Helmores guide to buying property

Our Guide to buying

We’ve put together this simple step-by-step guide to help give you an understanding of the buying process.  It is by no means exhaustive but covers the essential basics of buying a property.

Remember, we’re on hand to help you through the entire journey from A to B, and we’ll do our utmost to make the process as smooth as possible.


The Mortgage

Most lenders will require a 5-10% deposit. If you already have savings or you are using equity from your existing property, that’s great. If not, you’d better get saving (or ask for a loan from the bank of mum & dad!). At this point we advise that you talk to one of our recommended Independent Mortgage Advisors who will do all the hard work for you. They will find the best available mortgage on the market for your circumstances.

There are many elements to consider – both now and in the future. If you have an existing mortgage it may be possible to “port” it over to your new home, or it might pay to start again with another lender. Again, this is something that our IFA’s can talk to you about.


Make a List

Everyone has their own unique idea of what makes a perfect property. Is a garden essential to your lifestyle, or do you need a certain number of bedrooms? Do you need parking? Are you a city lover or hanker after a countryside retreat? Make a property wish list, as this will help us to match your needs with the right property for you.

Let us know what sort of area you want to focus your search in – work out your requirements and which are most important. This could include living near local schools or good access to transport links. Bear in mind, though, that you probably won’t find everything on your list at any one property, so be realistic and know your priorities.


Start Viewing

Once you’ve done your homework, come and talk to us – we’re are a free source of local information and we will work hard to match as many elements on your wish list with available properties. When you start viewing, however, we recommend keeping an open mind, as some properties will capture your heart even without all the boxes ticked.
We also list all of our properties on the internet, so you can register your requirements on our website for regular updates as to what is coming on the market.
We’re here to help you find the right property, however long it takes! If there’s nothing out there for you right now don’t worry - we’ll keep searching for you.


Agreeing a Purchase

Ok, so you’ve found the ideal property, now it’s time to make an offer. Depending on how keen you are on the property and whether you have competition from other buyers, you may want to offer the full asking price straight away, or you may want to try a lower offer.

We’ll submit your offer to our vendor for their decision. Once a purchase has been agreed we’re ready to move onto the next step!


Getting the mortgage underway

Your next port of call should be your mortgage broker or lender, so that you can complete a full mortgage application for the property you are purchasing.


The Legal Bit

Conveyancing is the legal term for the process of buying and selling residential properties. The laws which apply can be complicated and this is where a solicitor, licensed Conveyancer or Legal Executive can help and so should be involved as early as possible. We have close links to a trusted network of local solicitors, and can put you in touch with any of them.


Valuation and Survey

Your mortgage lender will want to carry out a mortgage valuation to ensure the property is being sold for a reasonable price, and a survey to check the building is in respectable order to be sold.
Make sure you go through the survey thoroughly, but remember, a surveyor is there to find fault with the property and sometimes their lingo can be a bit frightening. It’s important to keep things in perspective and if you are in any doubt, call the surveyor to discuss it. We may also be able to help, so please don’t hesitate to call us.


Exchange of Contracts

Once all of the necessary checks have been carried out by your solicitor and the mortgage offer is in place, you will be asked to sign a contract legally committing you to the purchase.

At this point you will need to pay a deposit for the property, which is usually 5-10% of the purchase price. A date is agreed for completion and is usually 2-4 weeks after exchange which gives time for you to arrange your moving plans!


Start Planning the Move!

Careful organisation and forward-planning can go a long way in minimising the stress of moving house. There’s a lot to think about, so in order to keep track of everything, we would recommend you make a plan or a moving checklist. Be realistic about the amount of things you have accumulated over time. Now is an ideal time to have a major sort out and donate anything in good condition to charity (some will even collect) or recycle those items that aren’t.

Once you have identified how much you will need to move, you can look into either hiring a van or booking a removals company. Again, we can put you in touch with some excellent local people.



Completion takes place and finally your dream home is YOURS, and you can breathe a big sigh of relief!!

Your solicitor should let you know when the sale is completed, and following this we’ll arrange the keys for you. You can start moving into your amazing new home!