Ten stages to buying a house with a traditional estate agent...

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Monopoly money

We’ve all played Monopoly at some point in life. Buying property is a cinch. You just fork over some green to the banker in exchange for a key to a house. Sadly this is not the case. There are a multitude of people you have to talk to, make deals, and barter with before you are even close to winning the game. Damn you Monopoly and your false teachings. Will Clark, CEO of the online estate agent SellMyHome.co.uk comments; “You don't need an over-illuminated security light to see this is daylight robbery. And estate agents are doing it to sellers, buyers, renters and landlords without remorse. Why is this still considered acceptable?” So we’ve decided to put together an irreverent and sarcy ten step list in what’s ‘really involved’ in buying a home through a traditional estate agents to highlight the headaches and difficulties involved in this process compared to SellMyHome.co.uk, an online service which has no place for hidden fees.

1. Set a budget.

So you want to take that crucial step in life and move out of your tucked away in your parent’s house, man cave of a bedroom and become independent? There’s one thing that can get in your way at this point, and that’s money. Once your budget has been set, the next thing you will need is company so that’s when you...

2. Decide who you want to live with.

It would be so awesome to live with your friends but you got to think realistically. Do you really want to enter a contractual mortgage with the same people you find yourself slumped with in a kebab shop at 03:00am Sunday morning after a heavy irresponsible spend up? Maybe your partner is looking for a place? After all, they are the person you envision spending the rest of your life with... aren’t they? Once you have your gang together you’ll need to...

3. Find and view properties.

Once you’ve finalised step one and two it’s time to step into an actual high street estate agents. You’re greeted by a rare breed of human capable of bleeding your cash fund dry. They’re very easy to spot. They’re traditionally over-confident and almost definitely have slicked back hair. You’ll notice they’re usually struggling for air from the over the top tailoring of their fitted pinstripe suit. They’ll pester you to buy until you...

4. Make an offer on a property.

You’ve finally found it, your dream home. The one with the double garage, enough bedrooms to use one as a study, a kitchen diner, plus there is no smell from the previous owners’ cooking. Things are looking up in your hunt for true independence. “Here’s my deposit, where are my keys?” Not so fast Mr Independence, you have to first...

5. Find a mortgage.

3.8% APR, 1.99% Initial Rate, Discounted Variable for two years? My head hurts. Living with my parents was so much easier. Damn this independence thing. To be honest, it’s a good idea to get this agreed in principle at the start of this process. Although some estate agents will insist you use their services. Don’t. Simple as that. Find your own mortgage through a bank or broker. There will also be some extra fees to pay.

“So you’re telling me I’ve saved my behind off for a deposit for ages and now I have to pay more?”

These fees will go towards things such as a...


Mortgage brokers and banks will carry out their own valuation of a house, because they like to know that if you decide to not pay your mortgage one day, they’re able to claim your house back for a decent value. There is some good news though. Some banks offer this service for free as part of the mortgage package. Think of it as a few bucks saved until the bank needs to...

7. Get a survey done

This costs money, which again, needs to be accounted for when organising your budgets. It’s good to know there are several survey options you can choose from: the basic valuation, a condition report, a homebuyer's report, and a full buildings, or structural survey. Even though you think your potential new house may be standing, there’s still those moments where you can’t be sure.

8. Instruct a solicitor

This stage is the worst of them all. Wait for it...STAMP DUTY! This painful fee consists of a percentage of your new house’s worth going directly into the Government’s pocket. Why? No idea. Nobody does. Well except Cameron I suppose. This is a horrible moment of a new house transaction.

9. Exchange of contracts

You’re not out of the water yet, but close. At this point you’ll fork over your hard earned deposit. All that money... gone. Sickening. But just think, one more step and you’re free. The seller could pull out at any time, although once the contracts have been signed and exchanged, there are legal steps you can take to claim compensation on your deposit. Let’s hope this is not the case.

10. Completion – The day you get the keys.

The time has come where you can finally sit back and look over what you have just done. Was it worth it? Depends how well that first mortgage payment goes I suppose. Don’t worry, you’re on the housing ladder and finally independent. Invite your parents round for dinner, I dare you. Or have a house warming party. Everyone likes a party.

Photo Credit: Main Image by Images Money

Looking to rent your home instead? Try RentMyHome.co.uk