Our door is always open to answer your questions or concerns on buying or selling a property. We have put together a few frequently asked questions which you may find of help.
What can I afford?

Mortgages can be a mind-field, and a daunting prospect especially for a first-time buyer. We can give advice on who to speak to, in order to work out your finances.

How much does it cost to move?
Buying a property is more than just purchasing bricks and mortar. Other costs to consider include solicitors’ fees, survey fees, insurance, stamp duty and potential removal costs.

We are here to help you through this process and can provide a budget planner.

Where shall I buy?
Location Location Location! Yes, the TV programme really says it all.

When buying your home or investment property the right location is so important. At Hammond & Smith we will help you find your ideal home.

How do I know my property is valued at the right price?
A good estate agent will show you up-to-date and comparable evidence of similar properties within the area to help determine your property value. It is worth remembering some agents will overvalue to win the business, often tying you into a long contract with unrealistic expectations.

This is not our way at Hammond & Smith. We will give you truthful advice on what your property is worth and if we feel small improvements would help increase your property value or chances of selling, we will be honest with you.

How do I make an offer on a property?
You have fallen in love with your dream property, so what to do next? Now is the time to make an offer. If you offer too low you may offend the seller, running the risk of losing your dream home. If you offer too much you might worry you’re over-paying. We will help you decide what is the right offer to make.

When you make an offer, we will ask for your mortgage agreement in principle and proof of deposit.

Should I offer on a property if I haven’t sold?
If you need your funds to come from the sale of a property, whilst there’s nothing to stop you from offering if you haven’t already sold, a seller is unlikely to accept your offer or enter into negotiations until you are in a proceedable condition.
What happens once my offer is accepted?
Once your offer has been accepted now is the time to instruct a solicitor. This is one of the most important decisions when purchasing a property. At Hammond & Smith we have a list of recommendations if you do not have a chosen solicitor.

Your solicitor will then work with us and you to complete the house purchase. This stage can often be stressful, but we will be with you every step of the way.

Do I need a survey?
After your offer has been accepted and you start the process of purchasing your home, you may consider having a structural survey on the property.

This might be carried out as a request by your mortgage lender and often a process completed by them. Or you may choose to appoint your own homebuyers or full structural survey for a more detailed inspection.

We will help give advice and suggest things to consider when making this choice.

How long does it take?
How long is a piece of string! There is no definitive answer to this question as the time it takes depends on several factors. Some of these things are often out of your control and so it is important to remember this from the start.

Factors that can affect the length of a house purchase or sale include the number of properties involved in the sale chain, issues arising from surveys, and concerns found within searches (e.g. drainage, local and environmental).

When can I get my keys?

Once all the legal matters have been sorted, you are then in a position to exchange contracts. At this point, you would transfer your deposit to your solicitor which is normally 10% of the purchase price unless agreed otherwise.

At this stage, you would agree to your completion date which is the date you get your keys and the property is yours! On average, there are 14 days between exchange and completion.

For rentals, keys can be collected from our office on the agreed move in date.

What quality schemes and standards are Hammond and Smith members of / registered with?

We ensure our standards and agents adhere to specific codes of practice, always keeping our standards of professionalism high. As members of several quality assurance schemes, we have passed a range of compliance checks for both selling and renting homes. We are members of / registered with The Property Ombudsman, Chartered Trading Standards Institute, Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and Client Money Protection. We are proud to have also been selected as the Federation of Independent Agents chosen estate agent for CM16, consisting of a select group of estate agents who demonstrate exceptional customer service and professionalism. For this, our directors are fully DBS checked.

In addition, our staff are also recognised Dementia Friends. As an estate agency working with people in the community everyday we’re often in contact with individuals and families affected by dementia. Working with the Alzheimer’s Society we have committed to a series of actions including ongoing staff training and fundraising to continue to support, understand and learn more about dementia.