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How stressful is buying a property in Harrow?

They say buying a property can be one of the most stressful things you’ll ever do. It doesn’t have to be; it’s all about how ready you are at every level in the process.

We’ve previously explained the process of obtaining a mortgage, the different options available, and the first initial steps in your journey to home ownership. I hope that has given you a peek into what is involved when buying a property.

Now that you’ve seen the property of your dreams, it’s time to agree a purchase. How? And how much should be offered? First, know before any property comes onto the market, a lot of research is carried out behind the scenes to determine theasking price. This involves checking prices for similar properties that have sold and comparable evidence of what else is on the market. Having the right asking price is key to a successful sale.


It’s quite common that offers are placed below the asking price, but we find that if the asking price is realistic in the first instance, the more chance you’ll have of achieving the price you are asking. It’s also worth bearing in mind that if there are several interested parties, you may need to offer over the asking price to secure the property.

Once the offer is accepted, we’re ready to start the full mortgage application and instruct a solicitor/Conveyancer. Conveyancing is a process which includes carrying out the searches, drawing up and checking the contracts as well as paying stamp duty on your behalf.

Searches typically includes aspects relating to the property such as planning permissions, ensuring the house is connected to water/drains and if there are any major works planned for the future that may affect the property. These are applied for from the local authority and other parties. These can take several weeks to come back; most solicitors will wait until receipt of these before any enquires are raised.

Once your mortgage application has been processed, your lenders will arrange for a mortgage survey to be carried out. A mortgage survey helps to assess the overall condition of the property and detect and problems such as structural movement, any defects in the property, any rising damp and to make sure the properly is habitable. Lenders will use this report to satisfy they are happy to approve a mortgage on the property in its current state. This is then passed to the lenders underwriter who will sign off the application, thereafter you will be issued with a mortgage offer. You’ll get a copy as well as your solicitors. The solicitors copy will also have conditions on it which will have to be adhered to by the solicitors.

In our next article we’ll get into the final stages of the process;what happens after your mortgage offer is issued and once all the searches come back? As well as explanations on well-used terms like exchange and completion’, and when will they take place.

We do work with a number of solicitors/conveyancers who will gladly be able to help and explain the process further. Do give us a call on 020 8426 0631 or email harrow@hiltonandfox.com

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