Success…property in the bag

Following on from my first blog about my experience of the home buying process from the sharp end, things have moved forward in the right direction after some shall we say interesting encounters.

Let’s start with the good news, I viewed a property which I liked, made an offer and had that offer accepted all within 45 minutes. My solicitors are now instructed (a tip for my non legal sector friends reading this, get them instructed as early as you can) and the memo of sale is safely in my inbox.

Wednesday’s experience seemed to go against the grain of the Chester market, where so far it’s felt like I was always one step behind what was actually happening.

The first example of this was Property A, good location, walking distance from the city centre, parking, a garden and in pretty good nick apart from needing new carpets upstairs and a new kitchen. I viewed the property on my lunch and spoke to the accompanied viewer. There were other viewings booked i was told. This wasn’t a surprise as i thought the property was well under market value. For those of you who know me, you’ll know that i’m quite decisive and impulsive so i rang up to offer the asking price a few hours later.

“We’ve had more offers that won’t be enough” said the lady on the phone, so i upped the offer and tried to sell my ready to go story in terms of DIP and Solicitors lined up. I followed up with an email explaining my position and received an email back that evening explaining all offers were being put to the vendor and they would be in touch. I was at this stage resigned to the fact I’d been an outbid and didn’t hold out much hope the agents would be in touch. Unsurprisingly they didn’t get in touch and i had to chase a few days later only to be told the vendor had accepted another offer.

I had two other viewings with one agent, who made me feel like I was frankly a bit of a nuisance. I appreciate that the properties I’m interested in aren’t where the big bucks is for the agent but I’m not buying a pair of shoes here, this is the biggest purchase I have ever made. That brings me on to my key take away from my experience so far, people are making their biggest or one of their biggest purchases ever, hand holding and guidance is absolutely critical. The property i agreed to purchase funnily enough saw the viewer do exactly that.

Moving on to the legal side of things. Now I’m naturally in an advantageous position here with my job proving to be very helpful. However i didn’t really shout about that to the agents although my broker was aware. Not one agent asked me about solicitors or gave me an indication as to what might lie ahead. Not one agent asked about my source of funds which are not coming Cayman Islands in case you were wondering. It’s not difficult to see why Conveyancers are often on the back foot. I know lots of agents who do this bit well but you can see where the friction comes from. The process just doesn’t feel connected. If I didn’t know what i do from my job, this would have been a really nervous stage for me now. What would help with that? Upfront information would make an impact, being able to see a fixtures and fittings form for me would have been super helpful for example. Unfortunately I don’t think there’s a simple fix to the areas i have identified. My initial thoughts are that the connection between an agent and a FTB would be greatly improved with independent regulation and training of estate agents. It’s been mooted but has gone cold.

So where are we up to? I’ve instructed my Solicitors and completed all their paperwork. The mortgage application has gone off and we should hear by the end of the week. A shout out to my broker Emma Jones, who did a really helpful screen share with me last Thursday when choosing the mortgage product. This enabled me to see everything on the screen and the key parts of the deals. I don’t process numbers in my head that well so seeing it in front of me was hugely beneficial. From a trust and transparency perspective i thought it was great. If you’re having meetings with brokers get them to do this with you.

In next weeks blog I’ll talk about my onboarding experience with my solicitors (relax it’s been really good and easy) and rant about Nationwide not allowing me to have PDF bank statements for my savings account!!

Today's Conveyancer
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