Step by step guide to buying a property

As dedicated estate agents in Hemel Hempstead it’s important to us that your buying journey is as easy as possible. Here is a quick guide on the basics of buying property with Squire Estates.

Find out what you can borrow

1 – Find out what you can borrow

It is a good idea to work out what your budget will be and how much flexibility you have in terms of price as early as possible. This makes sure you are seeing properties you can afford and will determine what will be in your search. Whilst you won’t get a mortgage offer until you have found a property and had it surveyed by the lender’s surveyors, you can get an agreement in principle. Squire Estates work closely with financial advisors who have access to the entire market and can offer you the best advice on the most advantageous mortgage products for you. Click here to use our handy mortgage calculator.


2 – Register with us to search for a property

Finding the right property is of course key and the best way to start your search is to register with Squire Estates. Your consultant will discuss your requirements in detail so they can get a thorough idea on what property is going to suit you. Do think about what your ‘must haves’ are and what you are prepared to compromise on. The best way to approach a property search is to have an open mind-you don’t always know what it will be like before you go through the door.

We keep you informed

3 – We keep you informed

Your consultant will keep in regular contact with you throughout your search, informing you of new properties coming onto the market in Hemel Hempstead and the surrounding areas and arranging for you to see them as soon as possible.  You can also find properties instantly on our user friendly search feature.

Go out on viewings

4 – Go out on viewings and get the most out of each one

Our team of negotiators in Hemel Hempstead work to make viewings as informative and convenient as possible. Whether you meet us at the office or the property and whether you need a daytime, evening or Saturday viewing we will make the arrangements you need so you can see properties at the earliest opportunity.
As well as accompanying you on all property viewings, your consultant will be fully informed about the property you are seeing and will be able to advise you on the local area. For more information about Hemel Hempstead and the surrounding areas click here.


5 – Find the property for you and make an offer

Here’s the exciting part – discovering a property you really want to buy! The best advice is to speak to your consultant; they will advise you on the best way to proceed for this property. Remember that when you make an offer you need to provide us with more than just the figure you want to offer; you also need to inform us of your buying position, how you are financing the purchase, any conditions of the offer, any timeframes you need to work to and who your solicitor will be. The more information we can give the vendor about your offer, the stronger that offer will be. Please note that there are no legal obligations on either side until contracts have been signed and exchanged. Click here to take a look at our properties to buy


6 – Accepted offer

Once your offer is accepted the move-in process can begin! If you haven’t already you need to instruct your solicitor in order to get the property off the market and stop other offers being made on it. We will prepare the Memorandum of Sale and write to all parties to confirm the agreed sale price and any related conditions of the sale. The consultant will then be your main contact and communicator between all parties (you and your solicitor, the vendor and their solicitors, your mortgage broker and any onward chain). At Squire Estates we have a low fall through rate (only 5% of properties sold and bought through us fall through compared to an industry average of 30%) so you can be assured that we will do everything possible to make sure the sale proceeds.

Mortgage concept: Red pawns on the word mortgage spelled by toy dice

7- Pushing forward with your mortgage application

As soon as your offer has been accepted you need to inform your mortgage broker / financial advisor and get them to start the ball rolling on your mortgage application, paying any applicable fees and filling in all forms as soon as you can. This means that your mortgage valuation will soon be booked in.

Couple meeting construction planner

8 – Get quotes from solicitors and decide who to instruct

Choosing the right solicitor to progress your purchase to exchange is vital. We recommend that you not only get several quotes but that you also investigate and choose a solicitor carefully to make sure they will communicate well with you and all parties involved throughout the process. We can make some great recommendations if required based on our own experiences.

Man signing a contract when buying a new house

9 – The conveyancing process

Squire Estates’ team of estate agents are with you throughout the entire process and will do everything they can to ensure a smooth transaction. You can help in this regard by keeping in regular contact and completing required tasks as soon as possible (for example putting your solicitor in funds for searches, returning your signed contract, transferring your deposit).


10 – Survey and mortgage offer

If you are taking a mortgage on the property the lender will instruct a surveyor to carry out a mortgage valuation to check the value of the property. You could also carry out a Homebuyer’s survey which looks at the property in more depth, or alternatively a full structural survey which is the most detailed option.
Once the mortgage survey has been carried out, and if everything is satisfactory, a formal mortgage offer will be issued to you and your solicitor. You need to sign this.

Business people shaking hands, finishing up a meeting

11 – Exchange contracts

When all enquiries have been answered, your solicitor is satisfied with the title and the terms of the lease (if applicable) and your mortgage offer is issued you can move towards the exchange of contracts.
In order to exchange both parties will have needed to sign their contracts and you need to transfer your deposit to your solicitor (usually 10% of the purchase price). The completion date will need to be agreed by both parties by the point of exchange. Upon exchange you are legally committed to purchasing the property.


12 – Completion

Completion occurs when the remaining money is transferred from your solicitor to the vendor’s solicitor. We release keys to you once we get confirmation the money is with the vendor’s solicitor. You are now the owner!
For more information on buying a property with Squire Estates call us on 01442 233433 or click here to register with us.