Buyer's guide

Our guide through the maze of buying a property…

I’m thinking about buying a property – what should I do first?

It is important before you start your property hunt, that you know what you’re able to borrow so that you can start the process understanding what’s genuinely affordable. We’re happy to recommend a mortgage advisor with whom we have developed a strong working relationship, ensuring that the process is as smooth as possible. Don’t forget to allow for the cost of any renovations and removals, plus stamp duty - see the current rates here.

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I’ve found somewhere I like. How do I make an offer?

When you’ve found a property that suits you, speak to us about making an offer. Don’t forget that we’re working on behalf of the seller and we are obliged to maximise the value we achieve for their property.

How can I show that I’m serious?

When you make an offer we’ll ask you to confirm how you’ll fund the purchase.

  • If you need to sell a property – we will need to make sure that the property you’re selling has a ‘sale agreed’ with a reliable, connected chain. Only after we have done this we can accept an offer from you on behalf of our clients. We will normally talk to the selling agent for your current property to establish the details of your sale.
  • If you will be buying with a mortgage – we’ll ask to see your Agreement in Principle (AIP) document from your mortgage lender.
  • If you are a ‘cash buyer’ – you will also need to show evidence that you have the finances available.

At what point am I committed to buying that property.

In England and Wales, agreeing an offer does not commit you to buying it. This only happens once you have exchanged contracts, which happens around eight weeks after the offer (although this varies a lot), and after most of the legal processes and survey/mortgage valuation have happened.

Do I need a survey?

Most people need a mortgage to fund their purchase, in which case your mortgage lender will arrange for a surveyor to view the property to confirm they are happy to lend money for the property you have chosen.

If you would prefer a more in-depth report on the condition of the property, it is usually possible to upgrade the mortgage valuation to a “Homebuyer’s Report”.

What happens next?

Once your mortgage lender receives the surveyor’s report, together with other information they will have collected about your employment and credit status, they will issue a mortgage offer to your solicitor.

​During this process our sales progressor will be remain in regular contact with you and your solicitor, the seller and their solicitor, as well as any other connected parties within your chain, ensuring that transaction proceeds promptly.

What is ‘exchange of contracts’?

Exchanging contracts is when your purchase finally becomes legally binding for both buyer and seller. In order to do this, you will have previously signed contract papers and paid your deposit for your purchase to your solicitor.

What about the deposit?

The deposit is usually 10% of the purchase price. If you are selling and buying it is possible to use the deposit received from the sale of your existing property to help with the purchase of your next home. Your solicitor will advise you on this point.

So when do I get the keys?

On completion – the purchase is finally ‘complete’ when the seller’s solicitor has got the total funds for your purchase. This is invariably is 1-2 weeks after exchange of contracts.

Phew – it’s all done. Time to enjoy your new home!

As a part of our comprehensive property services, we will introduce other knowledgeable professionals to assist buyers, sellers and other interested parties to enhance their experience of the moving process.

We have carefully selected a panel of local professionals who in turn have agreed preferential terms for our clients. Please note we may give a quotation for sellers and buyers for the companies listed below and should you decide to use one of these companies as a result of our introduction we will receive a referral fee. Any quotation is offered without obligation and it is your decision whether you choose to deal with any of these companies.

Star Legal (conveyancing) – referral fee: £180
AB&C Surveyors – referral fee: £100
Bishop & Co (mortgage advisors – referral fee: 20% of the net commission received by Bishop and Co
Battrick Clark, Conveyancers and Solicitors. Referral fee: £180

All referral fees are paid to us by the named companies and are included within any quotes provided. The referral fees are not an additional charge to you.