Buying a home is one of the most expensive purchases you are likely to make in your life.
With stamp duty, legal fees and survey costs, how can you possibly save money with so much to pay? The secret is in doing your homework and knowing what you should and shouldn’t be paying.
You may be surprised to learn that for some of the necessary payments involved, the price can vary by hundreds of pounds. The additional money neither secures you additional information, nor does it speed up the process.
The areas buyers mostly overpay on are:
- Conveyancing Solicitor
- Building Survey
- Property Searches
Don’t just go with the estate agents solicitor
The estate agent will all too often supply you with the details of their preferred solicitor. For ease and simplicity, along with the promises of a close working relationship, most buyers choose to work with this referral.
What they don’t understand is that the solicitor’s fee is often £200 to £500 more because they pay the estate agent a referral fee for selling their services.
Additionally, it might be thought less than satisfactory to instruct a solicitor recommended by the estate agent because the agent is clearly acting for the seller.
Shop around for your survey
The costs vary depending on the size and price paid for the property. A HomeBuyer Report starts from £480 INC VAT and a Building Survey from £600 INC.
Prices vary considerably from surveyor to surveyor, and especially in different parts of England. The best advice is to shop around and speak to 3 surveyors and inspect their online reviews to make sure you get some background on the type of service you are going to receive.
NB Don’t be tempted to choose a HomeBuyer Report rather than a Building Survey to save money. Your property will be best suited to one or the other of these, depending on factors like how modern your property it is, how large it is and whether it has been refurbished.
Your surveyor will advise you on the best choice. Additionally, many surveyors will refuse to carry out a HomeBuyer Report on a property when the dwelling is clearly suited to a Building Survey.
Regardless of which one suits best, you can expect to pay a little more if you get a HomeBuyer Report or a Building Survey in London.
Don’t pay over the odds for your searches
If you’re buying a property with a mortgage, your lender will require that you get a minimum of 4 property searches to find out about any issues affecting the land the dwelling is located on.
Many conveyancing solicitor firms order these searches on your behalf but there’s nothing to stop you ordering them yourself from a search provider.
You can sometimes save £100 or more by doing this, which is what many conveyancing solicitor firms commonly add on top of the actual price of the searches.
There’s no disputing that buying and/or selling a home is an expensive business, but you should ensure that you don’t overpay in these 3 areas for the reasons stated: every little helps, particularly when you finally get your keys and move in!
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By Andrew Boast MAAT MIC Co-founder of SAM Conveyancing