Oscar Knight
Oscar Knight

020 3909 0888

property@oscarknight.co.uk

Buying Process

Perhaps you are looking to buy for the first time, relocating, upsizing, downsizing or investing in property with us we can help you find the property that makes you feel at home, and support the entire home buying process. Our basic guide below should help you develop an understanding of what is required along the journey of buying property.

Know what you can afford

One of the most important parts of the process when buying property is knowing what you can afford. Make sure you know what your budget is and then make decisions based on this budget as opposed to house-hunting first, falling in love with a home and then being left disappointed when you cannot afford it.

You’ll also find that it makes sense to save as much money as you can when buying property, as the larger the deposit you can offer the better mortgage you will receive, so review your finances and start putting money away.

Find the right location

Once you have your budget set, you can narrow down your search and the next important issue is location. You may be looking for a home in a particular area (perhaps to be close to work or family members) or you may have some flexibility.

It is important to know what is important to you. For some households, schools are the most vital component in choosing an area while other people may be more interested in transport links. Detail the location features that are most important to you and then focus on these matters.

Know what you need from a property

With your budget and location set, it is time to focus on the right home. Again, create a list of features that you must have and what features are nice to have. You may need to have a set amount of bedrooms, you may need a garden or there could be any style of room or appliance that matters to you.

The right home for you is often a matter of personal taste and requirements so make sure you know what you need and then use this as the basis for your choice.

Make an offer

When you find a home that ticks all or as many of your boxes as possible, it is time to make an offer. You will know what your budget is, and you can always call on Oscar Knight for help in determining what a suitable offer is. Knowing average prices and having local market knowledge will give you a good guide on what to offer but only you know what represents value to you.

Conveyancing

After your offer has been accepted, it is important to enlist a conveyancer or solicitor to undertake the legal work involved with transferring ownership of the property. The right professional will have your interests at heart, will work to get you the best deal and will be focused on concluding the deal as quickly as possible.

Survey

There are three main types of survey; a Mortgage Valuation, a Homebuyer Report and a Building Survey.

If you are buying your new home with a mortgage then your bank/building society will normally insist on a Mortgage Valuation to establish that the property is good security for the loan. The buyer will normally pay for the mortgage valuation but very rarely gets a copy of the report and as such it is always recommended that you arrange your own survey as well. A Homebuyer report is ideal for more conventional residential property built that has been within the past 75 to 100 years, the report will include a detailed visual inspection of all aspects of the property that are available for inspection.

A Building Survey (also referred to as a full or structural survey) is suited to older properties, or properties which may have different forms of construction or undergone major changes. A detailed inspection of all visible areas of the property is undertaken.

Finalise Mortgage & Insurance Requirements

Once a mortgage valuation has been completed you will receive a formal mortgage offer from your lender in which the final details of the loan are confirmed. You and your solicitor/conveyancer should check this carefully. You may also be required to arrange life assurance to cover the loan and building insurance as you exchange contracts

Exchange contracts

When contracts are exchanged, there is a legal obligation for the property deal to be concluded, creating a legally binding deal. This is when you hand over a deposit, the normal sum or liability is 10% of the purchase price and this will need to be logged with your solicitor ahead of exchanging the contracts. Contracts are exchanged when you and the seller and your respective solicitors/conveyancers are satisfied that everything is in order. At this point the date of completion is formalised so you can then finalise your move date and book your removal company. After this stage, it is rare for either party to pull out.

Completion

This is the final day of the process and the balance of the monies is transferred via the banking system, deeds are exchanged between legal representative and as a buyer, you can pick up the keys to your new home.

Moving

Once you have keys to your new home, you can begin the moving process. You may hire professionals to assist you or enlist friends and/or family members to help, but the moving process is important. Once this has been concluded, you can begin the process of settling in to your new home.

This is intended to help as a guide to help you through the basic process. Buying a home is a huge activity and can be a stressful and daunting time so it makes sense for buyers to get as much help as possible. At Oscar Knight, we are on hand to provide you with as much support as possible, so get in touch should you need help.

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Letting Fee Information

Tenant Fees & Charges

There are various fees and charges associated with renting a property that you should be aware of when considering making an offer on a property available through us; some are mandatory and some are possible additional fees. They are as follows:

Property Reservation

We ask for a property reservation payment of £500 before we put forward any offer to the landlord as confirmation of your intent to proceed with the proposed tenancy. This will ensure that no other applicant of Oscar Knight Agents will be shown the property (although bear in mind that landlords sometimes instruct other agents, over whom we of course have no control). Should the Landlord decide not to proceed with the tenancy, the payment will be refunded IN FULL unless the Landlords decision is as a result of you failing the referencing procedure (see reference charges below) or by you attempting to alter the initial terms of the proposed contract. The property reservation payment is non-refundable in any part for any other reason. Payment of this sum does not constitute the granting of a tenancy


Security Deposit

A security deposit equivalent to 6 weeks' rent (8 weeks if you are a student) must be paid in cleared funds when you sign the tenancy agreement and is held by the landlord or Oscar Knight Estate Agents as Stakeholder for the duration of the tenancy in accordance with the terms of the tenancy agreement.


Admin Fees

Oscar Knight will typically charge a one off tenancy administration fee of £350 inclusive of vat on a per property basis at tenancy start. This fee covers the cost of drawing up a legally binding contract for the tenancy aswell as the costs associated with referencing each applicant inclusive of checking credit status, current employer, current or past landlords, and taking into account any other information to help assess the affordability of a tenancy application. It also covers the cost of conducting a check-in at tenancy start.


References

You are responsible for any administration charges levied by your own bank in relation to obtaining a reference

Should you fail reference checks the £500 property reservation payment shall be refunded less a referencing charge of £99.00 inclusive of vat per tenant applicant and or guarantor.

A reference may be requested by a tenant at any time. The cost for this service is £24 inclusive of VAT per reference and is payable upon request.


Renewals

You will be contacted approximately 90 days in advance of the tenancy end date to ascertain if you wish to extend your tenancy or to confirm the date you will be vacating the property. If the tenancy is renewed, no fee is payable by the tenant to cover our administration for this.


Change of occupancy

In the event that one or more tenant(s) wishes to be replaced during the tenancy, consent will need to be obtained by the landlord first. It is usual practice that the landlord will require a suitable replacement tenant to be found prior to allowing the tenant(s) to be released from the obligations of the tenancy. The replacement tenant will need to provide suitable references and take over the tenancy from a relevant date i.e. the rent due date. The exiting tenant will need to 'surrender' the tenancy and upon receipt of written landlord consent Oscar Knight will draw up a new tenancy agreement for signature by the new tenant along with all the remaining parties. The deposit and check-in for the original tenancy will apply to the new tenancy. An administration fee of £120 inclusive of VAT will be charged for this.


Change of identity

Upon receipt of written landlord consent Oscar Knight will draw up a new tenancy agreement for signature by all parties. An administration fee of £84 inclusive of VAT will be charged for this.


Arrears

An administration fee of £54 inclusive of VAT will be charged for each letter sent by Oscar Knight regarding late or non-payment of rent for administration charges.

Should any fees or charges remain outstanding at the end of the tenancy, Oscar Knight will deduct the total amount due from the security deposit.


Debit/Credit Card Payments

There are no charges for payments made to Oscar Knight via EU debit card or EU Credit card.


Stamp Duty Land Tax

This tax is payable on tenancies where the rent exceeds £125,000. Please contact HMRC for further information.


Amendments

Oscar Knight reserves the right to change the schedule of fees and these terms of business upon providing reasonable notice in writing.