Frequently Asked Questions – Buyers

by Stephen Gilbert

September 2016


UK Sales FAQ’s – Questions we’re often asked about buying

Buying a home is one of life’s most stressful experiences and this may partially be because so much of the process is unseen by the buyer. While agents and lawyers discuss, vendors and buyers feel ‘out of the loop’. This is why we encourage clients to ask as many questions as they need to.

We are first-time buyers and looking at mortgages. Can we ask an estate agent for mortgage advice?

Legally, estate agents aren’t allowed to offer mortgage advice of any kind. However, we can recommend an independent mortgage adviser who will be happy to talk over your requirements and circumstances.

What is gazumping?

Gazumping happens when the vendor of a home accepts an offer from a higher bidder, even if they have agreed to sell it to you. Unfortunately it’s perfectly legitimate, although there are plans to make it illegal in the near future.

We are buying a Victorian property. Will we need a surveyor?

Any home bought with a mortgage undergoes a survey commissioned by the lender. However, if the property is old or you are planning to change it, we fully recommend you engage an additional structural surveyor. Our recommended list covers most of London, and the RICS offers a free search throughout the UK.

We know what to look for in a home, but what should we look for in an agent?

Make sure they belong to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and the Estate Agents’ Ombudsman Scheme (EAOS). Both strictly regulate their members and can legally order them to compensate dissatisfied customers.

We want to sell our home with its carpets and curtains. Should we tell the agent?

Absolutely. Your estate agent should request a list of every fitting (or chattel) included in the asking price; many buyers ask for one.

Melissa Freitas, Petermans Senior Sales Negotiator, Herne Hill

To buy or sell, who do we speak to at Petermans? Call Howard Peterman, Darren Goodman, or Stephen Gilbert at our Edgware office on 020 8958 5040, or Wendy Peterman, Paul Kelly, or Ben Moser in Herne Hill on 020 7733 5454.

Now that you’re feeling a bit more clued-up about buying, why not have a browse of our pages for buying in Edgware, Herne Hill, or West Dulwich.


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