Step 1 – Arrange finance: How much can you borrow? Get Approval in Principle as quickly as possible so that when you do find your ideal place, you don’t lose out to someone else who is ready to go.
Step 2 – Start looking: Register with us so that we can help you to narrow your search. See as many properties as you can and make a note of the features that you like. Find out what exactly is included in the sale. Familiarise yourself with areas that appeal. Maybe stroll there in the evenings and at weekends.
Step 3 – Make an offer: Once you’ve found a property that ticks all the boxes and that is within your price limit, make an offer to the selling agent. They will put this offer to the seller. There are no legal obligations at this stage.
Step 4 – Look after the legals: Bring in the experts and appoint a solicitor to process the sale (also known as conveyancing). Don’t forget that their fee may be calculated as a percentage of the asking price, or as a flat fee, so allow funds for this.
Step 5 – Pay a deposit: If you are going to proceed to purchase the property you will need to pay a booking deposit (usually around 3.0% of the purchase price for second-hand homes, booking deposits differ for new homes). The booking deposit is refundable if for any reason you do not proceed with the purchase prior to contract signing. The remaining balance of the deposit will be payable when you sign the contract (no. 9).
Step 6 – Sale agreed: If your offer is accepted on a second-hand home, you will receive written confirmation of your intention to buy from the estate agent. This information is also sent to your solicitor and the vendor. The document will outline the agreed purchase price, any conditions of sale, the estimated closing date and contact details of all parties.
Step 7 – Surveys & Snags: Before your mortgage can be drawn down your lender or bank will need to know that the property is in good order and that it is worth the money you are paying for it. So you will need to have a valuation survey done. The lender or bank may appoint their own surveyor. In the case of new homes and apartments you should arrange for an architect or surveyor to carry out a snag on the property (an inspection of minor defaults) so that they can be rectified.
Step 8 – Finalise the finance: A ‘Letter of Loan’ offer needs to be obtained from the lending institution before final contracts are signed.
Step 9 – Contracts signed & exchanged: Your solicitor will now invite you to sign unconditional contracts and pay the balance deposit (usually totaling 10%) – no going back now! Don’t worry, your solicitor will have examined the contract and title document to make sure that everything is in order before you sign.
The signed contract is sent back to the vendor’s solicitor for signing by the vendor. A copy is then returned to your solicitor creating a binding contract. A completion date will be agreed at this stage. The property is then transferred into your name. Your solicitor will also send a copy of the title documentation to your lending institution for safekeeping.
Step 10 – Completion: This can take anywhere from a few days to a few months – depending on the personal requirements of the seller and/or buyer or legal formalities.
The remainder of the purchase price (usually 90%) is now transferred from your solicitors account, into the seller’s solicitors account.
Once we are advised by the seller’s solicitors that they have the money and that everything is in order we arrange for the keys to be released.
Finally: If you are unsure about any aspect of the process simply lift the phone and ask – we are here to help. We can be contacted on 074 912 2211 , by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call into our offices at Canal House, Lower Main Street, Letterkenny, Co Donegal.