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First Time Buyers - A Basic Guide

What to do and when​

  • Find a property to purchase  and instruct a solicitor
  • Provide identification documentation and evidence of source of funding to your solicitor – including gift details
  • Sign and return solicitors terms of business – so they can start the purchase process for you
  • Provide solicitor with money on account- approximately £250 so that searches on the property can be started
  • Sign and return contract to solicitor and send 10% of purchase price deposit money
  • Close any help to buy ISA  account and provide closing  statement to solicitor
  • Source buildings insurance cover for your property so that it can be put on risk on exchange of contracts
  • Put any life, critical illness policies on risk
  • Agree a completion date and authorise your solicitor to exchange contracts on your purchase
  • On exchange of contracts the completion date is fixed
  • contact the new utility companies to let them know the completion date for your purchase
  • Send balance of purchase money to your solicitor as requested by them
  • Complete purchase
  • Pick up keys from selling agents and move in 

Legal Jargon

Searches – solicitor applies for searches against the property with the local council, water company and environmental and flood – compulsory when purchasing with the aid of a mortgage

Exchange of contracts – when the purchase becomes legally binding between you and your Seller

Completion – when all moneys are passed over to the Sellers and keys are released to you and you can move in to your new home

Deposit on exchange of contracts – usually 10% of purchase price (any balance of funds you are providing will be requested by your solicitor ready for completion)


If you would like any additional information, please contact our conveyancing team on 01905 721600

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