Buyer’s FAQs

Looking to buy a property in St Albans? Below we answer some of the most commonly asked question by buyers. If you need any further information, please contact our expert sales team today who’ll be happy to help.

The first step in the home buying process is to start searching for your new home. If you sign up to our email alert system, we’ll notify you whenever a suitable property comes to market. Then, you can arrange to view the ones you’re interested in. When you’ve found a home you like, you can put in an offer with the estate agent. If this is accepted, it’s then time to appoint a solicitor, plus arrange for a survey to be carried out (if applicable).

It’s a wise idea to get a mortgage agreed in principle before you start the buying process. An independent financial advisor can come in handy here – they’ll identify how much you can comfortably borrow, then find you a range of mortgage products, based on your requirements.

There’s no rule that says you have to sell your home before you buy another one. However, if you’ve already sold, this puts you in a strong position to purchase, as it means you’re a chain-free buyer - something that’s very appealing to sellers.

The minimum deposit is 5%, but most mortgage lenders will usually require 10% of the property’s value as a deposit. However, there are some great government schemes available (such as Help to Buy), which make it easier for buyers to purchase a home. Contact us for more details.

To book a viewing, simply get in touch with us via email or by phone. We’ll ask you a few questions, then arrange a time that suits both you and the seller.

If you’d like to make an offer on a property, all you need to do is give us a call. We’ll pass your offer on to the vendor, who will then decide whether to accept or decline it. If they do decline, you’ll then have the option to increase your offer, if you wish to do so.

Firstly, you’ll need to formally submit a mortgage application to your lender. You’ll also need to appoint a solicitor, and if applicable, arrange for a surveyor to inspect the property you wish to buy.

Each property differs, but the average time is 12 weeks. There are a number of factors which can slow down the process such as waiting for a mortgage application to be approved, delays with the legal work, issues which arise from the surveys and if the sale is in a chain.

Purchasing a house is a legal process, so working with a solicitor is highly recommended. They’ll handle all the searches, contracts and relevant documentation on your behalf, which makes the process considerably easier. They will also offer legal advice if any issues arise with the purchase of the property.

If the home is a new-build, it’s unlikely that you’ll need a survey. However, it’s highly recommended when purchasing any other property. There are different types of survey to choose from, with some involving a more in-depth inspection process than others. For example, if the house is old, you may want your surveyor to examine it structurally, to ensure there aren’t any major issues with the integrity of the building.

On the day of completion, you’ll be able to collect the keys from us, and officially move into your new home. All monies for the sale are passed onto the seller’s solicitor at this point.

Your title deeds will be held by your solicitor for a few months after the completion date. After this, they’ll be sent to your mortgage lender, who will store them safely. You’ll only receive the title deeds when you’ve fully paid off your mortgage.

You’ll usually exchange contracts before the property is built, and pay your deposit. The developer will give you a ‘short-stop’ date, which is when they predict the construction work will be finished, and a ‘long-stop’ date, which is the date that they state the property will be completed by. The long-stop date is there to ensure you don’t lose your mortgage offer, as these typically expire after six months. Be prepared to be flexible though, as it’s common for the construction of new-build homes to take longer than the agreed deadline.