The buying process

Whether you’re after your first home, a new build or a buy to let investment, let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll register your details and alert you of properties that may be of interest to you.

On the web

Search our current houses for sale in London by using the property search function. You'll be able to view the EPC, floor-plans and a video (if the property has one). You can download a brochure too.

Stage 1: Decide on the basics

Make a list of what property features are important to you, including the 'must haves' and the 'would likes', and then start your search. We think Rightmove and Zoopla are best to create your wishlist.

If you’re buying to let the property, think about what features tenants like (for example a clean kitchen and bathroom). Students might prefer somewhere close to their campus and with easy access to local nightlife, while a young family might prefer open spaces, good schools and close proximity to shops and activities.


If you’re buying a property, it’s likely you’ll own the place for a a few years, so location is everything Do you want to be near travel connections? In a leafy neighbourhood or in central London? Do you want local shops, restaurants and drinking spots? Are good schools important to you? These are the decision that will define the towns you'll want to live in.

Make a shortlist of the postcodes or even streets that appeal to you most, and take time at a weekend and evenings to visit the area, and make sure you visit a few times (and at different times) to reassure yourself its suitable for you.

Transport links

Getting around in your chosen area can be just as important as the area itself. Are you happy to travel some distance to work or do you want to walk? Do you need easy access to a tube or mainline station? If you travel out of London, do you need to be near a main road or mainline station? Are there plenty of bus connections?

Size and style

A few things you might want to consider:

A flat or a house in London?

A new home or an older style period property?

Ground floor or upper floors?

How many bedrooms? Do you need a spare / work room?,/p>

Do you want outside space such as a balcony or garden? Should it be private?

How important is a garage or off street parking?

Do you need room to grow as a family?

Stage 2: Get your finances agreed

When the right property comes along, you’ll want to be able to act immediately, so get your finances agreed as soon as possible.

We do not have in-house mortgage consults, as we prefer to be completely independent, however we can refer you to several known reputable Companies, all independent advisers.

Buying costs to consider

Mortgage application fees

Survey fees

Solicitor’s fees

Stamp duty

Land registry

Local authority searches

Bank transfers

Insurance costs

Removal fees

Disconnection and reconnection of services

Essential rebuilding or redecorating

A contingency fund (to cover any unexpected costs is also important).

Stage 3: Find the right property

Once you’ve sorted out your mortgage and you know the kind of flat or house in London that's ideal for you, it’s time to start your search and find your dream pad.

WE recommend using Rightmove and Zoopla and registering your details for alerts. This way you'll receive information from every agent that places a property on the market that meets your search criteria.

When we've found you a suitable flat or house in London, set up a viewing appointment as soon as possible, and remember to tell the agent your status and that you have a mortgage already agreed. Don't be forced into seeing the agents mortgage advisor if you don't want to, it's unlawful for an agent to prioritise buyers just because they are using the agents other services.

Stage 4: Make an offer

Once you’ve found a place that ticks all the boxes, you're ready to make an offer. Let the estate agent know as soon as possible so the seller can be contacted with details of your offer, and don't forget to show any proof that your mortgage is agreed in principle.

Once you’ve had your offer accepted, it should be confirmed to you in writing,and it's likely to be subject to certain terms and conditions.

Stage 5: Sale agreed

Great news, your offer was accepted! This is where your solicitor and mortgage surveyor are instructed to check out all the legal aspects of the sale and the condition of the property.

Your mortgage lender will not send a surveyor unless you have submitted your mortgage application and it's been approved.


The property needs to be legally transferred from its current owners to you. This process is known as conveyancing. Here are just some of the steps involved.

The seller’s solicitor will:

Get copies of the property’s title deeds and other relevant documentation e.g. lease.

Prepare a draft contract of sale.

Your solicitor will:

Check the title documentation and lease for any problems or inconsistencies.

Check the contracts.

Assuming there are no problems and your solicitor is in receipt of your mortgage offer, deposit and a signed contract, they will proceed to exchange contracts and set a completion date.

Stage 7: Exchange contracts

You’re on the home straight now. The formal exchange of contracts agrees the terms of the sale and makes them legally binding on both you and the seller.

Before the exchange of contracts takes place, you’ll need to:

Finalise and sign your mortgage documents.

Send your deposit to the seller’s solicitor.

Sign your contract.

This is also the time to sort out the logistics of your property move. Have you organised a removals company? Do you need to sort out buildings and contents insurance? Set up new utility accounts? Do you have pets that will need looking after during the move?

Once the exchange of contracts has taken place you can plan ahead for the completion date when the money gets transferred, and the property legally changes ownership and new keys are handed over to you. This is normally between 1-4 weeks later, but you can choose to exchange and complete on the same day if you need to, subject to agreement from all parties involved.

Stage 8: Move in!

You can enjoy your new home with a well deserved glass of bubbly.

If you want more advice on any aspect of the buying process, just call and speak to a member of the sales team.

Now search for you perfect property

Now you have a good idea of the next steps you need to take, you can start your search for your perfect new pad.

Property search

  • ARLA
  • The Property Ombudsman sales
  • Fish Need Water Reviews

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