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Buyers à Buyers Guide

You have decided to buy a home - but what next? The maze of legal work, negotiations, dealing with surveyors and solicitors, finding a good mortgage deal and worrying about your deal falling through, on top of actually hunting down the home of your dreams, is enough to make anyone's hair stand on end.

Buying a house is one of the biggest financial decisions that you will make in your life. It is a lengthy and complicated business, which while exciting is often fraught with stress and worry. But luckily there is a lot of good advice around helping you to make your home-buying experience as easy and problem-free as possible.

After finding a home you like, which can take anything from a few days to many months, the process from having your offer accepted to completion of the sale takes about 12 weeks. This is about twice as long as in many other countries - home-buying in Britain is a notoriously drawn-out business.
It is important to have a good understanding of the process as it will help you to avoid some of the most common hazards of home-buying. has prepared an introduction to the home-buying process to help you to understand how it all works, how to plan it and what to watch out for. After reading this you should have a better idea of what to expect and how to set out to buy a home feeling prepared and ready to go!

The Buying Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

The points below cover the main stages you will go through when buying a home.
Work Out How Much You Can Afford
Get a Mortgage Agreement in Principle
Choose Your Home
Hire a Solicitor
Make an Offer
Have a Survey and Valuation Done
Do Any Necessary Legal Work
Arrange for Life Assurance
Finalise Your Mortgage
Exchange Contracts
Organise Your Move
Finalise Your Contract Details
Move In!

What happens next?

Find the home of your choice

If you have no property to sell and have been assessed for a mortgage, you can proceed to reservation.

Your new home, there are some things that need doing straight away to make sure the process runs smoothly.


Whilst your new home is being built, it might seem as though not much is happening but as long as you liaise with the sales manager and your solicitor, it should all be running smoothly.

Changing your address

Once you have a fixed legal completion date, you can begin to let everyone know your new address. Don’t forget to include:
Friends and family
Banks and building societies
Credit card companies
Inland Revenue
Council Tax
Pension companies
Motoring organisations
Doctor and dentist
Clubs and societies
Any magazine subscriptions delivered to your address

Utility companies

You will need to inform your existing gas, electricity and water suppliers that you are moving and send them final meter readings.

Communications companies

When you advise your telephone, internet and TV companies that you are moving, you may also be able to organise for these services to be activated in your new home.

Don’t forget to change your TV license too.

Moving out

Take final meter readings at your old property and advise the utility companies
Cancel the papers, pack up the car and move to your new home!

Royal Mail redirection

This service ensures all mail sent to your old address is automatically re-routed to your new address. A fee is payable but you can decide which length of time best suits your needs.


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