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Buying Guide

Steps in the buying process

Buying a property is a substantial, long-term financial commitment, where prior research and preparation will help achieve the most successful and stress-free outcome. The following guide is a brief summary of the steps in the buying process.

  • Arrange Finances
  • Prioritise your Property Requirements
  • Start the Property Search
  • Arrange Viewings
  • Negotiate and Make an Offer
  • Instruct a Solicitor or Licensed Conveyancer
  • Complete the Mortgage Application Process
  • Exchange Contracts
  • Complete the Purchase


Before starting your property search you will need to decide how much you can afford. Calculate your household budget, listing all incomings and outgoings, and review any savings or proceeds from the sale of a property you may wish to use. Additional finance may be required via a mortgage which is simply a loan secured against the property. It is highly desirable to have your mortgage agreed in principle by a lender before starting your search. Aside from the purchase price there are other costs in the buying process that you may need to take into account.

Mortgage Costs

  • Arrangement Fee: generally dependent on interest rate, type and size of loan.
  • Valuation/Homebuyer Report/Buildings Survey Fee.
  • Higher Lending Fee or Mortgage Indemnity Charge: usually required if the deposit is less than 10%.
  • Mortgage Broker Fee: payable if an intermediary arranges the loan; typically 1% of the loan value.
  • Purchase cost of any Life Insurance Policy
  • A small checking fee may be required for a buildings insurance policy not arranged via the mortgage lender.

Conveyancing Costs

  • Charges for the legal work Any Local Authority Searches Land Registry Fee
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax
  • Bank Transfer Fees
  • Additional Costs
  • Removal Costs
  • Fee for Redirection of Mail

The Property Search

The most popular ways to search for property are via estate agents, the internet and property guides. You will find plenty of information regarding each property including photographs, floor plans and general area descriptions. Regular communication with estate agents is key to finding the ideal property. Prioritise your requirements such as location and size of the accommodation, as well as transport links and access to good schools and local amenities. Arrange to view the shortlisted properties and take a checklist to ask any relevant questions of the seller or the estate agent.

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