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Buying a property is a substantial, long-term financial commitment, where prior research and preparation will help achieve the most successful and stress-free outcome. The following guide is a brief summary of the steps in the buying process.

1:    Arrange Finances

2:    Prioritise your Property Requirements

3:    Start the Property Search

4:    Arrange Viewings

5:    Negotiate and Make an Offer

6:    Instruct a Solicitor or Licensed Conveyancer

7:    Complete the Mortgage Application Process

8:    Exchange Contracts

9:    Complete the Purchase



Before starting your property search you will need to decide how much you can afford. Calculate your household budget, listing all incomings and outgoings, and review any savings or proceeds from the sale of a property you may wish to use. Additional finance may be required via a mortgage which is simply a loan secured against the property. It is highly desirable to have your mortgage agreed in principle by a lender before starting your search. Aside from the purchase price there are other costs in the buying process that you may need to take into account.

For free, professional advice, please call Elizabeth Jones on 01787 468405 or Jake Cole on 01440 768919.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage

Fees may become applicable at a later stage.



Mortgage Costs

Arrangement Fee: generally dependent on interest rate, type and size of loan.

Valuation/Homebuyer Report/Buildings Survey Fee.

Higher Lending Fee or Mortgage Indemnity Charge: usually required if the deposit is less than 10%.

Mortgage Broker Fee: payable if an intermediary arranges the loan; typically 1% of the loan value.

Purchase cost of any Life Insurance Policy

A small checking fee may be required for a buildings insurance policy not arranged via the mortgage lender.


Conveyancing Costs

Charges for the legal work Any Local Authority Searches Land Registry Fee

Stamp Duty Land Tax

Bank Transfer Fees


Additional Costs

Removal Costs

Fee for Redirection of Mail


The Property Search

The most popular ways to search for property are via estate agents, the internet and property guides. You will find plenty of information regarding each property including photographs, floor plans and general area descriptions. Regular communication with estate agents is key to finding the ideal property. Prioritise your requirements such as location and size of the accommodation, as well as transport links and access to good schools and local amenities. Arrange to view the shortlisted properties and take a checklist to ask any relevant questions of the seller or the estate agent.


Negotiate and Make an Offer

The estate agent will be pivotal in the negotiating process and will be able to offer advice regarding the seller’s position and likely outcome of any offer you wish the estate agent to put forward on your behalf. Consider current market conditions, the state of the property, and the position of the seller. Once an offer has been accepted it will be necessary to appoint a solicitor or licensed conveyancer to carry out all necessary checks and undertake the legal transfer of the property. It will also be necessary to contact the mortgage lender and complete the paperwork for the loan.


The Conveyancing

The solicitor will make enquiries and searches regarding ownership of the property, fixtures and fittings, boundaries, rights of access, future development, disputes and any other enquiries he deems appropriate. He will also check any guarantees, planning permissions, buildings’ regulations certificates, as well as local authority searches. He will confirm that the seller is the legal owner of the property and prepare a “Report on Title”. Contracts will be drawn up for the purchase and sale. On exchange of contracts the completion date will be set, and the purchase and sale will be legally binding. The property will be registered in the name of the new owner and the solicitor will be responsible for ensuring payment of land stamp duty tax. On completion the rest of the purchase price will be transferred to the seller, including any mortgage monies from the lender.

Checklist For Exchange Of Contracts

Organise the transfer of funds for the deposit. Arrange buildings insurance cover to commence. Confirm the completion date to the removal company. Arrange to redirect mail. Inform all relevant parties of your new address. Give notice to utility and service providers. On completion day take meter readings for the new property and inform the utility companies. Useful additional information regarding the property buying process can be found at


Bychoice Estate Agents are introducer appointed representatives of Stonebridge Mortgage Solutions Ltd, who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Lavenham Office
22 High Street,
Lavenham, Suffolk
CO10 9PT

Tel: 01787 249583
Haverhill Office
27b High Street,
Haverhill, Suffolk

Tel: 01440 768919


Sudbury Office
6 King Street,
Sudbury, Suffolk
CO10 2EB

Tel: 01787 468400
Bury St Edmunds Office
6 The Traverse,
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
IP33 1BJ

Tel: 01284 769598


Hadleigh Office
43a High Street,
Hadleigh, Suffolk
IP7 5AB 

Tel: 01473 828280

Associated Park Lane Office
121 Park Lane,


Tel: 0203 3688379


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Registered Name: Bychoice Estate Agents Limited | Place of Registration: Sudbury | Registered Number: 5186429 | Registered Office: 61 Station Road, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2SP