Buying Process


1Arranging your mortgage and other costs

Finding the right mortgage to suit your own circumstances can be daunting, with so many lenders, schemes and rates available, where do you start? Unless you’re really sure on what you’re doing, seek advice from an independent financial adviser. It will certainly help us to help you if you get a mortgage agreement in principle to enable you to move quickly if need be.

2Register your interest

You should visit estate agents in and around the area you wish to move to. Register your requirements and budget with them and get on their mailing lists. Once you’re registered, they should then send out details of relevant properties to you. You can also keep an eye on the local market by browsing the local property press or property portals like Zoopla and Rightmove.

3Finding the right property

Make yourself comfortable with a glass of your favourite tipple. Think about your ideal property and write a list of the ‘Must Haves’, the ‘Nice to Haves’ and most importantly the ‘Definitely Don’t Wants’. This can help you in deciding on which properties to view and tallying up scores for each of the properties you visit, and more importantly will give you a good list of deal-breakers so nobody’s time is wasted viewing unsuitable properties.

4Making an offer

Once you have found your ideal property you should make an offer to the agent. You must carefully consider how much you can realistically afford. Add up the mortgage offer plus any equity you have in another property. Don’t forget to allow for Stamp Duty and Solicitors fees. Once the vendor has accepted your offer you should instruct a solicitor to start the buying process. If you don’t already have a conveyancer or solicitor in mind, we can recommend one to you.

5Offer agreed

Once you receive an offer acceptance then the wheels are put into motion to lead up to the final exchange of contracts (which, from beginning to end, takes between 6 to 8 weeks on average). This is called Conveyancing. We will liaise between your solicitor and the vendor’s solicitor, working up and down any chain, to ensure that your purchase goes through as smoothly as possible.

6Conveyancing

This is the legal term for the transfer of ownership of a property from one party to another. Your solicitor will liaise with the vendor’s solicitor while carrying out Land Registry and Local Authority searches to establish the boundaries of the property, any restrictive covenants or potential developments in the area that may affect your enjoyment of your new home.

7Survey and mortgage offer

Unless you are a cash buyer this is the time to formally apply for a mortgage on this property with your financial advisor or lender. Your lender will require a survey for mortgage purposes, but this is merely to establish a valuation. You may also choose to undertake a full structural survey although this is usually advisable on a period property or a property of non-standard construction. Any issues highlighted may either affect the lenders ability to offer a mortgage in its entirety or impose special conditions on the mortgage offer. The survey may also highlight any expensive problems to you before you purchase the property.

8Exchange of contracts

Up until this point, either party can withdraw from the sale without financial loss. When your solicitor has received; satisfactory replies to all their searches and enquiries, a copy of a mortgage offer, a signed contract and the deposit has been paid (usually 5-10%), they can then proceed to exchange of contracts. From this point the seller and buyer are legally committed to the deal so if the buyer pulls out for whatever reason they lose their deposit.

The sales contract is signed by both you and the vendor and the deposit is transferred or paid by your solicitor to the vendor's solicitor. At that point the date is then set for completion. This can be pretty much straight away (called a Sim – simultaneous exchange and completion) or up to 28 days later depending on your requirements.

9Completion

Completion is the formal process of transferring the balance of monies due from the vendor’s solicitor to the seller’s solicitor. This process will be dependent on your circumstances and any other parties involved in the buying chain. Once the monies have been received you can collect the keys and you are the legal owner of your new home.

10Moving in

Congratulations! You are now the proud owners of a lovely new home.

We will provide you with a welcome pack providing you with everything you need to know, from the location of gas and electricity meters, mains water stopcocks, local authority details, waste collection day etc.

Remember to get your mail re-directed and don’t forget to tell your bank, your employer, HMRC, DVLA, insurance, council tax, doctor, dentist and any schools that you have changed your address. Agree meter readings, transfer the phone lines and other utilities. Book the removal company, defrost and disconnect your white goods. Tell your friends and organise the party.

Don’t forget the cat!

Disclaimer: This information is provided as a guide only and may not reflect your individual circumstances. You should obtain professional advice when buying or selling a property and Brown and Brooke accept no liability if you rely on the content of this guide and do not obtain professional advice.

Sales

We have successfully sold properties in Blackheath, Greenwich, Charlton, Woolwich, Deptford, Lewisham and beyond. If you want the focused attention that only a small independent can offer, look no further.

Lettings

As a fully qualified ARLA agency, we are able to offer a thorough, comprehensive and legally compliant tenant finding service for our local landlord clients. We feel fortunate to have so many repeat clients that come to us whenever they need new tenants.

Management

This is what we do best. We manage over 100 properties for landlords throughout the South East of London (and even some north of the river). We pride ourselves on our quality of communication throughout and the relationship we attempt to build with tenants in order to provide a smooth service for our clients.

Advice

Advice is free! We are happy to have our “brains picked” even if you are not a client or customer. We are here to help our local community – so whether you need a great plumber, or what a second opinion on a planned refurbishment, just give us a bell.

Inventories

We are also fully qualified to provide inventories for landlords. So, even if you do not want us to find your tenants, or you want to manage the property yourself – and inventory is still a great idea.

Property Valuations

All agents offer free valuations, but it is always good to get more than one opinion. Additionally, if you are planning a major renovation – we would be very happy to provide a “Before & After” service.

Portfolio Reviews

For multi-unit landlords, we recommend a full portfolio review every couple of years. Give us a bell to find out more.

Featured Properties

Fees

Brown & Brooke Tenant Charges

At Brown & Brooke we like to keep it simple and straight forward so there are no hidden fees or hidden costs. So Tenants, below are the permitted payments that you may incur before, during or after your tenancy:

Holding Deposit
A holding deposit is what is required to reserve a property once a rental offer is agreed. A holding deposit will be withheld should a tenant or guarantor fail any reference or Right-To-Rent check, if any misleading or false information is given or the tenant does not sign a tenancy agreement within 15 calendar days (unless mutually agreed in writing otherwise).
One weeks rent (per tenancy)
Rent in AdvanceOne month
Security Deposit 
Per Tenancy, rent under £50,000 per year5 weeks rent
Per Tenancy, rent above £50,000 per year6 weeks rent
Unpaid RentAny unpaid rent will be charged at 3% above the Bank of England base rate from the Rent Due Date in order to pursue the non-payment of rent until the amount outstanding is paid.
Loss of Keys, Access/Security DeviceTenants will be charged and are liable for the costs of replacing any keys, access or security devices. In a result of a loss where a lock is required to be changed, the costs of a locksmith, a new lock and keys needed for any relevant party will all be charged to the tenant.
Variation of contract any time 
To cover costs for preparations and execution of new documents required£50 (Incl. VAT)
Change of Sharer or Replacement Tenant at any time£50 (Incl. VAT)
To cover costs for any costs for referencing and Right-To-Rent checks on new tenants, deposit registration and preparation and execution of new documents required 
Early TerminationShould a tenant wish to leave a property early, when there is no break-clause in place, the tenant will be liable for all rent due under the tenancy until the start date of a new tenancy as well as costs for re-letting of the property. This cost will not be any more than the maximum amount of rent outstanding on the tenancy.

 

Brown & Brooke calculate rent per week and per calendar month from the annual rental income for the chosen property. Please note deposit amounts will vary from property to property, but the rest of our fees are fixed for every tenancy. Please contact us if you have any questions. Brown & Brooke are happy to provide complimentary rental advice for both Landlords and Tenants.

Refundable Holding deposit - Capped at 1 weeks rent

Security Deposit - Capped at 5 weeks rent for annual rental under £50,000, or 6 weeks rent for annual rental over £50,000

Rent - The agreed monthly rent

Changes to tenancy - Capped at £50 inc VAT

Early termination charge - Not exceeding the landlord’s financial losses

Late payment of rent - Interest of 3% above BoE base rate for each day the rent is late, once it is 14 days overdue

Replacement keys - Reasonable costs or give the tenant the option to purchase themselves

Utilities, council tax, communication services, TV Licence etc - Tenants own responsibility unless otherwise stated in contract

Client Money Protection Scheme Membership details - C0129184

Property Redress Scheme  Membership details - The law requires your membership details