The purchase process explained












The purchase process (also known as the conveyancing process) can seem complicated and can be stressful for many purchasers. There are usually 2 or 3 processes running in parallel and they all have to be completed by the Exchange deadline. One of the main difficulties can be understanding the jargon and what comes next. To make the process as stress free and smooth as possible we have tried to break down the process into easy to understand steps so that you can understand where you stand and what happens next throughout the process. Sometimes buyers complain that they are waiting for their solicitor to do this or there mortgage broker to do that. Remember these professionals are acting for you and it often falls to the purchaser to push them along and make sure that your purchase is prioritised so that you can Exchange contracts within the agreed timeframe and not loose out on the opportunity of buying your chosen apartment.

(1) The legal process 

1 - Select a solicitor (1-2 days)

When buying a property you need to appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf. They will be responsible for making sure all the legal documentation is in order and that your interests are protected throughout the conveyancing process. When buying a new-build property where the Leases on all the apartments will be the same it can be helpful to choose a solicitor who has already acted for other purchasers who have bought within the development. This will mean that the solicitor is familiar with the development and has already reviewed all the documentation. Because of this they will usually be able to offer you the lowest fees and the quality and speed of their service will be very high as a result. Brian Cox will be able to advise you which solicitors have acted for purchasers previously within the development when you are ready to select a solicitor. Remember that whichever solicitor you choose they will be acting solely for you.

2 - Instructing your solicitor (2-3 days)

Once you have chosen a solicitor you will need to formally instruct them. That means accepting their fee quote and terms and conditions (usually by signing them and returning them to them). They will also need KYC (Know Your Client) information which will involve providing them with ID and answering any further questions they may ask. Finally they will want to receive money on account from you so that they can start their work on your file.

3 - Solicitor acknowledges receipt of papers (1 day)

This simply means that your solicitor confirms to the seller's solicitor that he has received all the relevant legal documenttion from him and that he or she has started work on your file.

4 - Enquiries raised (5 days)

Your solicitor will raise enquiries in relation to the documentation received. If the solicitor you have chosen has acted for other purchasers in the development previously then many of the questions he may have may have already been answered. However, there may be specific questions relating to your flat that he or she may still wish to raise.

5 - Enquiries replied (5 days)

The Seller's solicitor will reply to all enquiries. In total the back and forth with questions and answers can last up to 10 days, at the end of which your solicitor should confirm that all enquiries have been answered or dealt with satisfactorily.

6 - Contract agreed and report issued (3 days)

This is when your solicitor formally reports to you.  Your solicitor will only usually report to you once he has received a formal mortgage offer from your lender and Authority to Exchange from Help to Buy. These processes are explained in more detail below.

7 - Deposit and signed contract with your solicitor (2 days)

Once you have reviewed your solicitors report you sign the Contract and return it to your solicitor. You also transfer your Deposit to him. Your solicitor is now ready to Exchange on your behalf.

8 - Exchange (1 day)

Your solicitor Exchanges on your behalf and your Deposit is paid over to the Seller's solicitor. You have now committed to Buy and the seller has committed to Sell the apartment to you.

9 - Completion

Your solicitor will receive a Notice close to the time your apartment is ready to move into. He will then obtain the balance of funds for Completion from you (if applicable), your mortgage lender and Help to Buy (if applicable). He will then Complete the purchase on your behalf.

(2) The Help to Buy process

1 - Complete the Property Information Form (PIF) provided by the sales agent and get the sales agent or your mortgage advisor to submit it to Help to Buy together with the Reservation Form (1-2 days).

2 - Authority to Proceed (ATP) received by your solicitor (4 working days after submission of PIF). Please note that your solicitor does not have to wait to receive this to start work on your file.

3 - Solicitor Form 1 submitted by your solicitor. Your solicitor will submit this once he or she is in receipt of your formal mortgage offer. (This should be done within 1 day of your solicitor receiving a copy of your formal mortgage offer).

4 - Authority to Exchange (ATE) received (within 3 working days of Solicitor Form 1 being submitted).

5 - Solicitor Form 2 submitted. Your solicitor will submit this once you are due to Complete.

6 - Confirmation to Provider (CTP) received (within 2 working days of Solicitor Form 2 being submitted).

(3) The Mortgage Process

1 - Select a mortgage broker or go straight to your preferred lender. You will usually have done this ahead of making an offer but it is worth sitting down with Brian Cox's in house mortgage broker Practical Mortgage Solutions once your offer has been accepted to make sure you have considered all the options (1-2 days).

2 - Submit your mortgage application (1-2 days). 

3 - Offer in principle received (usually within 3 working days of submitting your application).

4 - Valuer appointed and valuation booked in (within 3 days of offer in principle)

5 - Valuation completed (within 6 days of valuer being appointed).

6 - Formal mortgage offer (within 3 days of valuation being completed)

* Once the 28 day period has expired the Developer may withdraw from the transaction at any time. In such circumstances any Reservation fee paid would usually be retained by the Developer to cover their administrative expenses in connection with the abortive transaction.

The information on this page is provided as guidance only by the Developer. ©