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The buying process explained for first time buyers

Once you have a mortgage offer in principle, and you’ve narrowed down a search area, it’s time to start hunting for your dream home. View as many properties as you can so you can get a good idea of what’s available in your price range and don’t be afraid to ask for second and even third viewings on the homes you really like.

Making an offer

Once you’ve spotted a property that fits the bill perfectly, it’s time to make an offer. Most buyers try to shave at least a few thousand pounds off of the price tag when they make an offer. However if you’re buying in a property hotspot you make have to offer the asking price or even a little more to secure your dream home.

If your initial bid is rejected, you can either keep looking for another, more affordable property, or you can go back to the sellers with a higher offer. If the sellers accept your improved offer, they should remove the property from the market, however not all vendors take this step and some will accept higher offers even after you’ve initiated the buying process.

Surveys and the legal process

After your offer has been accepted, you’ll need to arrange a survey for the property and instruct your solicitors to start working on the legal aspect of the sale. The survey is incredibly important as it tells you about the condition of the property and could highlight any potentially expensive pitfalls.

Surveys range from basic Condition Reports to full structural surveys. The type of survey you invest in will depend on the age and condition of the building you’re purchasing and your budget. If the survey raises any major issues, you can go back to the seller to negotiate the agreed price or walk away from the deal altogether.

Exchanging contracts

Once all the legal paperwork has been completed and your mortgage has been confirmed, it’s time to exchange contracts. Once you’ve exchanged, you’re legally committed to the sale so you need to be 100% sure you’re happy with the property before you sign on the dotted line. Go through the contract with your solicitor to double check the details and ensure you understand the document.


On the date of completion all remaining funds will be transferred from your solicitor’s bank account to the seller’s solicitor. You’ll get the keys to your new home and the property will be legally yours. As all the paperwork should be complete at this point, all you should have to do on the day of completion is move into your new home.

If you’re a first time buyer trying to navigate their way through the property market, we can help. Get in touch with a member of our team today to find out more.
17/11/17 By Musker McIntyre
Category: News
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