Stages of a Purchase

To help you understand the process of purchasing a property, below is our step by step guide to a typical purchase transaction.

  • 1. The buyer makes an offer on the property, which is accepted by the seller
  • 2. The buyer’s solicitor will be instructed to act and the buyer will arrange a survey on the property, and makes an application for a mortgage (if needed).
  • 3. The buyer’s solicitor will confirm instructions by letter to the buyer and will contact the seller’s solicitor to obtain the contract pack
  • 4. The buyer’s solicitor will then check the contract pack, raise pre-contract enquiries, carry out the necessary searches and obtain a copy of the mortgage offer
  • 5. The seller’s solicitor and the seller answer these pre-contract enquiries and return these to buyer’s solicitor.
  • 6. The buyer’s solicitor will review and provide a report to the buyer on the contents of the contract pack, pre-contract enquiries, the result of the searches and mortgage offer and then when the buyer is happy to proceed the buyer will pay the deposit to the buyer’s solicitor in readiness for exchange of contracts
  • 7. The seller and the buyer agree on a completion date and contracts are formally exchanged. At this stage both parties are legally committed to the transaction
  • 8. The buyer’s solicitor prepares a draft transfer deed and completion information form and sends these to the seller’s solicitor who approves the draft transfer deed and a final copy is made. This is signed by the seller and buyer in readiness for completion
  • 9. The buyer’s solicitor prepares a completion statement, carries out pre-completion searches and applies to the buyer’s mortgage lender for the mortgage loan
  • 10. On completion, the seller leaves the property by the agreed time and buyer’s solicitor sends the balance of the sale price to the seller’s solicitor.
  • 11. Once the seller’s solicitor receives the money they release the keys to the estate agent and sends the title deeds and transfer deed to the buyer’s solicitor and confirm that they will repay any existing mortgage
  • 12. The buyer’s solicitor sends the stamp duty land tax payable to HMRC, receives the title deeds, transfer deed and proof that the seller has paid the outstanding mortgage on the property
  • 13. The buyer’s solicitor will register the property in the name of the buyer at the Land Registry upon which the buyer (and the mortgage lender if applicable) will receive a copy of the updated title document.



Animated Guide to Buying a Property