Buying a property – what you need to do

The property market is enjoying brisk business on the back of the Chancellor’s stamp duty payment holiday. Nationwide reported house prices bouncing back in July, climbing by 1.7 per cent during the month, compared to a 1.5 per cent fall in June. Pent-up demand and the stamp duty holiday – enabling buyers to save up to £15,000 on their property purchase – are fueling the spike in activity as we come out of lock-down.

Those wanting to move whether for more space – inside and/or out – or because they have put their plans on hold for a while in response to Brexit and then lock-down, will find there is lots of competition among buyers. Some estate agents are refusing to show round buyers who haven’t yet put their existing property on the market, emphasizing the level of demand and desire to avoid time wasters.

Getting your own affairs in order, including your finances, before you even book to view a property will put you in a much stronger position.

AWS Financial Services has the following top tips for buyers:

• If you are selling a property in order to buy another, get it on the market.

• Run a financial health check on yourself. Check everything is correct on your credit file and reduce or cut back on unnecessary outgoings.

• Get your paperwork together – P60, three months’ worth of payslips and bank statements, and ID, including your passport and utility bill at your current address. The self-employed will also need two years of their most recent accounts or tax return, and may need to produce three months’ worth of business bank statements.

• Speak to a whole-of-market broker like AWS Financial Services to get a ‘decision in principle’. This gives a broad outline as to how much you can borrow.

• If you are selling a property, remember a lack of documents can hold up a sale so get your pack of information ready and appoint a solicitor.
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