The Process Of Buying A House In The UK

process of buying a house

The process of buying a house in the UK is actually quite drawn out and complicated – hence the often quoted statistic of moving house being one of the most stressful times in a person’s life.

The actual process of buying a house involves dealing with a variety of organisations and people, including: estate agents, solicitors, banks/building societies and the vendors who are actually selling the house.

The process of buying a house usually takes the following form:

Decide how much you have to spend

This is calculated by how much equity you have in your current property (obviously none if you are a first time buyer), and the amount of savings you have to put forward towards a deposit.

You then need to see how much salary you earn, in order to get a mortgage. Banks normally give up to 4 times the income of a household. So, for example, if you have a £50k deposit (made up from savings, equity or help from parents) and earn £30k a year you can afford a £170k house.

Arrange for your mortgage offer in principle

This is when the lender does a quick assessment of you (a credit check) and makes an in principle agreement to lend you x amount. There are so many different types of mortgages available, you will need to do your research to ensure you are choosing the best deal for you and your situation.

Think about where you want to live

Once you’ve decided your budget, it’s time to think about where you want to live, and what sort of house you want. Do want a quiet area, or the busy city life? House or flat? Garden or not?

Once you’ve found your dream property, you are now at the point of making an offer. There are ways of offering on a house that will put you in better position than any competing buyers.

Do your research

Once you know the sort of house you want, have a look on, which is the premier property website in the UK. Most properties that are for sale in the UK are listed on the site. Once you’ve found one that fits your requirements, call the related estate agents and arrange a viewing.

Make an offer

If you like the look of the house you’ve seen, then contact the estate agents and make an offer. It is up to you if you offer the asking price; it depends how much you want the house.

If you really want the house, then offer the asking price. If you’re really stretching your budget, then offer a few thousand below the asking price, and see how the sellers respond. Be prepared to negotiate.

Arrange mortgage with chosen lender

Buyers should then go to their chosen lender to arrange the mortgage. Various forms must be filled out, and arrangements made to set up a direct debit to be set up to withdraw the mortgage amount from your bank account every month.

The lender will charge you to do a valuation of the property to ensure that they would be able to recoup their money if they were forced to repossess and sell the property.

Appoint solicitor

You should appoint a solicitor at this stage, who will carry out what is called conveyancing. These are all the legal duties that need to bee carried out in order for the house purchase to go through.

Choosing the right conveyancer is critical for a smooth and fast exchange and completion process.

These duties include: drawing up the contract that will be exchanged with the seller; making sure there are no planning permission or local development issues regarding the property and register the owner details of the property with the Land Registry.

Arrange home insurance

Home insurance will need to be arranged for the home purchase to go through.

Exchange contracts

Once all the legal issue have been dealt with, contracts are exchanged.


The final stage of the process of buying a house is called completion. This is where the funds are transferred from the buyer to the seller, and you legally own the house. You would then take possession of the keys and move in.

The process of buying a house from start to finish normally takes about 12 weeks, which is twice as long as in Europe. If you are selling your house as well as purchasing, it’s normally considered good advice to sell your house first, which saves a lot of hassle.

QMN Logo.pngIf you can’t wait 12 weeks and need to sell quicker, and also want to avoid the chance of your sale falling through, contact Quick Move Now.  As a cash home buyer of properties, using our own cash, we could buy your house with 7 days.

We give guaranteed offers that mean your sale is guaranteed avoiding the pain of a chain break or of a buyer pulling out at the last minute.

Call us today on 0800 068 3366 or simply complete our no obligation online estimate form. 

This content was written by Quick Move Now
Published on 13th January 2015
Last updated on 5th September 2018


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