While so much of the property news of late has been about the Stamp Duty holiday, it's always been crucial for buyers to complete their purchase reasonably quickly.
Before the rates relief begins to taper in July, undoubtedly, we're expecting to see continued record-high property investment volumes and homeowners rushing to complete a move before the steeper rates become payable again!
Still, it's always been the case that if you can complete a transaction faster, you save yourself a great deal of time and stress - and usually a fair few costs.
In this article, the Revolution Brokers team explains how we help every buyer or investor navigate the mortgage application process and some essential tips to ensure your sale or purchase doesn't stall along the way.
The Average House Purchase Timeline
Property chains can be a nightmare for buyers who have a deadline to work with, and there are lots of reasons you'll want to avoid delays:
- Valuations may need to be repeated, increasing your costs.
- Mortgage offers have a finite expiry date, and you will usually need to reapply if the transaction doesn't complete in time.
- Costs for things such as furniture storage and temporary accommodation can quickly ramp up if your moving date disappears into the distance.
Another factor to consider is the pressure of needing to negotiate a move. We've all heard that moving home is one of the most stressful experiences you can have (not that it needs to be with systematic planning and an expert broker to lend a hand with the paperwork!).
However, it's equally important to organise a smooth and prompt property purchase to ensure all parties are content that the transaction has run to schedule.
The average UK mortgage takes between two and six weeks to finalise, from the date of the application to final approval.
Revolution regularly organises property financing in a fraction of that time - and we're keen to ensure that our experience helps every homebuyer achieve the same fast turnarounds!
A recent report by the online property agent WiggyWam found that 73% of buyers would be willing to pay a premium of up to £300 to access better property information to facilitate a faster purchase.
Of those surveyed, 18% confirmed that a lack of up-front details jeopardised a recent property purchase.
The statistics demonstrate why understanding the home buying process and how to ensure it proceeds quickly are essential.
Five Ways to Speed Up Your Property Purchase
So, what can you do to ensure your property purchase completes in the quickest possible time and avoid any potential of gazumping or a broken chain?
Here are the five best ways to expedite the process:
1. Examine the Property Closely
Quite often, viewings can be rushed. You may not see the whole condition of walls concealed behind mirrors, and structural problems are usually not identified until the survey.
A great way to speed up the home buying purchase is to do your homework. That might mean:
- Conducting thorough virtual tours in addition to physical visits to carefully look over the property.
- Taking measurements of all doorways, garages and parking spaces to ensure you won't need to make further changes to the property.
- Asking for planning permission details or building regulation certifications for extensions or modifications.
If you've done your research, you're far less likely to stumble into valuation issues when the property is surveyed or realise later down the line that something about the property makes it unsuitable.
2. Have Your Finances Ready to Go
One of the most common scenarios we come across is where a client has a mortgage agreement in principle, agrees on a property purchase price, but is then rejected for a mortgage offer.
Very often, that's because of an issue uncovered with the survey or because of a credit file problem that wasn't discovered during the original soft search when issuing the agreement in principle.
The key here is to work with an independent, whole-of-market broker rather than risking a high street bank. Without knowing the eligibility criteria, it's impossible to see if you will meet with the lending policies or be rejected at the pivotal point when you're ready to proceed.
3. Book a Surveyor Straight Away
Another frequent issue is that your lender needs the property to be valued - and will appoint their own independent surveyor, usually charging you as the buyer for the costs. It would be best if you organised your own separate survey, to your benefit.
A survey is vital since a lender's valuation may not cover points that would be crucial to your purchase decision.
Surveyors can have long waiting times, particularly in the current frantically paced property market, so we'd recommend booking one as far in advance as you can to ensure you won't stall the purchase waiting for a valuation report.
4. Use a Reliable Solicitor
It can be hugely frustrating if you've been through the mortgage application process, have an ideal property read to buy, and then find that your solicitor isn't working quickly and can add significant delays.
If you're buying through an estate agent, they'll ask for details of your solicitor or conveyancer when the final offer has been accepted.
Should you not have a solicitor you've worked with before, you can always ask for a copy of the lender's approved panel of conveyancers. They might not be the cheapest, but they will be familiar with the lender and can act for both parties to speed things along.
5. If a Chain Breaks, Seek Expert Advice!
When you're ready to buy, and something falls through, it's usually because there is a problem somewhere else in the chain. You can't do a great deal to influence this, but there is typically a solution available.
For example, if you can't move ahead because your sale of an existing property has fallen through, you might be able to use bridging finance to cover the costs of the new property purchase and then repay this when your previous home sells.
That is one of many potential ways to resolve the problem - but by consulting the Revolution Brokers team, we can recommend ways to get your home purchase back on track, tailored to your circumstances!
Contact us now to discuss your personal options, Revolution Finance Brokers specialise in commercial and residential finance in Essex, Kent, London and Hertfordshire.