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How to make sure the process of buying your home moves quickly and smoothly

So, you have found your ideal home, you have had the call from the agent confirming the owner is happy to proceed with your offer. You are feeling excited about the big move, expecting that you could be in within 8 weeks. This however is the tricky period when often both buyers and seller's come across many issues that could de-rail the transaction. However, it is important to know that with some planning and organising you can avoid many of the traditional problems.

1. Before you make a firm offer on a home make sure you have spoken at length to either your bank or mortgage broker and they have confirmed exact figures you can borrow so there are no shocks later down the line, especially with mortgage companies being stricter and interest rates rising. Ideally speak to a mortgage broker as well as your bank, they will check most mortgage companies, making sure you are given the best offer, it is very rare for your bank to give you a favoured interest rate due to loyalty. Make sure you are aware of the stamp duty you will be liable for; on many occasions this has come as a surprise near exchange when they have mis-calculated figures.

2. Make sure to use a good solicitor, ideally a recommended one, either from your agent who may have a good relationship with the firm or a friend who has recently used them. Don't go on a recommendation from over 3/4 years ago, the firm could have changed dramatically. So many times, the main reason for long delays are inefficient solicitors. There is no conflict of interest going with a firm recommended by the agent, often they can help to speed up the process if they work well with the solicitor, remember the solicitor will still be acting for you not the agent. Try and avoid cheap online conveyancing quotes which are often based out of a cheap call centre, I can’t' stress the number of sales that have nearly fallen through due to these slow firms. Lastly make sure you solicitor is on your mortgage companies panel, if not you will have to instruct a second firm which may incur further costs, normally it will mean they will need a minimum of two partners in the firm.

3. Once instructed it is important to provide all the information to the solicitor's and mortgage company within the first few days, this is another area we often see delays. This will cover I.D and transferring money to solicitors for local searches and making sure your mortgage company have all they require, payslips, P60's etc. Most of this can be uploaded online now so can be done within a few hours.

4. If you are arranging a homebuyer’s survey, make sure to get this done early on, it can take a while for the report to come back, if there are points that need to be investigated this will give you time for contractors to visit while the conveyancing is proceeding.

5. Keep in touch with your solicitor once or twice a week to make sure what is outstanding and if there is anything else you can provide. Contact is vital during property transactions to make sure it runs smoothly.

6. Stay in touch with your agent regularly who can help to chase any outstanding points.

7. Make sure your deposit is ready to be transferred when your solicitor requests it, make sure you don't need to give notice to your bank for any funds to be transferred.

8. Agree completion dates early on so as to avoid delays, especially if there are a few people in the chain

If you are organised and plan the process your purchase will be more straightforward and you will avoid unexpected delays meaning you will be in your dream home sooner.