to quote me quickly so I can start viewing?
  • Will they be working for me so I get the best deal?


2. Register with us

Your very first step in finding the right property is to register with us. With a huge choice of properties to choose from a simple call, email or visit to one of our offices will ensure our team understands what you require to get the results you need. When registering with any agent it is important to know if they are TPO registered, otherwise you could be at risk and the agent may not be covered by a redress scheme. Always ask and make sure if the agent is registered to the TPO. If they are not then do not put yourself at risk.

  • Is the agent registered with TPO?
  • Does the agent have a huge range of properties to choose from?
  • Is the agent available when I am?
  • Does the agent have detailed images and information on the website?
  • Will my agent chauffeur me round to each property in a safe and comfortable car?
  • Will I get up to date alerts for new properties?


3. Finding the right property

After a short chat with one of our team or registering online we will start sending you the properties you are looking for, either by email, SMS or a simple phone call. We have such a huge choice of properties to choose from along with the specialist area and property knowledge of our consultants who will make sure that you don’t miss anything.

  • Is my consultant knowledgeable about the area?
  • Has my consultant taken time to understand my requirements?
  • Do I have direct line, mobile and email contact for my dedicated consultant?
  • Will my estate agent find the right property for me?
  • Will my agent be able to recommend a Mortgage Broker so I can compare rates?
  • Am I ready to make a decision if I see the right place today?


4. Do you need a Short Let?

A Short let is ideal for those looking for a residential solution in the short term, typically up to 6 months. It’s a great alternative to the more expensive hotels or serviced apartments and is popular with those visiting London, moving home, or just getting to know an area. It can also be great solution as a gap filler until your perfect place is available, just in case the dates don’t match.

  • Is the property furnished and ready to move into?
  • I’m visiting London on a short trip will a short let be right for me?
  • My property has been damaged will a short let work whilst my home is being repaired?
  • Is a short let a good alternative to a hotel?
  • I am looking for a long term rental and need a place to stay until I find something
  • I am looking for a place to buy and need something flexible until we complete?


5. Successful Viewings

Our accredited consultants work around the times when you’re available. Our offices are open late on weekdays and every Saturday so that we’re around at times that suit you. You will be chauffeured around in our company cars from property to property and our consultants will advise you on the local area and benefits of each property so you can make an informed decision. It is advisable to view as soon as possible so that you don’t miss out on the ideal property as the sales market in London moves very fast.

  • I finish work late can you still do viewings around my schedule?
  • Will you drive me from property to property in a safe car?
  • I want to know about the surrounding area, are you knowledgeable enough to help me?
  • I want a professional who is accredited and serious about finding me my next home?
  • I may also be looking for a Buy to Let Investment in London can you help?
  • I am a first time buyer and need help through the buying process. Can you help?


6. Instructing a Solicitor

Having a good solicitor is key to the buying process as it could be the difference between completing and loosing on your ideal property. Most transactions fall through because of inexperienced solicitors.

Foreign Homes can recommend solicitors who are experienced and have a great track record so you have complete peace of mind during the entire process.

  • Will you be able to recommend a solicitor that has a proven track record?
  • Will you recommend a solicitor who will be diligent, speedy and responsive?
  • Can you introduce me to a solicitor at the start of the buying process so I am prepared?
  • Will the solicitor be experienced in conveyancing?



7. Making an Offer

When you find the perfect property we will present your offer to the seller both verbally and in writing with any special conditions. We will also confirm your financial position so that we can confirm that you are able to proceed if the offer is agreed subject to contract. There are no legal obligations at this stage on either side until contracts are signed.

At this stage it is advisable to have your financial details and solicitors details to hand so that you can demonstrate that you are a serious buyer and are ready to proceed. Sellers are always looking at how serious a buyer is so make sure you have everything ready.

  • Should I have my mortgage brokers details ready at this point?
  • Should I have my solicitors details ready at this point?
  • By putting an offer in I am not legally committed to anything at this stage?
  • Can I put any special conditions forward at this point i.e. if I want to buy the furniture?
  • Can I make an offer without coming into the office If I am busy at work?
  • Will you still be my point of contact at Morgan Randall if I need anything?


8. Offer Agreed

Once the offer is agreed we will do the following:

Prepare a memorandum of sale
Write to all parties to confirm the agreed price
Confirm your solicitors and mortgage brokers details

You will now need to instruct your chosen solicitor, as they will need to oversee all the legal aspects of your purchase. You’ll also need to contact your mortgage broker and give them the full details of your purchase in order for you to proceed with your application.

  • Will you confirm everything in writing?
  • Will you send the details of the property and seller to my solicitor?
  • Will you oversee the sales process so that things run smoothly
  • Will you be able to give me rental valuation if I require one
  • Will you be able to sell my property if It’s in your service area
  • Will you keep in touch with me until the sale is completed?

9. Conveyancing

A solicitor will ensure that you legally own the property you are buying and will oversee the transfer of funds from the parties involved. Your solicitor will be a key mediator along with Foreign Homes and will do the following:

Raise any enquiries on receipt of the draft contract from the sellers solicitor
Request their own local searches
Refer to the information provided in the sellers pack
Advise on all matters through to completion
Agree on a date for exchange of contracts and completion

You will now need to instruct your chosen solicitor, as they will need to oversee all the legal aspects of your purchase. You’ll also need to contact your mortgage broker and give them the full details of your purchase in order for you to proceed with your application.

Foreign Homes will assist your solicitor throughout the process and ensure that everything runs smoothly so you can get through the process as quickly as possible.

  • Will my consultant keep in touch with my solicitor?
  • Will my consultant help mediate if there are any questions or issues along the way?
  • Will my solicitor make sure I legally own the property?
  • Will my solicitor make sure that my money is transferred properly to the seller?
  • Will my solicitor tell me when it is possible to exchange contracts?
  • Will my solicitor tell me if there are any problems with the searches?


10. Survey and Mortgage Offer

Most buyers instruct a survey and if you are obtaining a mortgage then this will be essential. A surveyor will visit the property you want to purchase to fully evaluate the building condition to see if there are any structural issues and also advise on the propertys value. The surveyor will file a report that goes to the mortgage lender and to you, the buyer.

Once your mortgage lender has received its copy of the report, they will issue a formal mortgage offer – a copy will be sent to you and to your solicitor. Make sure you sign this and return it as soon as possible. You will now need to instruct your chosen solicitor, as they will need to oversee all the legal aspects of your purchase. You’ll also need to contact your mortgage broker and give them the full details of your purchase in order for you to proceed with your application.

There are no legal obligations until contracts are signed.

  • Will a survey tell me if there are any structural issues with the property?
  • Will the survey tell me what the value of the property should be?
  • Will my mortgage offer be subject to the survey report?
  • If I am a cash buyer can I still arrange for a survey to be done?
  • Will I get to see a copy of the survey report?


11. Exchange of Contracts

Once all the enquiries have been answered and your solicitor has received a formal mortgage offer, exchange of contracts can take place. Upon receipt of a contract signed by both parties, your deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) will be telegraphically transferred to the seller’s solicitor.

You can now also agree a completion date with the sellers by mutual consent, which is the date you hope to move in once the money has cleared.

12. Completion

Completion is when the remaining 90% of the purchase price is transferred to the sellers solicitors and your solicitor confirms this has been executed.

Foreign Homes can release the keys as soon as we have received confirmation of the monies being received by the seller.

Congratulations, you are now the legal owner of your beautiful new home.


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