Guide for Buyers

Whether you are looking to purchase your first home, relocating, upsizing, downsizing or investing, we can help you find the property and support the entire buying process;

Our aim is to get rid of the jargon so we can have clear, transparent conversations, allowing you to make informed decisions swiftly and easily. We have put this guide together to help ease your property journey and our team are always on hand to help answer any questions you have and guide you along the way.

  1.  Determine your Budget

Before you start looking at properties, you need to know how much you can spend. This means speaking with a Mortgage Advisor and discussing how much you can borrow. Buying a property is probably going to be one of the largest purchases you will ever make, so establishing exactly how much money you have to fund your purchase will save you time and avoid disappointment further down the line.

Your income, savings and how much you may get for selling your existing home (if applicable) should be taken into consideration. If you do have a property to sell, the first step is an up-to-date valuation, which Oulsnam can of course help with. Please get in touch with your local branch to make an appointment.

If you do not have a Mortgage Advisor, ask a member of our team and we can recommend an independent Mortgage Advisor who can help you with your finances.

  1.  Register your details with us

Property websites have made the process of finding a new home easier than ever. However, we recommend registering with an Oulsnam office, which you can do online or by dropping in to see us in one of our branches, where we can discuss your requirements for your next home with you.  Once we have a clear understanding of your requirements, you will receive a selection of properties that match your criteria. We can also keep you up-to-date with the latest properties before they go online via our email alerts.

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  1.  Viewing a property

Our offices are open Monday to Saturday to enable us to conduct viewings at a convenient time for you.  We always advise our sellers that Oulsnam like to accompany the viewings and we are armed with useful information so don’t forget to ask lots of questions. Anything we don’t know the answer to, we will find out for you as soon as possible.

Once you’ve viewed the property, please provide us  with feedback on the property. This will help them get a greater understanding of your wants and needs for a property.

  1.  Make an offer

Congratulations! You’ve found a property you want to buy! The next step is to discuss an appropriate offer with us, which will then be put forward by one of our experienced sales team. We will need to see evidence of how you will fund your purchase at this point. If a mortgage is required, we will need a mortgage agreement in principle.  If you need any help with this Oulsnam work with an independent mortgage advisor who can help you with your finances.

Once we have your offer and proof of your financial arrangements, we will negotiate an agreement between you and the seller. We will advise the seller to consider the number of links in your buying chain and your financial offer. For them, a longer chain means more risk of the deal falling through. A short chain is a more attractive prospect.

There is a common misconception that you should not pay the asking price, but this very much depends on the property. There are lots of examples of properties selling at the asking price and, in some cases, going over the asking price where there has been interest from lots of buyers.

  1.  Arrange conveyancing

Once your offer has been accepted, we will prepare a comprehensive memorandum of sale pack.

Conveyancing is the legal process by which property transfer from the ownership of one person to another. Should you need any help or advice choosing a conveyancer, Oulsnam will be able to recommend some local companies whom you can speak with.

Offer to Completion
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  1.  Arrange a survey

There are three main types of survey: a mortgage valuation; a homebuyer report and a building survey.

If you are buying your new home with a mortgage, then your bank/building society will normally insist on a mortgage valuation to establish that the property is good security for the loan.

A homebuyer report is ideal for more conventional residential property, built within the past 75 to 100 years. The report will include a detailed report on all visual aspects of the property that are available for inspection.

A building survey (also referred to as a full or structural survey) is suited to older properties, or properties which may have different forms of construction or undergone major changes.

Oulsnam always recommend local, independent surveyors that are familiar with the local types of construction and know our local areas well. We are happy to put you in touch with our recommended local surveyors who will be able to discuss the type of survey needed for your purchase.

  1.  Exchanging Contracts

    The exchange of contracts is the legally binding part of the process and occurs when the contract has been signed by both parties, and when you, the seller and your respective solicitors/conveyancers are satisfied that everything is in order. Your deposit will need to be logged with your solicitor ahead of exchanging of contract.

    A date for completion (or moving date) is also agreed at this stage, and once contracts have exchanged, both parties are legally bound to go through with the transaction. Completion dates usually happen an agreed amount of time after the exchange, although exchange of contracts and completion can occur on the same day. For most people, completion day is the day that you will move into the property.

  2. Completion

    This is the last step in the process and is the day that the balance of monies is transferred via the banking system from your solicitor to the seller’s solicitor. Most importantly, once monies have cleared, this is the day you will get the keys to your new home!

    Congratulations, you’re now a homeowner!

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