Step 1 Arranging your mortgage
Before you begin your property search, it is advisable to arrange your finances and, if required, have a mortgage agreed in principle. This will confirm how much money you will have to fund the purchase, which will ultimately influence your property search.
Our recommended mortgage broker, Alexander Hall, has access to the entire market, as well as exclusive deals and rates to help find you the best mortgage available.
Step 2 Register your interest
The first step to finding the right property is to register with us either by calling us on 0800 369 8667 or visiting one of our 51 offices where you can discuss your property requirements with one of our local agents. You can also register your interest about a specific property online if you are short of time.
With thousands of properties to choose from you can rest assured we have just what you're looking for.
Step 3 Finding the right property
Once we have a clear understanding of your requirements you will receive a selection of properties that match your criteria. We can also keep you constantly up-to-date via email and SMS alerts when the latest properties become available.
Step 4 The key to successful viewings
We're open at times to suit you, convenient for viewing after work and at weekends:
Our offices are open 9am-8pm Monday to Friday and 9am-5pm Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. In addition, our phone lines are open 8am-8pm, 7 days a week.
In order to secure a property we recommend an early viewing. We will chauffeur you to your viewings ensuring you arrive in a relaxed frame of mind and accompany you throughout so that we are on hand to answer any questions immediately and advise where necessary.
Step 5 Instructing a solicitor
The successful purchase of a property can be reliant on the instruction of an efficient and experienced solicitor. It is a good idea to use a solicitor who knows the area that you're moving to and specialises in conveyancing.
We have a selection of tried and tested solicitors that are experts in property who we would be happy to recommend.
Step 6 Making an offer
Once you have identified a suitable property we will put your offer forward to the seller both verbally and in writing stating any special conditions of the offer. You may need to demonstrate, if requested, that you are able to proceed (e.g. provide evidence of your mortgage agreed in principle).
There are no legal obligations on either side until contracts are signed.
Step 7 Offer agreed
Once your offer is accepted we will do the following:
- Prepare a memorandum of sale
- Write to all parties to confirm the agreed price
- Ask you to confirm your solicitor's and mortgage broker's details
You will now need to instruct your solicitor to proceed with the conveyancing process and your mortgage broker to proceed with your application.
Step 8 Conveyancing
As part of the conveyancing process your solicitor will do the following:
- Raise any enquiries on receipt of the draft contract from the seller's solicitor
- Request their own local searches
- Refer to the information already provided in the seller's Home Information Pack
- Agree on a date for exchange of contracts
We will assist your solicitor and negotiate throughout the process, keeping you informed every step of the way.
Step 9 Survey and mortgage offer
A survey of the property will be booked by a surveyor on behalf of the mortgage lender to identify any structural problems and advise on the property's value.
After the mortgage valuation report is received, a formal mortgage offer will be sent to you and your solicitor which you will need to sign before it is returned.
There are no legal obligations until contracts are signed.
Step 10 Exchange of contracts
Exchange of contracts occurs when all enquiries have been confirmed and agreed.
Once the contract has been signed by both parties the deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) will be telegraphically transferred or paid in the form of a banker's draft from your solicitor to the seller's solicitor.
The completion date is then set by mutual agreement.
Step 11 Completion
Completion is when the residual monies (usually 90%) are transferred from your solicitor to the seller's solicitor's account.
We will release the keys once the money has cleared in the seller's account.
Congratulations, you are now the legal owner of your new home!
Want more information? View our detailed guide about buying a property
We have created a comprehensive checklist to guide you through the buying process. View it online.