Here’s a selection of questions we’re often asked, but you’ll also find a great deal of information on our Advice For Buyers page.
Does making an offer secure the property?
Not necessarily. It depends on the vendor’s preferences and acceptance of your offer. Only on exchange can the property be officially regarded as ‘yours’.
How do I submit my offer on a property?
All offers are submitted to the vendor by your agent both verbally and in writing. You will need to show evidence of your capacity to buy the property, so it is preferable from a negotiating point of view to have agreed a mortgage in principle before you submit your offer.
What is Stamp Duty?
Stamp Duty Land Tax ( SDLT ) is a tax payable to the government on all property purchases over the value of £125,000*. See our Fees & Costs section for more details, or use our Stamp Duty Calculator to work out how much you would pay.
* From April 2016, a 3% surcharge applies to all second home and buy-to-let properties valued over £40,000.
Can I avoid using a solicitor?
In short, no. A solicitor is required to carry out all the conveyancing, money laundering checks and property searches.
What’s the difference between freehold and leasehold properties?
A freehold means you own the property and the land it is on indefinitely. A leasehold is a property you own for a specific amount of time, but does not include the land it is built upon.
When do I actually have to transfer the money for exchange?
Your solicitor will request your funds for the deposit, usually held in a client account. The outstanding balance will be paid upon completion, either by your mortgage provider or by you personally depending on how you are funding the property.
When can I move in?
On completion, which is when you will be issued with the keys.
What if I change my mind?
Once you have exchanged on the property you run the risk of losing your deposit and a potential claim for damages for breach of contract if you do not complete, and before then the vendor may also be entitled to keep your reservation deposit dependent on your agreed Memorandum Of Sale.