Buying Process

1Arranging your mortgage and other costs

Finding the right mortgage to suit your own circumstances can be daunting, with so many lenders, schemes and rates available, where do you start?  Unless you’re really sure on what you’re doing, seek advice from an independent financial adviser.  It will certainly help us to help you if you get a mortgage agreement in principle to enable you to move quickly if need be.

2Finding the right property

Make yourself comfortable with a glass of your favourite tipple. Decide on the area you want to move to. Think about your ideal property and write a list of the ‘Must Haves’, the ‘Nice to Haves’ and most importantly the ‘Definitely Don’t Wants’.  This can help you in deciding on which properties to view and tallying up scores for each of the properties you visit, and more importantly will give you a good list of deal-breakers so nobody’s time is wasted viewing unsuitable properties.

3Register your interest

You should visit estate agents in and around the area you wish to move to.  Register your requirements and budget with them and get on their mailing lists.  Once you’re registered, they should then send out details of relevant properties to you.  You can also keep an eye on the local market by browsing the local property press or property portals like Zoopla and Rightmove

4Making an offer

You will of now been to see several properties that fit your criteria, Once you have found your ideal property you should make an offer to the agent.  You must carefully consider how much you can realistically afford. Add up the mortgage offer plus any equity you have in another property. Don’t forget to allow for Stamp Duty and Solicitors fees. The agent will now ask you put you to formally put your offer forward, for them to discuss and negotiate with the vendor.   Once the vendor has accepted your offer you should instruct a solicitor to start the buying process. If you don’t already have a conveyancer or solicitor in mind, we can recommend one to you.

5Offer agreed

Once you receive an offer acceptance then the wheels are put into motion to lead up to the final exchange of contracts (which, from beginning to end, takes between 6 to 8 weeks on average).  This is called Conveyancing. We will liaise between your solicitor and the vendor’s solicitor, working up and down any chain, to ensure that your purchase goes through as smoothly as possible.


This is the legal term for the transfer of ownership of the home from one party to another. It is usually undertaken by both yours and the vendor’s solicitors and involves (amongst other things) ensuring that the vendor has the legal right to sell the property, checking that no-one has right of way through it and that there are no land disputes or that any lien on the property is satisfied prior to sale. Your solicitor should carry out the following: Liaise with the vendor’s solicitor and obtain Draft Contracts, these are drawn up by the vendor's solicitor. It will answer some initial questions regarding the property i.e. what is remaining in the property, where the boundaries are and what is included as part of the sale. Once results of the Land Registry Search and Local Authority Search have come back and any queries regarding the property have been answered, the draft contracts are approved by your solicitor. More details on these searches are below:

 Mortgage Offer

This is important, without a formal mortgage offer you cannot proceed unless you are a cash buyer. The offer will be sent to your solicitor for your signature and approval.

Local Authority Search

Your solicitor will submit a Local Authority Search to the local council that you will pay a fee for. This is important as it will highlight any potential issues regarding the property such as planning permission and any other local issues such as potential developments in the area.

Registry Search

This gives you information on the following aspects of the property you are about to buy including:

A description of the property
Who owns the property?
If the property has a mortgage?
Previous purchase price (if registered since 1st April 2000)
Any rights of way Any other conditions or restrictions such as restrictive covenants.

7Survey and mortgage offer

Unless you are a cash buyer, this is normally the time to apply for your mortgage with your financial advisor or lender. Depending on the type of house you are buying, your lender may require more than just a mortgage valuation. A homebuyer's survey is a more in-depth report and may highlight more potential problems that you may otherwise be unaware of. You may also choose to undertake a full structural survey although this is usually on a more period property, a property of non-standard construction or where there is a history of subsidence in the area or underground works e.g. mining. Any issues highlighted may either affect the lenders ability to offer a mortgage in its entirety or impose special conditions on the mortgage offer. The survey may also highlight any expensive problems to you before you purchase the property. You should also obtain buildings and contents insurance for your new home which need to be in place from date of completion.

8Exchange of contracts

Up until this point, either party can withdraw from the sale without financial loss.  When your solicitor has received; satisfactory replies to all their searches and enquiries, a copy of a mortgage offer, a signed contract and the deposit has been paid (usually 5-10%), they can then proceed to exchange of contracts.   From this point the seller and buyer are legally committed to the deal so if the buyer pulls out for whatever reason they lose their deposit.

The sales contract is signed by both you and the vendor and the deposit is transferred or paid by your solicitor to the vendor's solicitor.  At that point the date is then set for completion.  This can be pretty much straight away (called a Sim – simultaneous exchange and completion) or up to 28 days later depending on your requirements.  


Completion is the formal process of transferring the balance of monies due from the vendor’s solicitor to the seller’s solicitor.  This process will be dependent on your circumstances and any other parties involved in the buying chain.  Once the monies have been received you can collect the keys and you are the legal owner of your new home.

As the buyer of the property, you are responsible for completing the land transaction return and paying the stamp duty. Your solicitor will usually handle this for you and sent it to the HMRC on your behalf. Please check with your solicitor this information before signing the declaration.

10Moving in

Congratulations! You are now the proud owners of a lovely new home.  

We will request that you attend the office for the handover of keys to your new home.

Remember to get your mail re-directed and don’t forget to tell your bank, your employer, HMRC, DVLA, insurance, council tax, doctor, dentist and any schools that you have changed your address.
Agree meter readings, transfer the phone lines and other utilities. Book the removal company, defrost and disconnect your white goods. Tell your friends and organise the party.

Disclaimer:  This information is provided as a guide only and may not reflect your individual circumstances. You should obtain professional advice when buying or selling a property and Cityrez Estate Agent Ltd accept no liability if you rely on the content of this guide and do not obtain professional advice.