The house buying process is not complicated. Once you have found your new home, most of the work is done by others such as your solicitor, estate agent, etc. However, it is important to do the right things and instruct the right people at the right time.
Key steps in the house buying process
The list below includes some of the main steps in the house buying process:
- Work out a budget and arrange finance for the house you wish to buy (unless you are a cash buyer).
- Decide what type of new home you are looking for and select an area. If you are moving to a new area it may be worth considering renting first to get a better idea of which area you would most suit your needs. See Choosing between buying and renting a property.
- Choose and instruct an estate agent (if you also have a property to sell), see Choosing an Estate Agent.
- If you have a property to sell, make sure it is presentable before arranging any viewings. Take the opportunity to clear out things you no longer need. Tidy up and thoroughly spring clean. Make sure there are no unpleasant odours, particularly if you have pets. Any house looks better when it is clean and tidy. See Preparing your house for viewings.
- Arrange an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) on the house you are selling.
- Choose and instruct a solicitor.
- When you have found the property you wish to purchase, arrange for a survey to be carried out (in addition to any mortgage valuation). Forward a copy of the report to your solicitor as there are likely to be items for your solicitor to check.
- Arrange insurance cover for your new house. If you are taking out a mortgage then sometimes an insurance reinstatement figure is included on the Valuation report. The reinstatement figure is not necessarily the same as the Valuation figure or agreed purchase price.
- Liaise with your solicitor to agree exchange and completion dates.
- Get quotations from removal firms and book for your proposed moving date.
- Make a list of contacts/accounts/utilities to advise of your change of address. Don’t forget any online accounts, etc.