Buyer's Guide


Thinking of buying in the Greater Antrim area? Whatever it is that you are looking for, McAllister Estate Agents will guide you to your perfect property.

Our managing director has worked in the Northern Irish property market for more than 16 years and our local knowledge is broad and deep. We have a wide selection of properties on our books and we can be “your ears on the ground”, letting you know about properties available off market as well as those that are being prepared for the market.

We will spend time with you as a buyer and get to know what it is you want, your budget and even some of your dreams for a new home. Armed with this information, we will only show you properties that are tailored to your requirements.

Register now for our bespoke customer service. You will be in good hands.

Find out your budget

A high percentage of property transactions are completed with a mortgage by way of funding. Before you start your search for that dream home, we recommend that you meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can borrow.

Since 2014 when new lending rules were introduced, the mortgage application process has become more detailed and borrowers must now declare all financial commitments as well as demonstrate how they would meet their payments, should interest rates rise.

There are different ways in which you can secure a mortgage. The simplest may be to speak to your local bank as they will know your financial history and outgoings and will be able to offer you their exclusive products.

Another option is to speak to an independent mortgage broker. They will not be tied to a particular lender or product and will have full market access, ensuring that you can get the best deal.

Finding your next home

When you are ready to start your property search, contact McAllister Estate Agents to register your requirements. There are advantages to registering directly with an agent in the area in which you want to live as sometimes an agent may have access to properties that are available off market.

Call or email us today and tell us the type of property you are looking for, your “must haves” and your budget. We will be able to assist you with your search straight away.

Make an offer

Once you have found the right property for you, it is time to make your offer. Acting on behalf of the seller, we will ask questions about your financial position, whether you are selling a property or if there are any conditions attached to your offer.

This will help us put your offer forward in the best possible light. If your initial offer gets rejected, don’t get disappointed. Review your position and think about your next offer. It is not uncommon for there to be a few offers and counter offers made before a final deal can be agreed.

We promise to represent you in a professional manner and to put your offer forward to the client as soon as possible. Once the seller accepts your offer, you are then ready to start the conveyancing process.

Choosing a solicitor

When your offer gets accepted, you will then need to appoint a solicitor who will act on your behalf. They will be responsible for the legal side of the purchase ensuring that the relevant searches, documents and finances are in place before you become the new owner.

They will also establish whether the current owner has the right to sell the property, that any structural alterations to the house have the relevant planning and building control consents and there are no negative environmental or planning factors affecting the property or the local area.

Survey and mortgage offer

As soon as you have completed your mortgage application, your chosen lender will contact you to arrange and pay for your survey.

The survey is to establish that the price you are paying for the property is actually the true market value for that house and also to advise on the condition of the property and any structural faults.

Survey Options

There are typically three different surveys to choose from:

  • A basic mortgage valuation – this is a basic inspection by a surveyor to check the property’s value and to ensure that the price being offered is in line with the lender’s expectations.
  • A home buyer’s report – this combines a formal valuation with a basic survey of the main structure of the property such as heating, lighting and guttering. A surveyor will share their opinion on the condition of these matters.
  • A full structural survey – this is a detailed survey concerning all aspects of the property internally and externally.

Once the mortgage lender has reviewed details of the report and is happy with the content, they will then issue the mortgage offer.


This is the time when the signed contract is exchanged between the purchaser’s solicitor and the seller’s solicitor. The signed contract will contain a completion date, which will be agreed between both parties.

Once the seller’s solicitor accepts your signed contract, the sale becomes legally binding. Should you wish to withdraw after this point, you could be subject to legal action.


Completion will normally take place a few weeks after you have exchanged contracts with the seller’s solicitor. Shortly after exchange of contracts, your solicitor will prepare a “completion statement” which will detail the costs that will need to be paid to complete the sale.

Once the purchase monies have been transferred to your solicitor’s account from you and your lender, this will be forwarded electronically to the seller’s solicitor. When the funds have cleared, your estate agent will receive a call giving permission to release the keys.

Congratulations, you have now purchased your new home!

Get in touch

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