FAQs for Buyers
Take a look at our FAQ’s below answering some of the most commonly asked questions from buyers.
I want to buy a property. What are the first steps?
Before you start browsing the market, identify what your budget will be. Ascertain the cash element you are able to put towards your purchase price. This is often referred to as the deposit. Consult with an independent broker or directly with your bank/building society. A broker will be able to provide a selection of products from a selection of lenders and source the best mortgage deal for you by shopping around. If you have a property you need to sell before you can buy, it is important that you speak to an estate agent and have it valued.
Once you have established your deposit and mortgage capability you will be able to carry out a more targeted property search.
If I already have a property, do I need to sell this first?
If you are relying on the funds from selling your existing home to purchase another property, we recommend that you at least have it on the market, though ideally you would have accepted an offer for it. This will give you more credibility as a serious buyer, with the estate agents that you want to view other properties with, but also with sellers of properties that you are interested in. The other advantage of having agreed a sale on your own property is that your budget for buying your next flat or house will be clearly defined.
A common misconception is that accepting an offer on your property might lead to you to being homeless if you cannot find another property to buy! This is certainly not the case. You would only exchange contracts with your buyer when you are ready to exchange contracts on your purchase. Only then is there a legal commitment to proceed.
How much deposit do I need to pay?
Typically, 10% of the property’s sale price is required to be paid on exchange of contracts. The remainder of any cash input, together with funds from your mortgage will be paid on completion of the sale which takes place on an agreed date following exchange of contracts
How do I book a property viewing?
It’s easy to book a property viewing with Hotblack Desiato. Simply contact us, either by filling out the contact form on the property page of our website, sending us an email, or by phone.
How do I make an offer?
Before making an offer, you need to make sure that you’ll be accepted for a mortgage.
It’s really easy to submit your offer – we will forward to you our Offer Form asking you to confirm the amount you wish to offer, the size of the deposit you intend to put towards the purchase price and that you have a mortgage agreed in principle. Where a mortgage is required, we will also ask that you provide your broker’s contact details. As part of our compliance obligations, we will need to know how the cash element of the purchase price was obtained e.g. inheritance, savings, help from family. All the information you provide will assist in substantiating your offer to the Seller.
When do I need to instruct a solicitor?
If you have not already done so, you will need to find a solicitor once your offer has been accepted, it’s time to find a solicitor. We will be able to recommend local reputable solicitors that we worked with before – however, you may choose your own solicitor if you prefer.
When do I pay the deposit?
The deposit payment is usually handled by your solicitor and is paid just prior exchange of contracts. Your solicitor will inform you when you need to transfer to them the balance of any cash element of your purchase price.
How much will Stamp Duty cost?
Under normal circumstances, buyers don’t have to pay Stamp Duty on properties costing £125000 or less. For first-time buyers, this is £300,000. If the property costs more, you’ll have to pay stamp duty, which is set on a sliding scale according to the property value.
Non first time buyers – 2% on any amount over125,000 and up to £250,000
5% on any amount over £250000 ( or over £300000 for first time buyers) up to £925,000
10% on any amount over £925,000 up to £1,500,000
12% on any amount over £1,500,000
What happens at the exchange of contracts?
At the end of the conveyance process, it is time to exchange contracts. As a buyer, you will sign a copy of the same contract as the seller, then it’s the solicitors’ job to exchange the contracts on your behalf. This is usually done over the telephone once your solicitor has received the signed contract and deposit. At this stage, the purchase becomes legally binding.
When can I move into my new home?
You can move into your home on the day of completion. This is a date approved by all parties involved, and it is when you will be handed the keys to the property. This happens only when we are authorised to do so by the Seller’s solicitor, once they have received all the monies.
What happens to the title deeds?
The title deeds are usually held by your solicitor for a few months after the sale is complete, before being passed to your mortgage lender. The lender holds onto the deeds until the mortgage has been repaid.
If you are looking to buy a property in North London, we have an extensive selection of properties for sale. Visit one of our branches today or contact one of our expert estate agents for more information on available properties.