Buying property in the UK

Property in the UK is incredibly expensive compared to other nations and can take many immigrants by surprise. Prices have been steadily rising for the past decade and you would be doing very well if you could find a one-bedroom flat for sale under £100,000. Most property deals in the UK are carried out by estate agents, who often offer a complete service to the buyer including surveys and valuations. Beware though as estate agents in the UK are unregulated meaning that there are plenty of dodgy characters out there. It always pays to research your chosen area as well as the estate agents operating in the region.

The Process

1. Make an offer on the property, which will usually be around 5% to 10% less than the initial asking price (this is usually done through the estate agent, who will negotiate between the buyer and seller of the property until an agreed price is reached). Acceptable prices are generally about 97% of the asking price. You can’t get 10% off, unless it’s a really run down house. 5% off is rare.

2. Secure a confirmed mortgage if needed.

3. Arrange for a survey or mortgage valuation to be carried out.

4. Arrange for conveyancing services from a solicitor or specialist conveyancing firm.

5. Confirm your offer price in the light of the survey or valuation results.

6. Agree a date for exchange of contracts.

7. At exchange of contracts, pay a deposit on the purchase price, and agree a completion date (usually between a week and a month after exchange of contracts).

8. On the completion date, pay the balance of the purchase price and receive the keys to the property. The bank or mortgage company will transfer the purchase funds to your solicitor who will pay the seller.

For more information look at the UK governments website at