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Purchasing a Property

Purchasing a Property


You’ve found the perfect property to purchase but now what….? Sarah Heath from Gilbert Stephens Solicitors briefly explains the process of buying a home.

Buying a home is one of those life events that can be both exciting and stressful, usually both at the same time. We’ve all felt it, and to get your foot on that first rung of the property ladder can seem like an uphill struggle, but with the right approach and guidance it is possible to achieve the stability and security that a new home can deliver.

Buying the property

So where do you start? As a buyer your first step is to make an offer on your chosen property. After the offer has been accepted the conveyancing process begins and your solicitors get involved. At this stage no legally binding contract has been made. The seller’s solicitors will draw up a sale contract which is then sent to your solicitors.

Checking the property

During this part of the process your new property is examined: the title to the property is checked and all necessary enquiries, searches and investigations are made before the contract is approved. The nature of these searches can vary according to where the property is located.

Signing the contracts

Once this is done, the contracts are signed and a deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) is requested from you. As the buyer, it’s your job to make sure all your finances, including mortgage finance, are arranged and that your solicitor is in funds with the deposit.

Exchanging the contracts

When everything is in place, the exchange of contracts can occur and that all important completion date is agreed. This is when everything is fixed: an exchange of contracts means a legally binding contract is in place and neither you nor the seller can withdraw.

The end game

Once contracts are exchanged the final step is in sight. Your solicitor then carries out pre-completion searches, ensuring there are no changes to the title and requests mortgage monies if you require a mortgage.

By the date of completion all funds should be in place, including mortgage monies requested by your solicitors. All monies must be received by the seller’s solicitors before completion takes place.

Moving in and after

At this stage the keys are released so you can finally move in. Following completion, your purchase, along with any mortgage of the property, is registered at the Land Registry and a copy of the title showing these entries are sent to you.

It can seem like a long and complex process, but, with the right advice and help, buying a property doesn’t have to be traumatic.


If you would like a quote for buying and/or selling a property contact Gilbert Stephens on 01392 424242 or visit

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