Buying property is a big life milestone, but going through the buying process can be overwhelming for buyers. A better understanding of the following end-to-end steps to buying a UK property can surely help you through the journey.
Step 1: Appoint a licensed agency
We always recommend oversea investors appoint a licensed real estate agency. You can find the company license on the website if they have one. For the Hong Kong agency, the company license is issued by the Estate Agents Authority (EAA). For UK agencies, they should be members of NAEA Propertymark (the National Association of Estate Agents), The Property Ombudsman (TPO), ARLA Propertymark (the Association of Residential Letting Agents), and The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) if they also offer lettings & management service.
Step 2: Identify the property
You will have options of first-hand & second-hand properties as well as completed or off-plan projects. If you are purchasing off-plan properties, you can ask the real estate agents to show you the track record of the developers.
Step 3: Put an offer & reservation
When your offer had been accepted by the seller/ developer, you will need to sign the reservation form and pay the reservation fee.
Step 4: Instruct solicitor
The buyer’s solicitor will be your power of attorney to handle all the sales & purchase agreements on behalf of you to communicate with the seller’s solicitor.
Step 5: Exchange of contract and completion
The deposit of the purchase price will be transferred to the solicitor’s bank account when the documents are all ready & signed by both parties. The developer will inform you 6 months prior to the completion. If you need a mortgage, please speak to your real estate agencies, they will have recommendations for you. Solicitors will prepare the completion documents for your signing. The solicitor will work with you for paying the remaining balance to the developer and the SDLT.
Step 6: Handover & snagging
We recommended you appoint real estate agencies to provide professional snagging service. The report will show you if there is any defect in the apartments. If everything’s in good condition, you can keep the keys with your agent for rent or occupancy.
Benham & Reeves is always here to help our buyers and landlords. Our team provides professional advice for your investment or home-buying. If you are struggling with how to start your property search, speak to our consultants now!
About the Author
Meena has over 7 years’ experience working in international property sales. Before joining Benham & Reeves, Meena worked for a diverse range of notable companies including JLL, Marriott International and GIH London performing various roles in international property sales and project marketing. Meena offers excellent service to buyers and sellers in order to earn their trust, referrals, and repeat business. Her native language is Cantonese, but she is fluent in English and Mandarin and enjoys keeping fit in her spare time.