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Success and failure

Successful purchase

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Even when you have agreed the sale, there is still a long way to go before you can move in. The average is one to three months from agreeing the sale to moving in, but it can be longer. Sometimes the seller will insist upon a later date of completion than you would wish for, as a condition of the sale. There is not a lot that you can do about this.

There is a lot that can go wrong before your purchase is completed, not to mention potential disasters that can occur while you're moving and once you're in. Although no amount of planning can guarantee a smooth move, it does you no harm and will probably make you feel like you are more in control of the whole process. If everything goes to plan, the process should be as follows:

1. Start planning your move. Manage the whole process from start to finish by planning well in advance. Read our 'Move' section to get ahead of the game.

2. You return to your lender with details of the property. The lender will then assess the property details against their lending criteria and can reject the property before anything goes any further.

3. You nave a survey or valuation done. It is quite common for this to be arranged for you by the lender. You will have a choice of different surveys open to you. For help with these decisions and to find out more about surveyors follow this link.

4. You notify your solicitor who will start the conveyancing process. There are quite a lot of things that must be done as part of the conveyancing process. The section on solicitors and conveyancing will tell you about these in more detail. Read it now.

5. Your mortgage offer is finalised. This is a good moment as you know that the lender is satisfied with the outcome of the survey and you can now proceed full-steam ahead to exchanging contracts.

6. You exchange contracts, pay the deposit. As soon as all the minor details are finalised, such as whether or not they are taking the portable garden shed with them, your solicitor can then arrange a completion date. You have now effectively bought the home, though you can't move in yet. If you back out now you will lose your deposit. Make sure you arrange your buildings and contents insurance immediately.

7. Completion and payment of balance. This usually takes place between a week and a month after exchanging contracts. It is possible to have a simultaneous exchange and completion if you are in a real hurry to get moving. When you complete the sale, your solicitor forwards the remaining balance of the purchase price to the seller's solicitor. You then have the right to take occupancy of the property and are free to move in - something you should have been planning for some time now.

We all know what can happen to the best-laid plans of gerbils and women. There are many things that can stall your purchase, such as problems with the survey, details in the contract, delays in getting things done and so on. One distressing thing that crops up from time to time, especially in times of high demand for properties is gazumping. Find out how it can be a fly in the ointment that lubricates a smooth transaction by clicking here.

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