Darlows estate agents have a huge range of properties for sale and to let in South Wales. From Brynmawr to Swansea, Canton and Rumney, we offer the most comprehensive service from our highly trained and dedicated teams based in our offices across the region. Quite simply, no other agent can offer you more.
Buying property is one of the most expensive purchases you are likely to make in your life time. We have put together a small step by step guide to assist you along the process.
Setting out what you are looking is vital to ensuring that your requirements are clear when searching on estate agent websites and portals such as Rightmove and OnTheMarket.com. You will develop a clear criteria of what you are searching for as there are many different types of property out there! Darlows estate agents make searching for properties for sale in South Wales as simple as possible. You can:
- Search for properties within a set radius of things you need to be near such as schools, transport links and amenities;
- Search by property type, budget and number of bedrooms;
- Search by postcode, town or road name;
- Search by leasehold, freehold, chain free and properties that are holding an open house.
You can then prioritise these results to only include properties with the features you want such as conservatories, en-suites, period property and many more! Did you know you can also enter your own keywords to find the properties that match exactly what you need? Try out a property search today!
Viewing property you are interested in gives you the opportunity to discover whether any of the properties are right for you. Viewing a number of different properties is a great way to get a feel for what sort of property is going to make your next dream home! We have some top tips for a successful viewing to help:
- You need a good amount of time for viewing the property properly as well as setting aside time to look at the amenities in the local area if you are not familiar with it;
- If you see a property that ticks all your boxes, still make sure you see the property more than once;
- Check for damp within the property such as mould or dark patches on walls and ceilings - there can also be a musty smell within a property that can indicate a damp problem;
- Look out for any cracks around doors and windows as well on walls and ceilings. These may point towards a structural problem in the property. It is always advisable to have a property survey carried out;
- Don't forget to look round the exterior of the property as well;
- Even if you are buying the property alone, take a friend or family member to view the property with you - another pair of eyes can be very useful and even pick up on things you may not have seen.
After deciding a property is right for you and you are ready financially to purchase a property, it's time to make an offer. To do this, you need to contact the estate agent that has the property for sale. It is important that the estate agent is fully aware of your situation including whether you have a property to sell, are a first time buyer and details of your solicitor and mortgage broker to avoid delays further down the line. The seller may also want to know your position, especially if they have other interested parties making offers on the property.
Ensure your offer in subject to contract and subject to a satisfactory survey.
If a seller declines your offer, you will need to review the situation to see if you wish to make a further offer or continue to look for other properties. Make sure you stick to your budget and check what the property is truly worth.
Once the offer has been accepted, it is time to begin the legal work and have any necessary surveys carried out. Unless your are a cash buyer, you will need to complete the lenders application form and a mortgage valuation will need to be carried out on the property you are purchasing. A mortgage valuation is not the same as a property survey. Take a look at our jargon buster for further information on this.
Once this is complete, you will receive your formal mortgage offer which you will need for your buildings insurance once the property has exchanged. At this point, your solicitors will be progressing with the draft contract.
The term ‘conveyancing’ refers to all the legal and administrative work associated with transferring the ownership of land or buildings from one owner to another. During the conveyance, you will be told what is happening, what you have to do next and be given a number of documents to sign and return allowing the next stage to go ahead. It is important to respond to any requests promptly so that you do not delay the whole process.
A short breakdown of what your conveyancer will be expected to do:
- They will obtain a purchase contract from the sellers’ solicitors with details of the property and its ownership;
- They will address any pre-contract enquiries and obtain copies of any existing guarantees, planning consents, etc;
- They will obtain the sellers fixtures and fittings list to see what they will be leaving in the property, and they will arrange for you to receive copy to check;
- When your mortgage offer has arrived, they will arrange for you to sign the contract and hand over your deposit to hold in readiness for ‘exchange’;
- When the mortgage conditions have been met and the sellers are ready to proceed, a completion date is agreed that suits everyone in the chain. Contracts can now be exchanged and the transfer deed effected;
- Once this has been done they can call down the mortgage advance from your lender and send you a final completion statement;
- On completion day, your conveyancer pays the required amount to the sellers solicitors in exchange for the title deeds. You will then be able to move into your new home;
- Your conveyancer will need to register your name and mortgage at the Land Registry and send the deeds to your lender for them to -hold as security for their mortgage advance.
When selecting a conveyancer, ensure you obtain a quotation for their services beforehand. Also ask friends and family who they have used in the past. Estate agents will also have some useful contacts they can put you in touch with for these services.
Understanding the condition of the property is vital and therefore it is important to have a survey carried out so you understand if there are any issues with the property that need to be addressed or that may cause you to want to negotiate the price or even change your mind about purchasing it. A valuation report will be required by the mortgage provider, but this is not to be confused with a property survey.
There are three types of survey - they vary depending on how much detail you need and the age of the property you are purchasing:
1) Condition report - The most basic and most suited to newer, more modern houses in a good condition:
- Costs £150-£300;
- Provides an overview of the property’s condition and focuses on things like the roof, walls, windows, floors and stairs;
- Outlines significant problems but does not go into detail, therefore further investigation will be needed;
- Provides the condition of each element in a clear ‘traffic lights’ ratings which identifies problems that need varying degrees of attention;
- This type of survey does not include a valuation or insurance reinstatement.
2) Homebuyer’s report - Suitable for modern properties as well as older properties that are deemed to be in a reasonable condition:
- Costs between £250-£600;
- Includes maintenance advice as well as necessary repairs that are needed;
- Particularly useful for issues such as cracks, damp or subsidence;
- Highlights any areas that do not meet building regulations;
- Only look at parts of the property that are readily available - not behind walls, loft space or under floorboards.
3) Buildings survey - Useful for older properties, rare or unusual properties, properties in a poor condition, properties in which you are planning significant work or for any major concerns you have with a property:
- Costs between £500 and £1,000;
- Provides a breakdown of the structure of a property and the condition;
- Gives detailed information on how the property has been constructed, the materials used, the condition of the foundations, roof and walls;
- Outlines advice of the maintenance as well as necessary repairs are needed;
- Give a more intrusive report that will look at the loft/attic space as well as under the floorboards.
With new build properties, a survey is not so likely to be needed. You can however ask for a New-build snagging survey for extra peace of mind.
Exchanging of contracts is the last stage in the legal process of buying a property after which you cannot pull out, without incurring significant legal costs and losing your deposit.
During exchange, copies of signed contracts are exchanged between the buyer's conveyancer and the seller's conveyancer, and the buyer's deposit is paid.
A date for completion that is mutually agreeable is then set - this is usually around two weeks after contracts are exchanged though it can be quicker.
Ensure you read the contract thoroughly and several times. Raise anything you are unsure about before you sign.
The completion of a property sale is the where all the monies are passed over and the buyer has the legal right to the property. As a buyer, you will receive a call from your legal services to let you know your money is has now gone through and you can obtain the keys to your new property. You will also receive your completion statement that should reflect the original quotation from your conveyancer.
There is a lot to think about! So here is a handy list of little things that can get forgotten before completion:
- Visit the property again before you complete to make sure all is in place – including your fixtures and fittings;
- Send a copy of the title deeds to your mortgage lender;
- If your property is a leasehold, you will need to inform the freeholder that you will be completing on the property;
- Notify the utility companies that you are now the owner of the property;
- Inform your banks, credit card, place of work, mobile phone company and the DVLA of your new address;
- Set up your a post-redirection.
Congratulations! If you are moving into this new property, take a look at our handy Moving Checklist to help you with your move.