Regardless of whether you are buying your first property or selling your first home, chances are that you will make some mistakes along the way, some more costly than others. It’s worth doing your research before beginning the process to learn the most common mistakes people make and how to avoid them.
1 - Failing to instruct a conveyancer on time
The best way to combat not instructing a conveyancer on time is by looking into different firms and getting conveyancing quotes in advance. This means that by the time you are ready to make an offer if you’re buying or accept an offer when selling, you have a conveyancer to turn to who can begin the legal process and transfer of ownership.
Scrambling around at the last minute trying to find a conveyancer could result in you not being happy with the firm you've chosen and multiple delays and setbacks in the process.
Some people also make the mistake of not instructing a licensed conveyancer or choose not to instruct a conveyancer at all. While you may think it will save you money, it could cost you more in the long run. Conveyancers organise disbursements and carry out property searches to see if there are any issues you should know about relating to the property. If you fail to identify issues before moving into the property, it could cost you a lot to resolve.
Muve has dedicated, experienced account managers who give regular updates to keep the process flowing smoothly. You can also read our guide on ‘What Does A Conveyancer Do?’ if you want to learn more.
2 - The buyer and seller can’t agree
Once an offer has been accepted, the exchange of letters and terms and conditions begins. This becomes difficult if the buyer and seller can’t come to an agreement on one or more of the terms and conditions. To resolve this, both parties may have to compromise on different things so the process can continue.
3 - Gazumping
Gazumping is perfectly legal though it may not seem fair. It happens when someone makes a higher offer on the house you are interested in buying, and the seller accepts this offer.
Many people make the mistake of thinking this is the end of the road. However, it’s not the end until the exchange of contracts. You can choose if you want to match the higher offer price, negotiate with the seller or drop the sale.
4 - Paperwork issues
Losing or not filling out paperwork forms can result in delays. Dedicate a folder for all paperwork related to the conveyancing process. Make time to sign the contracts and return them to the appropriate people and places as soon as they have been completed.
5 - Delays in funding
Not everyone is a cash buyer who can buy a property outright. So, many people have to deal with mortgage approval delays. It is important you identify a mortgage lender on time. Another useful tip is to get a mortgage in principal so that the seller can recognise you as a serious buyer.
6 - Not viewing the property multiple times
You may have had one property viewing and feel as though you’ve fallen in love with the property. While this can happen and it turns out to be a complete success, it’s advised that you visit the property on multiple occasions. It’s best to visit the property you’re interested in at different times of the day to see it in different lights. For example, you may learn that there is a lack of street parking in the evening or that the road is particularly busy at a certain time. Another tip is to take different people with you to view the property as they may point out things about the property you hadn’t noticed.
When you have a property viewing, it is also important you ask plenty of questions.
7 - Not taking the time to learn the legal terminology
If you don’t understand the terminology used by your conveyancer, solicitor or estate agent, this may seem confusing or daunting, and you may not understand what is expected of you. Setting aside an evening to learn the legal terms may be more useful than you’d think.
8 - Agreeing to a sale for personal reasons
If you’re the seller, it is important you remove any bias when choosing which offer to accept. It’s no good choosing to sell to a friendly young couple if they don’t have their finances, paperwork and solicitor organised.
When buying or selling a property, you should always have a suggested time frame for each stage so you can be prepared for the next step. The MuveFast upgrade guarantees that you will exchange in five weeks for a freehold property and eight weeks for a leasehold property. Otherwise, you get your upgrade fee back for each week over the timeline. At Muve, our conveyancers will always instruct you on how to keep the process moving at a good pace and will spot any signs of a potential problem before it becomes an issue.