Buying a property

Buying a home can be one of the most significant transactions any of us undertake. Here is our quick guide to buying a property, properly.

  1. Step 1Budgeting and getting the right mortgage

    Before you begin your property search you need to establish how much you can spend on a property, and if you are not buying outright, you will require a mortgage. Legal fees, lender fees, removals and broker fees – it soon adds up. Work out how much this move will cost now so there’s no nasty surprises down the line. Once you have an idea of how much you can borrow, you can start thinking about the area you would like to live in and the kind of property you can afford.

  2. Step 2Instructing a Property Solicitor

    It’s time to get the ball rolling on all the complicated legal stuff by instructing your solicitor. There are several legal documents and procedures that must be carried out when buying a property. For the transaction to move as seamlessly as possible, you will need a property solicitor who can handle all legal and administrative details.

  3. Step 3Searching for and shortlisting properties

    Now you have an idea of what you may be able to afford, it’s time now to start viewing properties. While some buyers fall in love with the first place they see, most have to visit a lot more properties to find their dream home. Estate agents and property portals allow you to register for daily updates of new properties.

    Once you have viewed a number of properties, you will get a better idea of what your budget will get you. You can then work out whether you need to widen your search a little – or compromise on some of the things on your wish list to find homes that fall within your budget.

  4. Step 4Make an offer

    Once you have found a property you want to buy, the next step is to make an offer. You will need to contact the seller’s estate agent and they will manage the process between you and the seller. It’s then up to the seller to decide whether to accept the offer you’ve submitted through the estate agent.

    Don’t be perturbed if your first offer isn’t accepted – remember both you and the seller are negotiating for the best price. Once you’ve had an offer accepted, you need to apply for a mortgage officially. Once you’ve got your mortgage officially agreed, you need to think about commissioning a survey.


  5. Step 5Agreeing the sale and exchanging and completing contracts

    When the seller’s estate agent has the details of both parties’ solicitors, they will confirm that the sale is agreed, subject to contract. You will receive a Memorandum of Sale to confirm this. The seller’s solicitor will receive the title deeds from the seller and draw up a contract. Your solicitor will contact the seller’s solicitor to confirm exactly what is included in the sale.

    Your solicitor will enquire about things like the boundaries, any disputes and any alterations that have been made. Your solicitor will perform searches of Land Registry and Local Authority information. They will be checking for planning history, and any potential developments around roads, drainage and mining near the property.


  6. Step 6Exchanging contracts

    Your deposit will be sent to the seller’s solicitor, along with the signed contract. The formal exchange of contracts agrees the terms of the sale and makes them legally binding to both you and the seller. All relevant insurance contracts should now be put into force. Once the exchange has taken place, you can look forward to the completion date, which is decided and confirmed at exchange.

  7. Step 7Completion

    Your solicitor will pay the balance of the purchase price to the seller’s solicitor. Once the money is received, the seller’s solicitor will inform the estate agent and the keys will be released. The property is now yours.

  8. Step 8Preparing for moving day

    As there are often several different parties involved, planning ahead at every stage will help you. The day you move house is likely to be a busy one, but with preparation you can make sure it is not a stressful one. You will need to inform all your utility companies who will need to take meter readings. If necessary, the Royal Mail can organise a mail redirection. It’s time to contact your chosen removal company to confirm your move.

How much is your property worth?

Leave your details here to arrange a sales or letting market appraisal with one of our directors. In a rush? Click below for a 60-second instant valuation.