Looking to buy a property in London? Here’s our guide


Whether you’re in the market for a new home, a pied a terre or an investment, purchasing a property can seem a daunting task.  Davis Brown is a firm of Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents in Fitzrovia with over 100 years of experience in selling clients properties and to give you an idea of what is involved in buying a property we have made an eight point step-by-step guide.


  1. Arrange your finances and set your budget

First things first, it’s important to work out how much you can and want to spend.  Speak to a mortgage broker to find out how much you can borrow and ask them to research the market to find the best deal available for you.  You should also consider other outgoings including stamp duty, mortgage arrangement fees, solicitor’s fees etc.


  1. Make a wish-list and define your search criteria

Decide what you want from a property – what is it you are searching for? When purchasing property in London there are a few important things to think about: for example, do you want a purchase a freehold or leasehold?  Is outside space important to you?  Do you prefer period buildings or modern buildings?

Davis Brown advise that you book in some viewings with different estate agents – quite often the more properties you look at, the more you realise exactly what you are looking for.


  1. Once you’ve found your perfect property

…Make an offer! At this point we will ask for you to confirm your targets for exchange of contracts and completion, along with proof of funds and/or evidence of your mortgage offer. We will then put forward your offer to the vendor both verbally and in writing.


  1. Offer Accepted

Once your offer has been accepted, you will need to find a solicitor to prepare the legal paperwork and contact your lender to ask them to progress with your mortgage application.  As a firm of estate agents, Davis Brown will then prepare a Memorandum of Sale outlining the agreed terms which will be sent to all parties.


  1. Conveyancing

The vendor’s solicitor will send documentation, including the draft contract to your solicitor.  Your solicitor will apply for local searches and then raise enquires with the vendor’s solicitor.


  1. Surveys and mortgage offer

If you require a mortgage, your lender will instruct a surveyor to inspect the property to carry out a valuation.  A formal mortgage offer will then be sent to you and your solicitor following the valuation which you will need to sign before proceeding to an Exchange of Contracts.


  1. Exchange of Contracts

An exchange of contracts takes place once both parties have signed the contract and you have the deposit for the property (usually 10% of the purchase price).   Your solicitor will have completed the necessary checks and agreed a completion date is with the vendors solicitors.  At this point, you should start thinking about a check-list of things to do before moving. For example, arrange to have building and contents insurance in place, book a removal van, order items of furniture to be delivered.


  1. Completion

On completion, the remaining monies are transferred to the seller’s solicitor and you become the legal owner of your new home.   Your solicitor will tell you when the sale has completed and Davis Brown will release the keys to you.


Davis Brown Estate Agents, Fitzrovia would be delighted to help you achieve the best possible price for your property, and can support you every step of the way.  Contact us to speak to Emma our Residential Manager, or Sarah-Jane our Residential Negotiator.


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