All your frequently asked questions about moving house and renting out a property answered

Guide to Buying a Home

Buying a home is an exciting time but it can also be a rather complicated and lengthy process. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help prepare you for what lies ahead and hopefully help things move more smoothly for you.

I want to move house, where should I start?

The most important thing to understand before you start searching for a new home is to work how much you can realistically afford. If you require a mortgage, speak to a reputable mortgage advisor for financial advice. John German Estate Agents work closely with APR Money Limited, a small team of independent mortgage advisors who will help find you a suitable mortgage based on your individual circumstances and budget. This service is free of charge with no fees to pay – FIND OUT MORE HERE.

How do I go about finding a property?

Keeping an eye out for new listings featured on websites Rightmove, On The Market and John German is a great start. It is also a good idea to speak to your local estate agents about what you are looking for. If you are searching for a property in the Midlands, you can sign up to JG Property Alerts and be the first to hear about houses for sale before they appear on Rightmove! By talking to us, you will also receive advice and guidance on the local area, schools and amenities to help with your search.

Why sign up to JG Property Alerts when I've already signed up to Rightmove Property Alerts?

By signing up to JG Property Alerts you will hear about homes matching your search criteria BEFORE they appear on Rightmove – giving you an opportunity to book a viewing before anyone else does! SIGN UP TO JG PROPERTY ALERTS

Should I view a selection of properties?

Absolutely, this will give you a really good idea of what is available on the market and what you can expect to get based on your budget.

How many times should I view a property?

It depends, however, if you are seriously considering making an offer ideally you should view a property more than once.

I have found my dream home, what’s next?

The next step is to make an offer, don’t be too cheeky but do be prepared to negotiate. Estate agents will give you an idea of how much the owner will accept but remember to add in costs such as stamp duty and solicitors’ fees.

What is stamp duty and who pays it?

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a government tax which the buyer pays. It is calculated on a sliding scale based on the purchase price of a property you are buying. Use our STAMP DUTY CALCULATOR to find out how much you would have to pay.

My offer has been accepted, what happens next?

Now is the time to instruct a solicitor/conveyancer to undertake the legal conveyance and transfer the title ownership. In addition, inform your mortgage provider/advisor that you’ve had an offer accepted and submit your mortgage application.

John German are here to help you find the right conveyancer for your house purchase. Please speak to your local branch who can put you in touch with one of our trusted solicitors.

How long does the conveyancing process take?

It will vary depending on the number of properties in the chain, but with John German’s sales progression team helping to push it along, the average is around 16 weeks (the current National Average is 22 weeks). It is important to choose a reputable solicitor/conveyancer to ensure the process goes smoothly and as quickly as possible.

What is Completion Insurance?

Nationally, around 35% of property purchases fall through. Although the fall-through rate is much lower with John German at 20%, you can still benefit from Completion Insurance. Without the right cover you risk losing what you have paid for in advance for conveyancing, mortgage, survey and valuation fees.

Should I have a survey?

With a mortgage, your lender will organise a valuation to ensure the property is suitable security for lending purposes, but you should consider a more in-depth inspection which will highlight any defects or necessary repairs. For more information deciding on which survey to have carried out CLICK HERE.

What’s the difference between exchange of contracts and completion?

Simply put, the main difference is that exchange is an exchange of signed contracts, which makes the matter legally binding between the parties coupled with a deposit being paid, whereas a completion is when all the monies are transferred and the date the parties physically move and transfer legal ownership of the property. Ideally, you want a period of time agreed between exchange and completion.

When do I organise removals?

You will need to get costings a week or so before exchange of contracts but can only firm a date up with the removals company on or around an exchange of contracts, we can help with this if required.