Buying property - a step-by-step guide

Work out what you can afford for a deposit.

With a bigger deposit, you should be able to obtain a lower interest rate on your mortgage.

Speak to a mortgage broker for free to find out what you can borrow (you can ask them to provide you with a 'decision in principle' - this is also sometimes known as an 'agreement in principle').

Shortlist property you like.

Put your property on the market (if you have a home you need to sell).

Book viewings and go to see the properties.

Ask the homeowner any questions you have about the property or the sale (i.e. is the boiler under warranty or how soon do you want to move).

Arrange to have a second viewing (try to take someone else with you so you can get their opinion on the property).

Work out what you think the property is worth - this may be less than the property is advertised for.

View sold prices

Top tip: Don't be afraid of offering under the asking price.

Make an offer.

Seller accepts offer.

Instruct a surveyor to carry out a survey (if you want to have one).

Survey shows no issues (that you weren't already aware of).

Let your mortgage broker know you've had an offer accepted (they'll now ask for more details and do a credit check on you to make sure you've told them everything about your finances).

Instruct a conveyancer (they will check that the seller really owns the property and prepare your contract with the seller).

Exchange contracts with the seller - after this neither party can withdraw from the sale. You'll now be told the date when the purchase will complete.

Insure your new home. This is essential as you are now contracted to purchase the property even if something catastrophic were to happen to it (like it were to be destroyed in a fire).
Book your removal company.

Completion - you get the keys to your new home and can move in!

Learn what the basic terms used by estate agents really mean in our jargon free property buying guide.

No non-sense guide to buying property