The frank buyers guide

If you haven’t used an Estate Agent before, or just need to refresh your memory on what happens next, this is where we provide a brief guide to each process. Whether you plan to sell, buy, let or rent, these guides should make the task a little easier. Print out and tick off the stages as you go.

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How it all works

Budget

So you want to buy a property? First things first – if this will not be a 100% cash purchase what are your savings looking like? How much have you got put aside that you definitely don’t need to use for anything else? Also, how good is your credit rating – do you have a credit card, do you pay council tax in your own name and are you on the electoral register – all these things will help. What are you currently paying in rent and could you pay a bit more if it was for a monthly mortgage repayment?

Next, decide whether you feel confident enough to research the available mortgages yourself, or whether you would prefer to pay a mortgage broker to do this for you. Franklyn James can provide details of a trusted mortgage broker who may be able to assist you — for further information, please see our Mortgages section.

Be prepared to fill in a lot of paperwork in order to get a mortgage offer agreed in principle. Don’t forget that there will be quite a few fees and other costs involved in the buying process, the biggest of which will almost certainly be stamp duty on top of the purchase price. Find out how much this will be by looking on the gov.uk website here:

https://www.gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax-rates

Viewings

So, that’s the money bit out of the way for the moment. Now comes the fun bit where you actually get to view available properties. No amount of online research can replace actually seeing properties in person, so try to allocate sufficient time to do this. Contact Franklyn James and make sure the sales negotiator knows exactly what you are looking for and your budget. You will always like the properties at the top end of your budget better than the ones you could easily afford, but think about the sacrifices you may need to make for the property you’ve set your heart on. When you find a property that you would like to buy, check out the background information thoroughly before making an offer. Ask to see the exact parking space, get the council tax band, ground rent and usual annual service charge in writing first.

Offer

Make a reasonable offer based on what similar properties have sold for (ask your agent or do your own research online). Be prepared to show proof of deposit, proof of mortgage in principle and be ready to instruct a local, reputable solicitor quickly. Franklyn James can provide you with a list of experienced conveyancing solicitors — for further information, please see our Solicitors section. Don’t get carried away, resist the temptation to offer more than you can actually afford.

 

Conveyancing

Your solicitor will need you to pay a sum of money up front and complete a lot of forms too, do this as quickly as you can to show that you are serious about the purchase. Contact your mortgage broker or lender and get your formal mortgage application under way. Pay for the valuation or homebuyer survey promptly to keep things moving along swiftly. Come to an agreement via the agent on a completion date which is acceptable to both you and the seller. Let your solicitor and agent know as soon you receive your mortgage offer.

Contract and deposit

When you receive the Report on Title (thick document) and the contract (a couple of pages) set aside the time to read the Report thoroughly and ask your solicitor about any sections which you are unsure of, or any plans which don’t look quite as expected. When you are happy, sign the contract and return it to your solicitor. Make sure your deposit funds are readily available and look into what method you are going to use to transfer the funds and how long this will take. Even after you have signed the contract, there may still be a few outstanding issues which your solicitor needs to attend to. Once they are totally satisfied that everything is in order they will ask you to confirm the completion date and send the deposit. Once the deposit has been received, your solicitor will request your permission to exchange contracts.

Congratulations, you have exchanged!

Celebrate, book a removals van and if parking can be tricky, contact the council to get a parking bay suspended for completion day. Contact all relevant utility providers and let them know when you will take over at the property. Arrange buildings and contents insurance. Get funds ready to pay the balance of all costs, fees and stamp duty.

Completion day

Completion of a sale often takes place in the early afternoon, so as soon as you hear from your solicitor that the sale has completed, check with the agent that they have the keys to your new place and drop round to the office to collect them. Take meter readings as soon as you get to the property and begin the hard work of unpacking. Enjoy!

All information provided correct at time of publication.

Key steps

  • Consult mortgage adviser/lender re budget
  • Contact Franklyn James with requirements
  • View properties & make offer
  • Select solicitor & start mortgage application
  • Instruct & pay for valuation/survey
  • Get deposit ready to be sent
  • Read contract, sign & return
  • Agree on completion date
  • Send deposit monies, exchange & book removals
  • Send completion monies & collect keys

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DocklandsDocklands

" Nicholas is very professional and friendly. I would recommend to anyone looking for a new place. Great positive attitude, flexibility, and responsiveness. Strongly recommend! "

JaneOctober, 2017

DocklandsDocklands

" Stephanie was always very professional and committed. Always available to help and kept me update throughout the entire process. I highly recommend her. "

TiagoMay, 2018

LimehouseLimehouse

" Tristan was awesome. He understood our needs quickly and showed us four properties - all of which we were very happy with. Once, we had chosen a place, Tristan completed the discussions with the landlord over the weekend so that we could quickly go ahead with the next steps in the process. Overall, we had a great experience with Tristan and Franklyn James and would recommend him strongly! "

VijayJanuary, 2018

DocklandsDocklands

" Service of a lifetime ;-) I was amazed to find out that service of this top level still exists. Professional, helpful, caring, service minded and extremely effective -I felt like I had a helping soldier by my side around the clock until everything was taken care of. I have never done a review in my life, but this one I just couldn't turn my back to. Thumps up! I can strongly recommend Stephanie Dang she is just amazing. "

Sharaz AzizAugust, 2017

" Kate from Franklyn James was excellent to work with. This being our first home, she supported us throughout the process and kept us updated regularly. I would wholeheartedly recommend Kate & Franklyn James, friendly, caring, considerate and professional. "

The FédiasJune, 2017

LimehouseLimehouse

" A very good Estate Agent. Found David to be professional throughout the buying process, sticks to his words and happy to resolve issues when needed. David is also easy to reach and always contactable. Would recommend David to friends, colleagues etc. "

JNovember, 2017

LimehouseLimehouse

" Lee is really professional with quick response from beginning to the end and frequently provides advice wholeheartedly. I appreciate his assistance and the renting experience with his assistance is impressive and unforgettable. "

LSeptember, 2017

" Mark and his colleagues are excellent. My husband and I bought our property through Mark and he helped us find the tenants within a week! We have dealt with different estate agencies previously, and I have to say Frankly James are the best! They proactively understand our exact needs and execute the plan effectively. We highly recommend to anyone!! "

SheilaAugust, 2017

" Mark is fantastic estate agent and negotiator. From the moment the property went on the market he provided excellent service. Mark's ability to read people and the market meant he was able to get the right people in to view the property and achieve some amazing offers in a difficult climate.

He is very responsive and very easy to contact. He is easy to talk to and listens to what you are looking for.

As a property investor I often work with estate agents to buy and sell property and without doubt Mark is the most skilled and professional agent I have worked with.

If you need to sell a property go to Mark! "

Sofia ThomasNovember, 2017

DocklandsDocklands

" It was a first purchase in UK. Stephanie was always available to assist and answer our queries. The process took longer than expected but was smooth and this was helped along by Stephanie. I would recommend Stephanie and this agency from my experience. "

Carole & FloNovember, 2017