Essential Tips for Home Buyers


Buying a new home, especially your first home, can be just as exciting as it is stressful. However, there are a few essential tips for buyers that will help you navigate the process of buying a home like a pro.
Keep reading to find out what these tips for buyers are and how you can use them to secure your ideal home in less time and take any stress out of the entire process:


Choose Your Ideal Property

There are two main aspects to choosing the ideal property: the location of the property and its features.


If you already have an ideal location in mind, this part will be easy. All you have to do is carry out your property search focusing on properties in that specific area or instruct your estate agent to only look for properties there.
However, if you are unsure where you want to relocate or are considering several property location options, you may want to enlist the help of an estate agent early on. They will be able to guide you through your alternatives depending on your specific requirements and preferences and help you narrow down your list of options.
Your other option is to do the location research yourself. The only downside to this is that the search can become time-consuming and prolong the process of you moving into a new home.
The questions you will have to ask yourself are:

Property Features

Your preferred location will most likely have various types of properties available. That is why your next step should be deciding on the type of property that suits your needs.

Based on your specific needs, you will be able to narrow down your options. Our Ilford estate agents recommend that you also consider your long or mid-term goals when deciding on the type of property you want to buy.

This will prevent you from purchasing a property that may not be in line with what you need 5 years from now and having to buy a new home and relocate again.

Budget & Finances

Here are our tips for buyers when it comes to budget and financing:


When constructing your budget for buying a home, the home itself is not the only thing you should account for. Buying a home also comes with additional one-off as well as long-term costs such as:

If you are a seasoned home buyer or have bought at least one property before, you will probably be aware of these costs. This tip for buyers is an important one for first-time homeowners to take into account. First-time buyers should also look into government schemes like Help to Buy when buying a home.



Once you’ve calculated how much your budget can stretch, it’s time to calculate how much deposit you can get together and what type of mortgage you need to look into.
You can enlist the help of a mortgage broker who will walk you through the different options and help you decide which one is best for you. In addition, if you want to be in a stronger negotiating position, you can consider getting an in-principle mortgage approved.
If you are considering selling your former home before buying the new one, you may be able to cover all the costs of buying the new home with what you get for the old one. Or, take out a mortgage that will only cover the difference.

Shortlist Options and Arrange Viewings

No matter if you are carrying out the search yourself or getting an estate agent to do the job for you, you will most likely find plenty of properties that seem to match your needs and wants.

To be efficient, the properties you find will have to be shortlisted. Your time is limited and valuable and you should not be wasting it on viewing properties that are irrelevant.

Once you choose 5-10 properties, you will have to arrange viewings. If your time is extremely limited, you can ask your estate agent to carry out the viewings for you. They will be able to give you a full report after the viewing, including videos and photos of the property.

During the viewing, there are several aspects you will need to pay special attention to. Your estate agent will also be able to point these out to you and assist you in identifying any hidden flaws.

Our tips for buyers when viewing potential properties are:

If you find a property that ticks all the boxes, consider arranging several viewings at different times of the day. This will give you a better feel of what it will be like to live in the property and help you identify any issues such as noisy times of day.


Putting In an Offer

Once you find your ideal property, it’s time to put in an offer. When considering offers, the seller will take into account how soon buyers can pay for the property. So, if you already have a pre-approved mortgage or are paying from your own funds, you will be in a stronger position to have your offer accepted and even negotiate the price down. If you are working with an estate agent, they will be able to advise you what the average market price for similar properties is in the area and help you negotiate the property price to match it. If the seller is also offering additional items such as the furniture, include these in your offer, considering an average price. The negotiation will probably take some time and include some back-and-forth. But, in the end, it shouldn’t take longer than 2 weeks from start to finish. Once your offer is accepted, you will have to pay the deposit. The deposit is typically between around 10% of the property price.


Closing the Deal

To ensure the sale-purchase agreement includes provisions that are beneficial to you and that are in line with everything you agreed on with the seller, you should consider hiring a solicitor. In addition, you will also have to consider hiring a conveyancer to handle the property ownership transfer. If your mortgage lender asks for a property survey, you will also need to hire a surveyor. In addition, you can hire your own surveyor to inspect the property in detail and alert you about any hidden flaws. Once the surveyor report is completed, you can move on to agreeing on a completion date and exchanging the contracts, thus making the deal official. As soon as this step is finished, you will need to take out property insurance and move the electricity, gas, water, and telephone service contracts in your name. Next, after the land registry registers the transfer of ownership, your mortgage lender should finalize the payment to the seller, and you are ready to move in.

Moving In

The sale-purchase agreement you conclude with the seller should specify the date of completion, which is the day the seller needs to be out of the property.
The estate agent will then transfer the keys to the property to you and you will be ready to take possession of your new home and move in or start any required renovations works.
Once the property is in your possession, you will have to pay stamp duty and pay your solicitor and conveyancer for their work.
All that remains after this is for you to arrange for the movers to bring in your things and make the home your own.

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