Buying Guide

Step 1 – Organising Your Mortgage

It is a very exciting time when you decide to buy a home.  However, before getting carried away with property searches, the best idea is to find out just how much you can afford to spend and what you actually require. A good place to start is an independent financial advisor or personal bank.

To put yourself in front of sellers you will need your circumstances evaluated so you can have your finances in order, by obtaining a mortgage in principle which will put you in a strong buying position.

bigmove offers free mortgage advice through an independent mortgage company who have access to some of the most competitive mortgage rates on the market. If this is of interest, please contact us for further information. 

Step 2 - Register Your Search

Once you have registered your specific criteria, you will be able to browse at any time as we will keep you updated via email with suitable properties and SMS alerts.

Registering with bigmove, means we can update you with properties coming onto the market. All of our properties for sale will also be advertised with leading portals, including Rightmove, Zoopla and many others. To register call us on 020 8986 7373.

Step 3 – Viewing Properties

bigmove encourages you to view a property promptly, as the buying market is always competitive. We will accompany you throughout and will ensure you see a property within the quickest time frame. During viewings, bigmove will be by your side to ensure you have all the information you require for the buying process and will answer any questions you may have. Furthermore, to help you work around your busy schedule, we are also available for viewings in the evenings and 7 days a week.

Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 9am-7pm, on Fridays 9-6pm, and on Saturdays 9-4pm.

Step 4 - Make an Offer

To secure a property, contact bigmove immediately and we will guide you on how to proceed.  There are no legal obligations for either party before the contracts have been signed.

We will put forward your offer both in writing and verbally, highlighting any special conditions.

For an efficient and smooth moving process, choosing a good solicitor is very important so bigmove advises choosing a solicitor that specialises in conveyancing.

We can recommend an excellent selection of solicitors.

Step 5 - Offer Accepted

Once your offer is accepted, we will continue to be of assistance by;

  • Preparing a sale memorandum which will be sent to all parties


  • Confirm the agreed price and any special conditions in writing to all parties


  • Take details of your solicitors and mortgage


Next step, instruct your chosen solicitor in order for them to manage all the legal aspects of your purchase.

Step 6 – Conveyancing Process

A solicitor oversees the transfer of funds from buyer to seller and will ensure that you legally own the property you are buying. Along with your estate agent, your solicitor will also become a key link in the process, where they will carry out the following:

  • On receiving the draft contract from the seller's solicitor any enquiries needed will be raised


  • Their own local searches will be requested.


  • They will refer to the information already existing in the seller's pack


  • Guide and advise on all matters right through to completion


To help your house purchase move along swiftly bigmove have created strong relationships with all of our recommended solicitors in order to allow us to work together efficiently and smoothly.

Step 7 – The Survey and Mortgage Offer

On behalf of the mortgage lender, a surveyor will book a survey of the property. This will recognise any structural problems and will establish the value of the property.  On receiving the mortgage valuation report, a formal mortgage offer will be forwarded to you and your solicitor which will need to be signed by you and then sent to your solicitor.

Until contracts are signed there are no legal obligations.

Step 8 - Exchange of Contracts

Once your solicitor has received satisfactory answers to all enquiries and a formal mortgage offer, this is when the exchange of contracts can take place. Upon receiving a signed contract by both parties, your deposit (usually a 10% minimum) will be telegraphically transferred to the seller’s solicitor. This is an extremely important part of your property purchase and once the money has cleared you can agree a completion date with the sellers.

Step 9 – Completion of Your Purchase

The tensest part of buying a new home is likely to be completion, because you will be waiting to hear from your solicitor that they have received the balance funds from your mortgage lender which has been transferred to and received by the seller’s solicitors, confirming you have paid for the property in full. At this point we will release the keys to you and this confirms you are now the new home owner.



Buyers Advice 

What is the first stage when buying a property?

Before you start house-hunting, you should work out what you can afford to spend on buying a property and what your monthly mortgage payments will be.

Take into account all your other financial obligations and consider how you’ll cope if your financial situation changes, or interest rates rise so be careful not to overstretch yourself.

Once you know the amount of deposit you are able to put down, use the mortgage affordability calculator online to see how much you may be able to borrow.

It’s also a good idea to speak with a financial adviser to give you some advice.

How long will it take to complete the sale?

The duration of a sale completion can vary significantly depending on the individual situation. However providing there are no complications, overall the average sale transaction will take between 6-12 weeks from the date the sale is agreed with the estate agent.

Do I need a survey and how much will this cost?

You will have to pay for a mortgage valuation however it’s very beneficial and important to have a survey carried out as this confirms that the property you're buying is worth the amount that you want to pay for it. This is something that the mortgage lender carries out or will arrange on their behalf to make sure that the property value reflects the sale price.

The cost of a survey can vary depending on the company you use, however with a good surveyor/company this should approximately cost in the region of £650 to £1200 depending on the size of the property.

When will I need to pay the deposit?

The deposit must be paid to your solicitor a day or so before your exchange date to ensure the funds have cleared. The deposit is normally 10% of the purchase price.

What happens if my dad gave me the deposit as a gift? Will this affect the process?

This is a very common situation, your dad will need to provide the following:

  • The gift donor must provide a signed statement: The reason for this statement is to ensure the person has no interest in the property and the gift is a non-repayable gift. This is directly sent to the gift donor once their details are provided.
  • A Bankruptcy Search will be done on the gift donor: This will be done on completion
  • The gift donor must provide certified photographic ID and proof of address.
  • An ID check on the gift donor: This will be completed as soon as the ID is received and will cost £10.00 plus VAT.
  • Obtain source of funds: We must see a trail of where the gift came from, unless the gift amount has been in their account for at least 3 months,


Do I need to sign a contract? If so, when?

Exchange of contracts is usually between 7 and 28 days prior to completion, although contracts can be exchanged on the day of completion - see below.

You are legally committed to buying the property upon exchanging of contracts. You have to ensure you have everything in place beforehand, so that nothing can go wrong. Contracts should only be exchanged after:

  • Your offer has been agreed, including fixtures and fittings
  • Your mortgage valuation and any surveys have been done
  • You have a  formal mortgage offer in writing
  • Your funding for the mortgage deposit has been arranged
  • All relevant searches have been done by your solicitor
  • Your funding for contract deposit has been confirmed (this is usually 10% of the purchase price but often can be less)
  • A completion date for the sale has been agreed and is stated in the contract

Upon the above points being completed the date and time will be agreed to exchange contracts – typically any chosen day around midday. Exchange of contracts will be done by your solicitor or conveyancer. (If you have one)

Can I exchange and complete on the same day?

This is very common and possible with certain advantages – the process is swifter, and a deposit is not required on exchange of contracts. However, the disadvantages are this can be extremely stressful, and you’re not certain that you are moving until the day of exchange/completion, which can complex arranging removals and forwarding post. This gives you no time to make alternative arrangements should anything go wrong. Your removal arrangements must be in place and all your belongings packed to ensure your ready, while you are waiting for your solicitor to confirm that contracts have exchanged. Do consider these facts and if you are keen then also take the following into account:

Your risks are limited if you and the seller are chain-free, as there is no one else to effect the sale.

Being a cash purchaser makes the process easier as you do not need to transfer funds from the mortgage lender

Exchanging and completing on the same day is ok with some mortgage lenders but others require a minimum period (such as five working days) between the both.

Funds should be transferred to your solicitors the day before by both you and the mortgage lender to ensure there are no transmit problems with funds received.

The seller may demand something extra at the last moment, as they are aware you will be all packed and ready to go, so will not really in a position to negotiate, therefore you are putting yourself in a difficult and vulnerable position.

What is included in the sale?

As part of the premises, include the buildings, structures, and improvements now thereon, and the fixtures belonging to the Seller. Including, if any, all wall-to-wall carpeting, drapery rods, automatic garage doors openers, Venetian blinds, window shades, screens and white goods. Remember to always ask the agent what is included as this varies and is dependent on the seller

How much will the stamp duty come to?

If you click the link below this website will work out the exact figure you will have to pay as your stamp duty.

How much will conveyancing cost?

Conveyancing costs vary from solicitor to solicitor and is dependent on the tenure of property you purchase such as if it’s freehold or leasehold. Typically the average cost for a 3 bed freehold house will be around £1200 and for a 3 bed leasehold flat will be around £1500.

How to choose a good solicitor?

You will need a prompt and strong solicitor to act for you during your purchase so it’s best to shop around and obtain a few quotes in order to gain a reasonable price. Having said that do be aware not to go for the cheapest quote as you will most likely receive a poor quality service hence its always best to be recommended and fortunately, here at bigmove we work alongside a panel of excellent trustworthy solicitors that we can recommend hence call our office today and we can refer you.