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Getting ready to buy?

Published on 19 August 2022 | Modified on 6 October 2022

Written by Lana Jones



Use our simple check list to make sure you have everything you need for the best head start to buy your next property!

  • If you are buying with a mortgage, obtain a ‘Decision in Principle’ from your lender so that you can show the seller you’re able to buy their property – This shows you have already been through your initial checks and will show how much the Lender is willing to borrow you from the offset.


  • Have your bank statements ready – Along with a Decision in Principle, your estate agent may ask to see bank statements for any deposit you will be putting towards the property. This will assure them that you can afford to buy the Property you’re making the offer on, and you’re a serious buyer


  • Have your ID documents ready – Ensure sure your photographic ID documents are in date and showing your correct, current address. Download or request bank statements and utility bills that are less than three months old.  Both the Estate Agent and your Solicitor will require this from you


  • Instruct your solicitor – As soon as your offer is accepted, you can give the estate agent our information so that they can issue the Memorandum of Sale advises all parties of the agreed sale and changes the status of the Property from ‘For Sale’ to ‘Sold Subject to Contract’. This document is also sent to your seller’s solicitor, so they know who they need to send your legal paperwork to.


  • Ensure you have paid money on account to your solicitor – This will ensure that once we receive the legal pack from the seller’s solicitor, we are able to order the necessary searches for you straight away. These searches can take several weeks to complete, depending on Local Authorities, so the sooner they are under way, the better!


  • Get your mortgage application submitted – Once you’ve committed to a property you should get this under way as soon as you can. It can take several weeks for a formal offer to be issued.  Once finalized, the mortgage offer will be sent to you, and a further copy sent to your solicitor.  They will review the offer, to ensure that any conditions the lender has can be met, and they will send the Mortgage Deed to you to sign


  • Make sure you sign the documents your solicitor sends – When you receive the legal pack from us, there will be a report on title showing you everything you need to know from a legal point of view about the property and any obligations you take over once you own it. Once the signed documents are back with your solicitor, you are in the best position to proceed to completion


  • Get ready to close your ISA if you have one – A transaction can take three months to complete, so we recommend that you do not close your ISA straight away unless it will take considerable time to send the funds to you, this means you can take advantage of any extra bonus by contributing payments to as many of the months as you can – helping you save a little more


  • Do you need a survey? – If you are buying with a mortgage your Lender will carry out a basic survey on the property but often this is only to assess the value of the property and may not flag up structural issues which you need to be aware of. Buying a property is Caveat Emptor – which means buyer aware! As your solicitor we investigate the legal title to ensure that the Property can be sold to you and any legal obligations, but we do not visit the Property.  A full homebuyer’s survey can be invaluable to ensure any nasty surprises are found earlier rather than later!


  • Ask questions! – As your solicitor we advise on the legal title of the property. If you have any questions, you should never feel afraid to ask.  Buying a property is an enormous financial commitment, whether it’s buying for the first time, moving house again or adding to a portfolio. Two properties are never the same and we want you to feel comfortable and informed when making the final decision to buy.


If you are thinking of buying, selling, or investing in further property please do not hesitate to contact Poole Alcock today. Our friendly and dedicated staff are on hand to answer any questions you may have, please call 01606 539 966 today or visit our website for more information.

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