The home buying process 

Buying a property can be hard work and demanding. It can take months and knowing the key steps, along with estimated timings, will help to smooth the journey towards owning your own home. 

Step 1 – Understand the timings

It’s important to manage your expectations regarding timescales. Buying a property can take a couple of months but, undoubtedly, there will be stumbling blocks along the way and so it could take longer than this.

Step 2 – What is your price range?

Looking for a house is exciting, but it can be very easy to get carried away and fall in love with a property you may later discover you are unable to afford. 

Before you start your property search, it is advisable to understand your price band, helping to avoid disappointment further down the line. 

To do this, we recommend you giving our team a call for some friendly mortgage advice and a realistic affordability estimate on 01565 874 246, Monday to Friday, 9-5pm.

Step 3 – Find a property you can afford

Now the fun begins as you can enjoy researching the homes that could potentially sit within your price bracket.

Step 4 – Apply for an AIP

So, you have found a house you’re interested in and you’re ready to make an offer on it. This is when you will need an Agreement in Principle (AIP), which we can help you with. 

An AIP is where the mortgage lender will check your affordability along with your credit file to establish whether you’re eligible to borrow from them and if they’re happy to lend you the amount you need. An AIP will typically last between 30 and 90 days. 

Step 5 – It’s offer time

When you’ve found your dream home and you’re happy with the purchase price, it’s time to make an offer. 

Once your offer on the house has been accepted, don’t get carried away yet as there’s still a long way to go. There’s still the risk of gazumping (where the owner accepts a typically higher offer) and gazanging (where the owner decides to stay put). 

Step 6 – Find the right mortgage

This is where it’s advisable to find a mortgage advisor to facilitate the process and this is where we can step in. 

At Mallory Financial Limited, we have a team of qualified advisors who could find a mortgage to match your circumstances. We also have access to a large number of lenders, many of which are not found on the high street. 

Once the appropriate lender and scheme have been found, we can complete the application on your behalf. 

Step 7 – Undertake a property survey

It’s wise to organise a basic survey to make sure the property you’re planning on buying is in good condition and is worth the money. 

A basic survey will be organised by the mortgage lender as part of the application process. You may wish to instruct a more detailed survey (often called a homebuyers or buildings survey) for extra peace of mind – you don’t want to reach completion, move in to your new home and then realise it’s got subsidence!

If the surveyor highlights any problems with the property, it provides an opportunity for you to go back and negotiate on the price.

At Mallory Financial Limited, we can go through the survey options with you to support the decisions that are right for you.

Step 8 – Arrange a solicitor and carry out the searches

You will need to engage a solicitor to carry out the legal side of the property purchase including the legal paperwork, land registry and local searches. Searches include local authority searches, drainage searches and environmental searches which vary in cost, typically around £40 to £250. If you need help to obtain legal quotes, we can help with this.

Your solicitor will also check the draft contract from the vendor’s solicitor and, once satisfied, will approve the contract.

Step 9 – Negotiate a completion date

Now is a good time to negotiate (through your solicitor) a completion date that suits both parties. This is the date when the keys actually get handed over.

Your solicitor will now ask you to sign the contract. It is at this point when you agree to commit to buying the house.

Step 10 – Exchange of contracts

Your solicitor confirms they are in receipt of the deposit money and the seller’s solicitor swap signed copies of the contract.

There is now a legally binding agreement whereby both parties are committed to the process and the buyer would lose their deposit if they were to pull out after this point. 

As part of the exchange process, you need to make sure you have sorted out your building insurance. Your solicitor will also draw down the mortgage money from the lender in order to have the funds ready for the completion date.

Step 11 – Completion and final steps

The solicitor will provide you with a summary of money owed to the solicitor including fees, stamp duty, land tax etc. They will also obtain the property’s new title deeds to share with you and will have facilitated the transfer of funds.

Step 12 – Congratulations, you are now a home owner

The keys are now yours and you can move in to your new home. Hooray!!

Step 13 – Once you’ve moved in

The solicitor will register your ownership with land registry.

Mallory Financial Limited is here to help

Buying a property can be hard work and stressful. With Mallory Financial Limited, we can work with you throughout the process providing reassurance, regular progress updates and helping to facilitate an easier home buying journey for everyone.


There may be a fee for mortgage advice. 

All the information in this article is correct as of the publish date 26/09/2022. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. The information provided in this article, including text, graphics and images does not, and is not intended to, substitute advice; instead, all information, content and materials available in this article are for general informational purposes only. Information in this article may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.

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