Buying with confidence

Know your timescales

The timeline on a typical purchase can vary for many reasons, this can be due to how quickly conveyancers work, any delays in the local search or any issues further up or down the chain.

Finding a property and putting in an offer could take anywhere from 1 day to 6 months. You will want to research the area and browse search sites like Rightmove and On The Market. You can set up property alerts on these websites. Click Here to contact us to join our mailing list and be notified of properties that match your criteria.

Once your offer has been accepted the conveyancing can take anything from 4 weeks to 5 months. During this stage you will you will want to get a survey booked to check the condition of the property. You will pay your deposit when you exchange.

Can you afford the property, get an AIP

You will want to know how much you can afford before you start looking for your dream home. Various banks and building societies will have calculators that can help with this. You should consider getting an Agreement in Principle / Decision in Principle to put you in a good place to make an offer when the time comes.

Find your dream home with our dedicated experienced team

Now you are prepared to start looking for properties, go on websites such as Rightmove and On The Market and set your criteria and away you go. You will also want to register with agents in the area, Click Here to contact us and join our mailing list.

Make the right offer

It may be tricky knowing what to offer, the most important thing is to only offer what you can afford, remember to account for buying costs. The most important thing the offer has to be right for both the purchaser and seller.

Having an offer accepted

Congratulations, if you have made it this far then you’ve had your offer accepted! This is when the real work begins. Just remember no one is contractually obliged at this stage.

Choose a conveyancing firm

You will want to choose the right conveyancing firm for you. You will no doubt be getting quotes and their fee is one of things you will consider, however there are other equally important points to know. Are they local? A local conveyancer could have an advantage when it comes to local knowledge on various developments which could speed up the process. Are you able to go into their office? There are times you may want to hand over paperwork in person, or speak to someone face to face. Have they been recommended by friends and family? If you would like our recommendations please don’t hesitate to ask.

Find the best mortgage for you

Your agreement in principal will only be valid for a short amount of time, and the range of mortgage products can vary on a daily basis. It may be worth checking the market again to see if you can find a better deal. You can go directly to your lender or go via a mortgage broker. You will then complete a full application, the lender will take information to check they are happy to lend to you and you will need to pass their affordability criteria. The lender will carry out a mortgage valuation on the property to ensure they are happy to lend on it (that is their guarantee). Once you have applied for the right deal it can take as little as a few weeks to well over a month to receive the mortgage offer so you should aim to do this straight away.

Your solicitor will carry out searches and raise enquiries

Upon receipt of draft contracts from the seller’s solicitor, your solicitor will apply for the local authority searches, drainage searches and environmental searches. Your solicitor will usually request partial payment in advance to begin their work.

Which survey should you book?

If you want the peace of mind knowing what condition the property is in you can get a survey done of the property. This will have to be booked separately to the mortgage valuation, although some lenders may offer this service. You may wish to have a homebuyer’s report, which is suitable for conventional properties under 50 years old. This non-intrusive survey will give you a report to help you make an informed decision on the condition of the property and take into account any repairs or replacements the property may need. For non-conventional homes or older properties, you may wish to have a full building survey. This survey is much more detailed than the homebuyers report will provide detailed advice on the condition of the property. This survey is the most costly option.

Mortgage offer confirmed

You have received your mortgage offer! The lender has confirmed your application has been checked and approved and are they are happy to lend you the money to buy that property. It will confirm exactly how much you can borrow, the length of time you’ll make repayments and what these repayments will be. Your solicitor will also receive a copy of the mortgage offer. Please check your mortgage offer; any inaccuracies must be corrected ASAP.

Sort out your building insurance

You will need to have your building insurance sorted as your solicitor will usually require proof of insurance before you exchange. If you do this early enough it will give you plenty of time to shop around and get the best deal.

Arrange removals

You want to look at removals before you exchange to check their availability and fees. You don’t want to agree a moving date without checking as you may not be able to move your belongings. Equally, you won’t want to pay for your removals until a completion date has been confirmed and contracts exchanged.

Negotiate a completion date

Once you have been reported to by your solicitor you will negotiate a completion date. This is the date you will receive the keys to your new property. This date will need to work for all parties involved; however you may be limited due to availability of removals, expiring mortgage offers or other unavoidable circumstances by someone in the chain. Be flexible and fair.

Transfer your deposit money to your solicitor

Once you have agreed a date for completion the last thing you will need to do is transfer your deposit to your solicitor, you may wish to prepare this earlier if you have an ISA, investments or a savings account that require a notice period to withdraw money. Most banks will only allow you to transfer £25,000 out of an account per day, so you may need to send your deposit over multiple days. You can make a CHAPS payment that allows you to transfer more on the same day but you will pay your bank a fee between £15 and £35 per payment.

Sign the transfer deed

You will be sent the transfer deed by your solicitor, which you will need to sign and be witnessed by a non-family member.

Exchange contracts

Your solicitor and the seller’s solicitor will exchange copies of the signed contract. Once you exchange you are legally bound to purchase the property on the date set for completion. No one can withdraw without financial penalties.

Confirm removals

Now you’ve exchanged contracts and the completion date has been confirmed, confirm with your removal company the date you are moving as soon as possible. You may be required to pay money upfront.

Get a completion statement from your solicitor

Your solicitor will typically send you a completion statement between exchange and completion. This will show you a breakdown of all the costs and will include any outstanding solicitor fees, deposit, stamp duty etc.

Solicitor requests funds from your lender

You solicitor will request the mortgage money from your lender in advance to give time for the money to clear. This is typically done a week in advance.


Your solicitor will transfer payment to the seller’s solicitor for the purchase of the property, once this has cleared you will be notified by the estate agent that the property is yours and you can arrange collection of the keys.

Pay your stamp duty through your solicitor

You are required to pay the Stamp Duty Land Tax within 14 days of your purchase. Often this is done via your solicitor who would have requested this money on the completion statement.

Officially register your ownership

Your solicitor will register your details with the Land Registry, the cost of which will be found on your completion statement. Typically costing £250-£500.

Get the title deeds

You solicitor will get the deeds from the Land Registry and in turn will forward them on to your mortgage lender, or yourself if you purchased with cash.