It may not be possible to eliminate delays altogether, but it is possible to take a few steps to avoid a delay when buying a house.
In order to avoid a delay when buying a house is a good idea to be aware of the key stages in the house buying and selling process and anticipate any problems.
By asking a few questions in the early stages you will find out whether there is a long chain, whether a seller is trying to move quickly whether there have been any previous buyers who have pulled out of the purchase, and if so, find out the reason.
One way to avoid a delay when buying a house is to be aware of the most common causes of a delay, and be prepared for them.
Some of the most common things which may cause a delay when buying a house buying include:
- Your buyer has a property to sell but does not have a buyer who is in a position to proceed. This may cause a delay in the sale of your property, and in turn the purchase of your next property. Before a seller accepts an offer, check that the buyer is in a position to proceed, ie, either has nothing to sell, such as a first time buyer, or has a buyer for their property who is also in a position to proceed.
- The seller has not found another property to move to. If you find a property you would like to buy then check the seller’s position, ie, have they found a property to move to, or, check whether they are prepared to go ahead with the sale of their property and move into rented accommodation to reduce the length of the chain.
- The seller bought the property under the government help to buy scheme and must follow their procedure before selling. If the seller bought the property under the Help to a Buy scheme there is a procedure to follow, which includes having a Valuation carried out by a Chartered Surveyor before the property can be sold.
- The Valuer for the buyer’s mortgage company values the property less than the agreed purchase price (down values the property). If this happens and if both parties still wish to proceed then the buyer and seller may be able to renegotiate the purchase price at the amount at which the property has been valued by the mortgage Valuer.
- The Valuer for the buyer’s mortgage company places a retention on the mortgage. If the buyer still wishes to proceed and has sufficient funds then it may be possible to renegotiate the price or carry out any works the subject of the retention.
- The Valuer for the buyer’s mortgage company requests further investigations/specialist reports. If any further investigations/specialist reports are required then make sure these are obtained ASAP. Chase your buyer if necessary.
While some of these issues may be outside your control, there are some steps which can be taken and enquires which can be made at an early stage to reduce the risk of delays in the house buying process.