1. Check your budget - do you have enough money to facilitate the move?

It is vital you are fully aware of all the costs involved in buying a home before you even begin viewing homes. This includes stamp duty, legal fees, mortgage fees etc. It would be wise to speak to an independent mortgage advisor who can assess your budget and best mortgage product for you, based on your situation and employment status. If you need help with this, we work closely with an independent mortgage advisor who can help you with free advice.

It would be worth obtaining an Agreement in Principle at this time, as it shows agents you are serious to buy. Once you are aware of your maximum budget you can then begin to search for your home.

2. What type of property / area is right for me?

Do your research! Look into which area you would like to buy and you can picture yourself living in, it may be wise to drive around and narrow down certain areas you really want to live in.

Consider property types too, do you want a leasehold apartment or a freehold house, garden, no garden? Semi-detached or detached. There are many different types of home, a local experienced agent can help you decide which is most suitable for you.

3. Go out viewing!

Once you finally decide which area and type of home you would like to view, it is now time for the fun part, view homes! Get registered with local estate agents who will email / call you with new properties coming to the market. As well as that, subscribe to their Social Media channels as these offer sneak peeks with what's to come to the market!

When searching with local agents, ensure you are only looking with estate agents who belong to the Ombudsman Scheme or are governed by a governing body in any way, as these are the most professional and reliable.

Most Estate Agents now offer preview videos or 'Online Viewing' which can help narrow down what you want without a physical viewing as these can seem daunting at times.

4. Make an offer!

Once you are ready to make an offer, consult with your independent financial advisor to confirm the construction type and style of the property, before you place an offer.

They can assist you with what offer to make and an offer strategy, fingers crossed the offer is accepted and then you can begin with submitting the mortgage application and filling out your solicitor paperwork, your agent should be able to assist with this if you are struggling at all. The Independent financial advisor can also assist you with any insurance you would wish to take, if necessary.

5. Good communication!

Ensure all channels of communication are kept fully open between your solicitor and also the Estate Agent. The better the communication and more responsive you are to responding to all questions raised, the quicker and smoother the sale can move for all parties involved.

Ensure the agent you are buying through is an excellent communicator and is easily accessible to assist with any queries, as is the property conveyancer you pick.

The Agent may even have a local, experienced solicitor they can recommend to help with streamlining the process. The solicitor will apply for local searches and raise a set of enquiries to ask the sellers solicitors about the home. This process usually takes approx 12 weeks on average.

6. Exchange and then completion day!

Exchange of contracts happens once the signed contract is exchanged between the buyers and sellers solicitor, on exchange you will be required to transfer deposit money to conclude the exchange.

Once the sale is exchanged, all parties can now relax as the sale is now legally binding. The two parties will agree a completion date which is now set in stone and cannot be changed.

On the morning of the agreed date, the solicitor or Estate Agent will contact you to confirm when they can meet you at the property to collect the keys, the agent can also show you where your electric & gas meters are, as well as any other queries you may have with your new home.

Now you can sit back and enjoy your new home!