Eight things that can go wrong when buying a house

Buying a new house is incredibly exciting, but it certainly can be stressful! We take a look at some of the most common things that can go wrong when buying a house and the things you can do to manage it.

1) Falling in love with a property too early

Once you have decided you’re going to buy a home, it can be tempting to start browsing what’s for sale in your area straight away. The danger here is falling in love with a property that is either out of your price range or is sold before you’re even ready to make an offer. Make sure you have a mortgage in principle agreed at the very least before you start browsing so you understand what you can afford and avoid disappointment.

2) Struggling to find the perfect property

You may feel like you’re being too fussy, but lots of people struggle to find their dream property quickly. Having an ultimate checklist is fine, but you need to consider if there is anything you’re willing to sacrifice for the right location and features.

3) Gazumping

It’s not a nice feeling, but it happens. If you’re not familiar with this expression, “gazumping” is when a seller has accepted your offer, but then takes a higher offer from another buyer and backs out of your original agreement. In the worst case, it can mean you also lose out on surveys, solicitor’s fees and searches, as well as the property.

4) Challenges with a conveyancer

It’s incredibly important to work with a good conveyancing solicitor when buying a house. They will help manage the essential legal work between your offer being accepted on a property and the sale being completed. It’s not particularly exciting thinking about stamp duty, contracts, dealing with the Land Registry and transferring money, but a good conveyancer will help ensure this is all a smooth process. They can also help with legal advice and drive the sale process forward.

5) The chain reaction

Sometimes a dream property can come with a nightmare chain. A big chain is challenging, as any delays with it are often totally out of your control. One of the things you can do is make sure you’re aware of any chain issues through your conveyancing solicitor. They are there to minimise delays to the process and will monitor the chain closely so they can inform you straight away if an issue arises that could cause delays to your purchase.

6) Surveys packed with jargon

Getting a professional survey is an incredibly helpful way to get a better understanding of the property you are interested in and any crucial work that may need doing to it, especially if you are considering buying an older property. Once you receive the report, it can be hard to understand some of the language and jargon used. Take your time to read it and don’t be afraid to ask questions to clarify any potential issues with the property. It’s important you fully understand what you may need to do to the house before you move in.

7) Complex completion days

Completion days are an exciting goal to move towards when buying a house, but they can cause a headache! If you end up in a large chain, it can take a while for each party to receive their remaining funds on completion day. When you exchange contracts, it’s common to set a completion date (usually this is a few weeks after your exchange date), so have a backup plan of somewhere to stay on your completion day just in case you can’t get into your property until later on, or if your completion day gets pushed back.

8) The property is left in a mess

There is nothing worse than making it to moving in day only to find the property has not been left in the state you expected. Unfortunately, past homeowners will leave properties in poor condition, often leaving large items of furniture behind. It can be very difficult to get the sellers to resolve this and can leave you with a bill to remove items of large furniture or pay for professional cleaners. Make sure your conveyancer completes a fixtures and fittings form with the seller – if anything is left behind that isn’t on this paperwork, you are entitled to make a complaint. It’s also worth having it written into your agreement that the seller leaves the property in a clean condition.

Don’t let yourself be phased by the challenges above, as buying a property is still an incredibly exciting and rewarding moment. By being prepared for the common problems and ensuring you have a good team of solicitors and conveyancers in place, you can enjoy a smooth process.