At John Martin Estates, we recognise that the purchase of your home is the most important and expensive transaction you are likely to undertake and we know from personal experience! It can also be stressful and we endeavour to keep this element to a minimum.
We hope you will see properties you like within our selection and we are sure that, with our local knowledge and expertise, we will be able to find you a property to suit your needs, be it a full scale house move or an investment purchase.
To enable you to unravel the complexities of buying your home, we have set out below an overview of the various procedures involved:
The first stage is for you to register your details (full name, current address, telephone number(s) and email address) and property requirements with us which you can do by a number of methods including email, fax, telephone or in person. You can also click here if you wish to complete our Registration form. It is important that you give us as much information as to your property requirements as possible as this will give us a picture of your personal wishes, allowing us to send appropriate property details to you.
Once registered, you will be in a position to receive details from us in person, by post or email or to download and print information from our website.
Our offices are open 6 days a week from 9.30am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday and 9.30am to 2.00pm on Saturday. Please contact us so that we can arrange a mutually convenient time for your appointment to view your selected properties. We like to speak to you in person if we can so call us on 020 8998 3333 but if that's not possible, just let us know by email the best days and times for you and we will get back to you as quickly as we can.
In order to speed up your house buying process, it is advisable, wherever possible, to get a mortgage agreed in principle before any final decision on your new property is made. This has the advantage of providing you with a clear indication of what is affordable and the fact that you have a mortgage agreed in principle is also attractive to sellers.
Making Your Offer
Once you have found your ideal property, your offer will be submitted by us to the vendor for their consideration. This is done both verbally and in writing.
NB: Please note that all offers are “subject to contract” and therefore neither party is legally bound until the contract is actually signed.
Accepted Offer/Instructing Solcitiors
As soon as your offer has been accepted by the vendor, you should instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf and provide us with all of their contact details in order that we might provide our formal Sales Memorandum. Your solicitor will handle all legal requirements of your purchase (property conveyancing). At this point, you also need to formally proceed with your mortgage application and instruct your mortgage consultant/broker accordingly.
The next step is to obtain the Mortgage Valuation. This will be carried out by a Surveyor acting for your Lender. The report is to provide a Valuation which determines whether the amount to be loaned is secure and also deals with the basic condition of the property. Since you, as the buyer, are also provided with a copy, it allows both parties to evaluate the findings prior to entering into a commitment to purchase.
NB: However, we would not recommend that a buyer relies solely on the Mortgage Valuation survey as the inspection is limited and although it may cost a little more to obtain a more detailed report yourself, this could in the long run save you from making a costly mistake.
There are two types of survey available:
1. Homebuyer Survey/Valuation – this is the mid-range option as it is more expensive than the Mortgage Valuation but less than the Building Survey (see below).
It is a basic service and therefore more appropriate to properties in apparently good condition and conventionally constructed. The survey’s purpose is to highlight any pressing or significant defects and problems which are likely to have an overall impact on the value of the property.
The objective of the Homebuyer Survey is to provide a more in depth report which will assist the buyer in making an informed decision whether to proceed with the purchase and also whether the agreed price reflects the actual value. Moreover, the professional opinion of the surveyor as contained in his report will also set out particular features of the property which may possibly have an affect on the present value and potential future marketability.
2. Building (Full Structural) Survey – Unlike the Homebuyer Survey, this is suitable for all types of property whether conventional or unconventional. The term “unconventional” encompasses properties that have an unusual construction, are historic or Listed Buildings, have been extensively altered or where major work is planned.
The Building (Full Structural) Survey is comprehensive and lists full technical details of the construction, materials and condition. It highlights the full spectrum of defects from the more serious through to the insignificant and the terms of the survey are therefore tailored to fit the client’s specific needs.
However, it should be noted that this does not include a valuation and is only conducted by prior agreement.
These are conducted by the buyer’s solicitor who submits a local authority search to the local borough council. Its purpose is to ascertain if any planning permission has previously been granted on the property or if there are any other local issues which may have an impact on the purchase. In some instances, the search may also include an Environmental and Drainage search.
The draft contract is drawn up by the seller’s solicitor and is forwarded to the buyer’s solicitor for consideration. Any additional queries or questions will be asked and answered and the contract amended accordingly, subject to final approval.
The Lender is now in possession of the Mortgage Valuation survey and, subject to the findings of this report, receipt/approval of the mortgage application and, provided all references and checks have been conducted satisfactorily, the Lender will send a formal mortgage offer to the buyer and their solicitor. The document is then signed and returned and funds requested by the buyer’s solicitor.
Exchange of Contracts
Once the contract has been signed by both parties, a deposit (normally an agreed percentage of the purchase price) is paid by either bank transfer or banker’s draft. At this stage, the parties agree on a date for completion. Contracts are then exchanged and both parties are bound to complete the transaction.
Completion usually follows a few days or weeks after exchange of contracts. The balance of the purchase price is transferred by the buyer’s solicitor to the seller’s solicitor and the keys released – Congratulations! You are now the owner of your new home!