Our 7 step property buying guide is designed to help and guide you through the property buying process.


1. Register with estate agents

Get ahead of the curve and the competition and don’t just rely on property alerts from the various portals. Register with local agents, because not every property starts the marketing journey on websites and those buyers already registered with agents will have the advantage.

It is important to know exactly what you’re looking for and how much you are able to spend. Our local property experts and Mortgage & Protection Advisers will be able to advise you on everything you will need to consider early on in the process.

Our tip: Allow enough time to do your research.

2. Viewing properties

In today’s active and fast moving housing market, it is important to work closely with agents in your search for a property and be flexible and available to view at short notice. Use the time on a viewing to fully understand the property and its suitability, asking important questions to help you accept or dismiss it as a possibility. We recommend you take a moment to stand outside the property and even walk down the street.

Whether you like a property or not, give the agent as much feedback as possible to help them understand more about your buying needs and desires. Having seen your perfect home, be ready to make an offer in the knowledge of what it will cost and how long it may take to complete and don’t delay letting the agent know.

Our tip: Focus on your needs, know your affordability and keep an open mind.

3. Making an offer

When you have seen a property that you like, it is important to have done your research before making an offer. This includes knowing the local area, details about the property and the costs of moving.

Once you are happy with all the information, contact the agent detailing your offer, including any required timescales and special requests you may have. The more information you can provide the agent, the quicker and easier it is for them to fully inform the seller about your offer. If you require a mortgage, evidence of your arrangements and deposit amount will need to be confirmed.

On occasions where multiple offers exist, sellers/agents may require buyers to present these in writing, sometimes known as sealed bids. Should this happen, it is important to confirm all facts surrounding your offer, as the offer amount may not necessarily be the overriding factor, especially if identical/near offers are received.

Our tip: In a competitive market, sellers will be looking for the best ready, willing and able buyer.

4. Offer accepted - progressing your purchase

Acceptance of your offer will be put in writing by the agent and it is important to check that all the information detailed is correct and as agreed because this will form the basis of your purchase.

Having had your offer accepted, all parties will need to instruct a solicitor/conveyancer. At Stirling Ackroyd, we have access to a select panel of conveyancing specialists that understand the level of service our buyers expect and need in today’s fast paced and demanding property market.

Our tip: Don’t compromise on the quality of your solicitor/conveyancer.

5. Your mortgage and survey needs

Where mortgages are required, a valuation will be carried out by the lender and it is important to have done your research and know who you will be using, so that this vital part of the process does not delay matters. Experience tells us that getting this wrong could cost you time, money and even your purchase. Our expert Mortgage & Protection Advisers are on hand to help you be ready in advance of you finding a property.

Should a more detailed and informative survey be required, this can be organised with your mortgage valuation or independently. Our expert Mortgage and Protection Advisers can arrange this for you. Alternatively, our own highly qualified RICS surveyors can equally assist.

Our tip: Know what you’re buying – get an independent survey.

6. Exchange of contracts

When all the legal work has been carried out, you are ready to exchange contracts and a non-refundable deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) is required by your solicitor/conveyancer.

Contracts can now be signed and exchanged at which point both parties are legally bound to complete the transaction. Completion dates will need to be agreed and are normally around two weeks after exchange.

Our tip: Make sure your solicitor/conveyancer and buyer know your preferred completion dates from the outset.

7. Completion (moving day)

Once your solicitor/conveyancer has transferred the money, your purchase will be completed and you will be able to move in. You are now the legal owner.

Once you have received the keys, don’t forget to take meter readings and check your property to ensure all is as you expected.

Our tip: If you have any pets, arrange to have them looked after while you move.