Buying property – the process
We have a wealth of diverse properties for sale in Clifton and surrounding areas. Whether you’re after your first home, a family home, new build or a buy to let investment, let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll take it from there.
On the web
Search our current property for sale in Bristol by using the quick search.
Drop into our Clifton Office or give us a call
Talk to one of our experienced sales negotiators.
We don’t just bring buyers and sellers together. We can recommend independent mortgage advisors to help with your finance, as well as independent surveyors and valuers. Find out more about every stage of your move with our step by step guide to buying a property.
- Step 1: Homework
- Step 2: Finances
- Step 3: Find the right property
- Step 4: Make an Offer
- Step 5: Sales Agreed
- Step 6: Finalising your mortgage
- Step 7: Exchange of Contracts
- Step 8: Completion
STEP 1: Homework
We’ve a mix of flats and houses for sale across Bristol right now, so before you start your search, it helps to put some thought into exactly what you’re looking for.
Make a list of what’s important to you, including the essentials and the things that are just nice to have, and go from there.
If you’re buying to let, think about what your tenants would like. For example, students might want somewhere central with easy access to local nightlife, while for a young family open space and good schools might be more important.
If you’re buying a property, it’s likely you’ll own the place for a while, so location is doubly important. Do you want to be near work? In a leafy neighbourhood or in central Bristol? Do you want local shops and restaurants? Are good schools important to you?
Make a list of the postcodes or even streets that appeal to you and take time at a weekend to have a good look round the areas with flats and houses for sale.
Contact Property Concept online or by phone to find out about what’s going on in your area.
Getting around in your chosen area can be just as important as the area itself. Are you happy to travel some distance to work or do you want to walk? Do you need easy access to a mainline station, motorway network or national/local buses?
Size & Type
A few things to consider:
- Flat or House in Bristol?
- New Home or an older property?
- How many bedrooms? Do you need a spare room?
- Do you want outside space like a balcony/garden?
- How important is a garage or off street parking?
- Do you need room to grow as a family?
STEP 2: Finances
When the right property comes along, you’ll want to be able to act immediately, so get your finances sorted out as soon as possible.
We can recommend an independent mortgage advisor who can help you decide you how much you can afford and take you through your options for managing your money, including choosing a mortgage and sorting our protection plans.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
When you find the right place, you’ll need a solicitor on hand, and we can help you find one.
Below is a list of costs that you may want to take into consideration when planning your budget.
- Agent’s fees
- Solicitor’s fees
- Stamp Duty
- Land Registry
- Local Authority searches
- Bank transfers
- Mortgage fees
- Removal fees
- Disconnection and reconnection of services
- Essential rebuilding or redecorating
A contingency fund to cover any unexpected costs is a good idea too.
STEP 3 : Find the right property
Once you’ve sorted out your mortgage and you know the kind of flat or house in Bristol you’re looking for, it’s time to get out there and find it. We have an up-to-date property database that can assist with your search.
Use our online search to set up your own search by area, street etc. Once we know what you’re after, we’ll keep you updated by your preferred option and you can change your search criteria at any time.
If you’d rather talk to one of us by phone or by dropping into the office, we’ll register you and commence the search immediately.
STEP 4 : Sale Agreed
Once you’ve found a suitable property and you’re ready to make an offer, contact one of our sales negotiators as soon as possible so the seller can be contacted with details of your offer. You may also request at this stage to see a copy of the HIP (Home Information Pack).
When you make your offer, the seller will consider your position, for example:
- Have you found a buyer for your home?
- Are you a first-time buyer?
- Are you a cash purchaser?
- Can you prove that you can afford to buy the property? It’s a good idea to have a written agreement in principle from a mortgage lender. Speak to a mortgage advisor in advance.
- Can you move in time to suit the seller’s plans?
Once you’ve had an offer accepted, we will require proof of identity to meet Money Laundering legislation in the form of either a copy of your passport/driving licence along with a bill in your name and proof of funding, plus Solicitor’s details and your offer in writing.
STEP 5: Sale agreed
Once we are in receipt of all of the above we will issue Memorandum of Sale letters. All parties involved in the transaction including both solicitors will receive a copy. Your solicitor will now get involved to check out all the legal aspects of the sale.
If you don’t have a solicitor, we can help you find one.
This is also when you (or your mortgage advisor) will go ahead with your formal mortgage application, to check that your lender’s willing to lend on that specific property.
The property needs to be legally transferred from its current owners to you. This process is known as conveyancing. Here are just some of the steps involved:
The seller’s solicitor will:
- Get copies of the HIP which includes the property’s title deeds, searches and other relevant documentation, eg lease.
- Prepare a draft contract of sale
Your solicitor will:
- Check the HIP and lease for any problems or inconsistencies
- Check the contracts
Assuming there are no problems and your solicitor has a mortgage offer, deposit and a signed contract, they can exchange contracts and set a completion date.
STEP 6: Exchange of Contracts
You’re on the home straight now. The formal exchange of contracts agrees the terms of the sale and makes them legally binding on both you and the seller.
Before the formal exchange, you’ll need to:
- Agree a completion date
- Finalise and sign your mortgage documents
- Send your deposit to the seller’s solicitor
- Sign your contract
This is also the time to sort out the practicalities of your move. Have you organized a removals company and/or storage? Do you need to sort out buildings and contents insurance? Utilities? Will your pets need looking after during the move?
Once the exchange has happened, you can look forward to the completion day when the money gets transferred, and the property legally changes hands. This is normally two to four weeks later, however you can choose to exchange and complete whenever is suitable to both parties and subject to the finance and the legalities being available.
STEP 8: COMPLETION
Once you’ve had the call to confirm that the money has been transferred, you can pick up the keys.
This is the point when you know it was all worth it. On or just before the day of completion, your solicitor will pay what you owe to the seller’s solicitor.
Once you’ve had the call to confirm that the money has been transferred, the transfer document and title deeds will be yours. You can pick up the keys.
Welcome to your new home!
If you want more advice on any aspect of the buying process, just pick up the phone and call a member of the sales team at Property Concept.
Company registered in England, 2811017
VAT Registration Number: 609 5763 15