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Choosing an agent - FAQs

Frequently asked questions about the property buying & selling process
 

1)      Do I have to have a survey done?
In most cases only a basic valuation is insisted by the mortgage lender however your solicitor will usually advise that a home buyers or full structural survey is carried out.
 

2)      At what stage do I get my mortgage in place? 
It is often a good idea to see an independent mortgage broker before you view or offer on properties. They will help ascertain whether you can be confident in securing a mortgage according to your circumstances. Sometimes they will organize a decision in principle from a selected lender.
 

3)      When do I instruct a solicitor? 
It is a good idea to formerly instruct a solicitor/conveyancer early on in the process. Some will operate on a no sale no fee basis. Most will not charge any fees to instruct them however they may want monies on account in lieu of disbursements i.e. local authority searches etc.
 

4)      Should I buy a leasehold property?

Most flats are leasehold and thousands are sold everyday in the UK usually via a smooth process. You are obligated to pay ground rent to the freeholder. It is important to find out how long the lease is as this will affect the value of the property. Most leases are roughly 99 years but you can get an extension at a cost or you maybe able to purchase the freehold. You may also have to pay maintenance fee and service charge.
 

5)      What is meant by checking the chain?

You maybe be involved in a chain of properties dependent on each other. All properties in the chain need to exchange simultaneously. It is advised to check how many properties in the chain and that it is problem free.
 

6)      At what stage should I take my property off the market?

It depends on the individual. Some estate agents will encourage you to wait until you have had a valuation or survey carried out by your purchasers. Other agents will insist on a deposit being taken from the prospective purchasers. It is important though that the agent qualifies the purchaser to feel confident that they have the means
 

7)      What is Gazumping?

It is where a seller accepts an offer from one buyer only to accept a higher offer from someone else later on. Although it is not illegal it (as nothing is legally binding until exchange of contracts) it is fortunately a rare occurrence.
 

8)      What is a let to buy?

This is where the lender allows you to let your existing property out whilst buying a new property to live in. You would need to check in most cases that the existing mortgage lender allows this arrangement. Not having to sell your property to buy a new one can be advantageous in a buyers market. You maybe able to raise the deposit from your existing property and sell it at a later and possibly more favorable time.
 

9)      When do I need to pay the Stamp Duty?

The stamp duty is paid on completion of the mortgage usually via your Solicitor.
 

10)  Can I use the same solicitor to sell and buy a property?

In most cases your solicitor would be pleased to act for you on both transactions. You can usually negotiate a discounted fee if they do both.

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Agent Tracker Ltd, 41 High Road, South Woodford, London, E18 2QP. Company Number: 7063104 (England).  
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