Buying a Home, particularly for the first time, can be a daunting prospect; however almost every house purchase that takes place follows the same process, even if the timings differ. Once you've found the house of your dreams, and your offer has been accepted, the first step is to instruct solicitors, or conveyances, so they can begin working on your behalf. When it comes to selecting these, and in fact mortgage brokers, it is always worth opting for the most highly recommended option you can afford to ensure you receive the best service throughout.

Following their instruction, you'll enter the pre-contract stage which typically takes two to three months but, as there are many steps here, has been known to take longer. During this time your solicitor will undertake their 'searches', which are enquiries made to local authorities about the property and land it sits on; here they are looking for things such as access disputes or environmental issues. This is also a good time for a survey of the property itself which will look to identify anything that may cause problems in the coming years, such as subsidence or damp. Delays can arise if any concerns are reported, however your solicitor will be on hand to offer guidance on these.

Alongside these your mortgage lender will carry out their own checks to make sure they agree with all valuations and then confirm your mortgage offer. Once searches are back and any raised enquiries have been resolved contracts are drafted and a date to exchange will be set. At this point you will also agree a completion date; this is commonly a week after exchange, but can be extended to a mutually agreeable date if either party needs. When the exchange has taken place, and you have a completion date confirmed, you can begin to book removal vans and consider insurances, but we'd never recommend committing to these until the dates have been agreed by all parties. As with any large purchase information is key and being prepared and aware of the steps can help to ensure a smooth process before you begin the next chapter of your life in your new home.