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Top Tips for BUYING property

Arrange a Mortgage

Find out from your bank, building society or other lender just how much money they will lend you. A good mortgage broker will be able to explain the various options that are available and to direct you towards the most favorable offers we can put you in touch the Financial Adviser to help you through this..

Appoint a Solicitor and Surveyor

You will need to find a solicitor who specializes in conveyancing and if possible, is based within the area where you have decided to buy. They will be able to provide an estimate of their charges and should also be able to recommend a surveyor, who will act on your behalf once you have found a suitable property. An estimate of the cost of the survey should also be obtained.

Search for a Suitable Property

Once you have your mortgage arrangements in place, research the property prices in the area in which you wish to buy. Unless you are very familiar with the type of property that is available, it will be necessary to carry out detailed research in order to establish the type of property that you will be able to purchase within your budget. You will then be in a better position to react when a suitable property is offered to you. With our extensive knowledge of the stock of property in Camden, Euston, Bayswater, Holloway, Islington, Kentish Town, Paddington, Marylebone, Kings Cross and all surrounding areas we will be able to guide you as to where you are most likely to find the ideal accommodation.

Submit an Offer

Once you have found a suitable property, submit your bid. This can be done verbally and/or in writing, making the terms of your offer very clear. If your offer is accepted, we will notify your solicitor, giving them the name and address of the vendor and their solicitor.

Monitor your Purchase

If you are raising a mortgage, notify your mortgage broker or lender. Your lender will normally instruct your solicitor to act on their behalf. Keep in touch with your solicitor to ensure that he is receiving all of the information that he has requested from the vendor’s solicitors and that the sale is proceeding. We will also be in regular touch with both parties’ solicitors and will alert you to any problems that require attention.

Exchange Contracts

Once your solicitor has completed his enquiries, a date is agreed for exchange of contacts and completion of the purchase. Two identical contracts are signed by the purchaser and vendor and exchanged. At this point the purchaser pays the deposit, normally 10% of the purchase price. Both parties are now legally bound to proceed with the purchase of the property and if you do not proceed, it could result in the forfeit of your deposit. The property must be insured by the purchaser from the date of exchange. The transfer documents have to be signed between exchange and completion and the mortgage finalized. Post completion the property needs to be registered at the Land Registry and stamp duty paid.

  • Currently (2011) Stamp Duty rates are :-
    • 1% between £60,001 and £250,000
    • 3% between £250,001 and £500,000
    • 4% over £500,000.

Arrange Removals

Make arrangements for removals on exchange. Book a furniture remover and have change of address cards printed. Organize builders to carry out any work that you want done at the new property prior to moving in, but after completion. Arrange for the connection of a telephone and for the utilities (electricity, gas and water services) and council tax to be put into your name.

Planning your Arrival

Make a plan of the new property and decide where furniture is to go and label accordingly. Contact the Post Office to arrange the forwarding of mail and make arrangements with the seller as to whether the electricity, water and heating is to be left on. Arrange for the utilities to be read.


On the day of completion, the outstanding balance is transferred to the vendor’s solicitor. Your solicitor will inform you when the transaction has taken place. At that point the property becomes yours. Keys can be collected and you can move in. After completion, your solicitor will have the conveyance stamped by the Inland Revenue and the transaction is registered with the Land Registry. The Deeds will be handed over to you or your mortgage lender after these legal formalities are completed .

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