We pride ourselves on helping buyers find properties to match their aspirations and lifestyles, trying to make what can be a stressful process as easy as possible. These top tips when buying your home are valuable to ensure you are as prepared as possible:

Know The Area

Although you may know the area where you are thinking of buying, it is important to research specifics and to relay the information to your agent. Find the streets you like and what you like about them, and make sure you have thoroughly thought through your access to work and transport links.

Convey Your Needs

Register your details fully with staff; they have access to a wide range of properties on/off market and it will enable you to be the first to know about new homes on the market, before they make their way onto various portals. If your requirements change, ensure that we know so that we can only send you the most suitable properties. You will receive regular correspondence from our sales staff via phone and via email, unless otherwise requested, but will always provide you with a personal approach to selling when trying to find you a home.

Get Your Finances In Place

In a competitive market it is best to be ready to go as soon as you find the right property, which of course includes getting your finances in place. If you have not already spoken to a mortgage broker, find out more with our mortgage advice.

Offer What It’s Worth

We will always try and give you honest advice, but what is key is to take into account market conditions and offer what you think you would pay for it. Many buyers can fall into the trap of offering too low and end up missing out on a property they loved. Note all offers must be confirmed in writing, including anticipated time scales, and you should notify us of any related sales, selling agent’s details, and your financial circumstances.

Helpful Advice For Once Your Offer Is Accepted:

Once you have had an offer accepted the next step is to arrange a survey, and you will need to confirm property details with your solicitor. Our recommendation is to always use a local solicitor, because they already know the area, and even the building, managing agents or freeholder. With our wide network reach and good relations, Saks London have established relationships with a number of South London based solicitors and we would be happy to recommend a few for you to use.

For recently built properties your lender will usually conduct a Mortgage Valuation, entailing a short visit to the property by a surveyor to ensure they are lending the correct amount. A Homebuyers Report is often helpful if you are buying an older property, or an apartment in an older building such as a warehouse conversion. This will go into more detail and will highlight any work you might expect in the coming years. It costs more money but does offer peace of mind. Finally there is a Full Structural Survey which you would be advised to undertake if you were purchasing and entire house or an entire building.

Additional Costs Incurred

Under normal circumstances the buyer will not pay any fees to Saks London, but you should be fully aware of all fees paid elsewhere. Properties over £125,000 will incur Stamp Duty or any property that you may purchase as a ‘Buy to Let/ Additional Home that your solicitor will give you comprehensive advice regarding. You should discuss with your mortgage provider as to whether there will be a mortgage set up fee, arrangement fee and the costs of surveys. If you need to check on any local or planning issues there may also be fees for searches, usually organised by your solicitor. On top of this there are the solicitors’ fees for the legal work carried out.

Terms You May Need To Know:

What are Title Deeds?
These are the legal documents that show who is the official owner of a property or piece of land. Title deeds will also disclose if there is a mortgage on the property and any restrictions such as access or other rights that might be excluded from the property.

What is Indemnity Insurance?
This is often taken out to cover anything that’s not covered by buildings insurance, for example, chancel repair insurance, or if there is a lack of planning permission or consent on a building.

What is Service Charge and Ground Rent?
Ground rent, applicable to leasehold properties, is an annual payment to the freeholder. This can vary and will, over time, increase. Service charges are an annual amount payable to the agents who manage a block of apartments. Your solicitor will inform you what is covered by the charge, but it usually includes maintenance of communal parts and building insurance. Sometimes a ‘sinking fund’ will be in place. This would be money set aside for any emergency work that might arise.

What is an NHBC Certificate?
A National House Building Council Certificate is an industry recognised standard for new build houses and apartments. It will provide a 10 year guarantee against any structural defects. In order to comply with NHBC regulations the building will be inspected throughout the build process to ensure that the build meets satisfactory standards and quality. If you are buying a property that was built or converted more than 5 years ago, it won’t necessarily have an NHBC certificate.

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