What they forget to tell you about buying your first place

Way way back in January, me and him found what we hoped would be our new home, and luckily for us the people selling it agreed with how much we were willing to spend. So started the epic trek that is not yet finished. Hopefully our down-to-the-wire purchase will go through. Its technically possible still at this stage but yeah, it quickly escalated from "4 months isn't a terrible time to wait for the paperwork, quit worrying" from the estate agent, to him telling us "I just want done and this off my books now".

There are loads of things they will tell you, advice and the like, but there are still things that we weren't warned about. On this epic journey we are encountering many things that we wished someone had told us, so here goes...
  1. Estate Agents can be terribly lazy. What I mean by this is, once they have the offer in the bag, they can be terribly lax at bothering to do their job - which is to be the liason between buyer and seller. Some seem to think that once the price is settled their job is done and they just need to sit and wait for the commission to roll in. Our estate agent treated us like we were "nervous" first time buyers and ignored our calls a lot of the time.. which brings us to..
  2. Make yourself heard, especially if you think something seems to take to long. If you want to say something, say it. If you have a problem, voice it. Sadly our agent ignored us, but we are now in a situation where he wished he had actually taken our concerns seriously. Mortgage offers are valid for a limited time for a reason. It shouldn't go down to the wire, no matter what they try and tell you. When it does, everyone starts to panic. Don't forget also, just because your solicitor is doing her job, doesn't mean the other one is. 
  3. You are why people will get paid (but don't be an arse about it). Our lawyer are no-move-no-fee, so if she doesn't do the work she doesn't get paid, the estate agent is on commission etc. So if your move doesn't happen they aren't paid, so don't be shy about asking stupid questions or asking them to explain the process. There has been a lot of huffing from our estate agent when we've called him to task about not communicating with us. Ringing every day will make you a bit of a dick, but making contact every week or so to see what is going on is totally acceptable. Also asking questions that might seem stupid. Email has been great for the odd "This will likely sound stupid but ... " question.
  4. People won't give you the straight truth. The only exception we found to this was our mortgage broker. Everyone else tries to remain professional, and it takes reading between the polite talk to get at what they are really thinking. Most importantly, the seller can lie to everyone. Aside from the exaggerations and glaring lies of omission, we've had explanations for delays that are Barney Stinson grade outrageous coming from the seller. It'd be hilarious if it wasn't stopping us moving.
  5. Chains aren't the only thing that will hold you up. We have no chain, yet things have been held up because of things the seller has (or rather hasn't) done. Many of our friends have expressed similar experiences, including one who's whole chain nearly collapsed due to the seller procrastinating for over a year. We all get told that it wont be quick, and chains delay etc, but don't assume that because someone is selling, they want it done quickly like you do.
Happy House-buying people! 

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