Step by Step Guide to Buying

  • Step 1 - Arrange your Mortgage

Before you begin your search for your new home, it is advisable to arrange your finances and, if required, have a mortgage agreed in principle. This is a process where you have passed the first stage with the lender and has agreed based on the information that has been given. Once you have this, it will confirm how much money you will have to fund the purchase, which will ultimately influence your decision

  • Step 2 - Contact us and Register Your Interest

The first step to finding the right property is to register with us either by calling on 01325 776424 or making an appointment to see us where you can discuss your property requirements with one of our local agents. If you are short of time then why not register by email on
With lots of properties in Darlington to choose from you can rest assured we have just what you’re looking for.

  • Step 3 - Find the Right Property

Once we have a very clear understanding of your requirements including the ‘must haves’ and the ‘nice to haves’, you will receive a selection of properties that match your criteria. We will keep you up-to-date when the latest properties become available.

  • Step 4 - Have a look around

We’re open at times to suit you, convenient for viewing after work and at weekends:
In order to secure a property, we always recommend an early viewing. We can chauffeur you to your viewings ensuring you arrive in a relaxed frame of mind and accompany you throughout so that we are on hand to answer any questions immediately and advise where necessary.

  • Step 5 - Instruct your Solicitor

The successful purchase of a property can be reliant on the instruction of an efficient and experienced solicitor. The transfer of title can be complicated and lengthy so it’s a good idea to use a solicitor who knows the area that you’re moving to and specialises in conveyancing. We have a panel of local solicitors that we can recommend.

  • Step 6 - Making an offer

Once you have identified your ideal property, the next step is to make an offer. We will put your offer forward to the seller both verbally and in writing stating any special conditions of the offer. At this stage, you may need to demonstrate, if requested, that you are able to proceed (e.g. provide evidence of your mortgage agreed in principle) and the acceptance of the offer may depend on this so best have this prepared.
There are no legal obligations on either side until contracts are signed.

  • Step 7 - Offer Agreed

Once your offer is accepted by the seller, we will do the following:

  1. Prepare a memorandum of sale
  2. Write to all parties to confirm the agreed price
  3. Ask you to confirm your solicitor’s and mortgage broker’s details
You will now need to instruct your solicitor to proceed with the conveyancing process and instruct your mortgage broker to proceed with your application.

  • Step 8 - Conveyancing

As part of the conveyancing process your solicitor will normally do the following:

  1. Contact the seller’s Conveyancer to obtain the contract pack.
  2. Check the contract pack, raises pre-contract enquiries, carries out the necessary searches and obtains a copy of the mortgage offer.
  3. The seller’s solicitor (conveyancer) and seller answer pre-contract enquiries and return these to your solicitor.
  4. Your solicitor reviews and reports to you on the contents of the contract pack, pre-contract enquiries, the result of the searches and mortgage offer. You then consider this report and raise questions on anything that is unclear.
When you’re happy to proceed, arrangements are made for the deposit to be paid to your solicitor in readiness for the exchange of contracts.

You and the seller agree on a completion date and contracts are formally “exchanged” – meaning both parties are legally committed to the transaction.

Your solicitor prepares a draft transfer deed and completion information form and sends these to the seller’s Conveyancer for completion.

The Seller’s solicitor approves the draft transfer deed and a final copy is made. This may need to be signed by the buyer before being sent to the seller’s solicitor for signature by the seller in readiness for completion.

  • Step 9 - Survey and Mortgage Offer

A survey of the property will be booked by a surveyor on behalf of the mortgage lender to identify any structural problems and advise on the property’s value.
After the mortgage valuation report is received, a formal mortgage offer will be sent to you and your solicitor which you will need to sign before it is returned.
There are no legal obligations until contracts are signed.

  • Step 10 - Exchange of Contracts
Exchange of contracts occurs when all enquiries have been confirmed and agreed.
Once the contract has been signed by both parties the deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) will be telegraphically transferred or paid in the form of a banker’s draft from your solicitor to the seller’s solicitor.

Your solicitor prepares a completion statement, carries out pre-completion searches and applies to your mortgage lender for the mortgage loan.

  • Step 11 - Completion

Completion is when the residual monies (usually 90%) are transferred from your solicitor to the seller’s solicitor’s account.

On completion, the seller vacates the property by the agreed time and your solicitor sends the proceeds of the sale to the seller’s Conveyancer.

Seller’s Conveyancer authorises the release of the keys to us and sends the title deeds and transfer the deed to your solicitor together with an undertaking to repay any existing mortgage.

Your solicitor sends the stamp duty payable to HMRC, receives the title deeds, transfer deed and proof that the seller has paid the outstanding mortgage on the property.

Your solicitor registers the property in your name at The Land Registry.

You’ll receive a copy of the registered title from The Land Registry. Any documents required by the mortgage lender to be retained by them are sent on by the solicitor.

If you’re unclear about any of the process, why not call us on 01325 776424 or email us by clicking here

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