Buyers need a power team

Buying or selling a home in England is known to be one of the most stressful milestones in life. Should it be? No.

The first tip we would give anyone buying is to build your trusted power team. Think of it as a property avengers team that will have your back… Mortgage Broker, Solicitor, Removal Company, Surveyor and yes, an Estate Agent.


What is ‘The Chain’?

Everyone enters a chain when buying a property. The question is how long is the chain? In estate agency terms the chain is the property links between the buyer at the lowest link (normally a first-time buyer or investor) and the link at the top of the chain (normally a new home or a vacant property on completion). So, if you are a buyer, buying a house that someone is selling to buy on, then that forms two links of a chain. If the property they are buying is a new build, then that chain has 3 people involved. You, the seller, and the developer are at the top.

How long does it take to buy a property?

In ‘the old days’ (pre covid), you could get a simple freehold sale from offer to completion in about 6 weeks at its fastest rate. These days it comes down to the amount of links in the chain and the amount of leasehold properties in the chain. Leasehold properties are taking much longer to transact due to the delay on management packs and extra enquiries. A simple chain of 2 or 3 freehold properties, with a good ‘power team’, could take just 10-12 weeks. Cheap solicitors, online estate agents and leasehold chains could take up to 5 months.

What do I need to pay for to buy a property?

The mortgage deposit is the largest outlay normally. After that you need to calculate if you have stamp duty tax to pay. Mortgage valuation if you are getting a mortgage (circa £300), a survey in addition if you feel it warrants one (£500-£2k on average depending on type), legal fees for the conveyancing (circa £2k), removal costs if not doing it yourself and estate agency fees if you are buying and selling.

What questions should I ask on a viewing?

Here are a few that might help:

How long has the property been on the market? Are the sellers buying onwards? Have they already found a property to buy? What upgrades or refurbishment works have they done recently? What are the local schools like? Is there any additional parking or garages that are not attached to the property? How long is left on the lease? (leaseholds) What is the monthly service change & ground rent? (leasehold) Do the sellers play to leave anything in the property that is not fixed in?

What is the difference between Leasehold, Freehold & Share of Freehold?

A freehold property is normally a house. The freehold means that you own the build and the land that it sits on.

Leasehold is rather different from freehold. You effectively lease ownership of a property for a specific period. This tends to be over a lengthy period, but can vary from anywhere between 40 to 999 years. However, as a guide this is often 90 or 120 years. You will have a contract with the freeholder of your property, which sets out precisely what you are responsible for. You will likely be required to pay certain annual costs, such as ground rent, while you will also be required to contribute towards maintenance and service charges.

A share of freehold is formed most commonly when a small group of leaseholds by the freehold out and therefore on a share of the freehold each.

Is there a quick way to register my search criteria with avocado?

Here are a few that might help:

Yes, abso-avo-lutely, just use the link here


“Neil was pivotal in driving our house purchase forward and getting it over the line. He was always checking in with each party and always making sure that things were moving in the right direction.

Things came down to the wire in the end, so without Neil being so proactive, we could still be waiting to complete the purchase.

All in all, I'd highly recommend, as we ended up with our dream home as a result of Neil's efforts.”

Trevo R

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