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.
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:
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.
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.
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 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.
" Franklyn James did an excellent job letting out my flat in Limehouse. I had previously used Foxtons but I feel their standard have dropped recently and think this is likely because they do not have an office which focuses exclusively on the Limehouse area. Franklyn James do and it shows as they really seem to understand the area and the value proposition of my property.
It is also worth noting that the level of service they provide is very high, both from the Sales team but also Property Management and Accounts Management. Swift and accurate responses at all times. "
" David provided an excellent service from viewing to completion on our recent purchase of a flat in Bow. David was very knowledgeable and answered all our questions thoroughly. He also went out of his way to be useful and we are very grateful for his help. "
" From the outset David has been a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend David for his professionalism and dedication to providing the best possible service for his clients. "
" Friendly and professional team at Limehouse. Lee, Tristan and Gary Provided information promptly and addressed any queries swiftly. Would recommend. "
D JohnsonOctober, 2017
" The team at Franklyn James has been very professional and proactive. Lee was particularly helpful and always responded very promptly whenever we had any queries, which made our lives less stressful! A very satisfying experience overall in renting our flat. "
" Great service for very friendly staff throughout the initial process. Lee was very helpful in negotiating between the landlord and us (tenant) and offered good advice. Was very responsive throughout the agreement process. After sign-on, Hilary was our property manager who has been very helpful with any queries and issues we had, being also very responsive (even responding during late evening and weekend queries).
Could not ask for better service! "
Pam & JasonMay, 2018
" As a first time buyer, Franklyn James and in particular Mark Kimber was extremely helpful with the entire process. Mark was friendly, easy to contact, always on hand to give useful advice and I'd recommend him and his services in future. I experienced a few estate agents across my property search and Mark was by far the best. I thank him personally for helping us purchase our first property.
Amy DaviesNovember, 2017
" Antony is very kind and friendly to solve the issues we faced during the property renting. With his help, we rented a satisfactory flat and everything goes well. Thanks to Antony. "
" It has been a complete pleasure renting our property from Franklyn James and Dovile. Dovile is always quick to reply to any queries we have and is extremely helpful. She is very open and honest so provides all the information you need to know about a property. The whole experience of renting was stress free with her help. "
" Very helpful throughout the process. Special mention to Jamie who went the extra mile in terms of effort and communications to get the transaction over the line. "
Alex SAugust, 2017