1. Work out your budget
Find out how much you are going to be able to spend on your new property and get an understanding of additional costs such as surveyors fees, legal costs, stamp duty, moving expenses and bank fees.
2. Start your search
We would recommend you register with Hawk to let us know what you looking for, location, size and budget of property, we will be able to let you know what properties we have currently, and if anything new becomes available we can let you know first. There are also several property search sites in Jersey like places.je.
3. Contact an estate agent
Decide on the properties that meet your criteria and plan to go and see them. Don’t look at more than six in a day. If you view a greater number, you will forget more about each one than you remember. Make a second viewing if you see something of interest and visit at a different time of day to assess if there are any issues at certain times. You will be surprised at how different a property can seem when you return to it. You will definitely see things that you missed the first time around. On this second visit take a little more time and look at items in more detail. Turn on taps to check water pressure, look at where the power points are located, see if every room has heating and check if your furniture will fit into the rooms available.
4. Make an offer
If you like a property and wish to put in an offer, confirm the amount to us and we will contact the vendor to make the offer on your behalf. Once you receive acceptance of your offer, we will contact you and let you know the vendor’s proposed completion date. At this point, the vendor is not legally obliged to take the property off the market, but you can request that they do so. We will formally write to you, your solicitor and the vendor’s solicitor to confirm the sale price of the property.
5. Instruct your solicitor
f you do not already have one, we can recommend good property solicitors that you may wish to use to facilitate the purchase of the house. You will need to instruct your solicitor to draw up the contract and liaise with the vendor’s solicitor. For all Jersey property sales, you will need to obtain the consent of the Housing Minister who will determine your qualification status. Consent will only be granted when the Minister’s office is satisfied that you have the correct qualification status. Your solicitor will go through the usual steps of conveyancing the property including checking the title and ensuring there are no other rights or claims over the property or land you are looking to purchase. They will do the standard local authority searches which in Jersey also include checks with the Minister for Planning and Environment, the Transport and Technical Services Department and the individual Parish. Your solicitor will visit the property to ensure that there are no additional factors that need to be determined when drawing up the contract of sale, including flying freehold (a freehold property of which a small part reaches into, or is built on or over, a neighbouring property) and building restrictions. All the information uncovered in this visit will be reflected in the contract and you will be made aware of any issues that may affect your purchase.
If you are applying for a mortgage from a bank or building society, the lender will do a valuation survey to determine that they are lending on the right property and that their valuation matches the actual sale price. This is different from a homebuyer’s survey. In Jersey, all sale contracts include a ‘vices cachés’ clause which states that the buyer is buying the property in the condition found on the date of the contract with any and all defects found (hidden or otherwise) as may exist. We strongly advise you instruct a surveyor to carry out a detailed homebuyer’s survey before you exchange contracts. We work with a trusted selection of surveyors and will happily recommend one.
7. Arrange your move
If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to arrange your property move – this normally takes place on, or after, the day of completion.
The Jersey conveyancing process for a Freehold property occurs when all enquiries have been agreed. It will end with a contract being passed before the Royal Court (which takes place on Friday afternoons). You can choose to attend, or one of the Conveyancers can attend on your behalf through Power of Attorney.
If your property is Share Transfer this can be sold on any day of the week, when contracts are signed and monies change hands.
9. Moving in
Once all the payments have cleared, the vendor will surrender the keys to the property and you can move in.