GIBSON HONEY Buying a Property Find a Property


A Step by Step Guide to Buying a Home

It can be one of the most exciting, but equally most stressful times when purchasing a property. We have put together a guide to explain the process, although there is nothing like a one on one chat with one of our property experts so please feel free to talk to us.


Are your finances in order?

Start by looking at your own finances — any savings, debt, incomings, outgoings, everything. Every bill, every habit – even takeaways, every penny you’ve put away. It’s time to get it all out there.

Figuring out if you’re eligible for a mortgage is a good start. If a mortgage is required, it is wise to have a mortgage arranged in principle before you start your search.

We offer free, simple, mortgage advice and can provide you with a recommended broker.

put yourself in the strongest possible position

Have a property to sell?

Before you start the search for your next home, it is vitally important to make sure you are in a proceedable position.

If you have a property to sell,  the first step you should take is to secure a purchaser for your own property.  To do this you will need to arrange a market appraisal with your local regulated expert agent.

A face to face expert valuation

Get a free, no-obligation, accurate market valuation from your local property experts.

Full market appraisal

We'll use our specialist knowledge and market-leading research to help boost your property sale.

Plan your next move with us

Let us assist you in the whole process of selling your home, making it as stress-free as possible.

Get your property listed

Get on the market quickly and be seen on Rightmove, Zoopla and other property sites

Ready to make the move?


Register your interest

Whereabouts are you looking? What are you looking for?

This can alter during the process, however, it is a good idea to do some research into areas, schools, transport links etc before you start your search.

Register with us to receive a selection of properties that match your criteria instantly. Keep constantly up-to-date with new properties that come on to the market.


View a property

We recommend having a house viewing checklist with you, so you can remember everything you want to look at and all of the questions you want to ask. A lot of these will be answered on our professionally produced particulars that we provide you with on your visit.


Making an offer

Once you’ve found a place you love, it’s time to talk to us.

How do you make an offer? It’s really simple — you just let us know what you’re willing to pay.

Sometimes there may be a process of price negotiation and by working with us, both seller and buyer will benefit from the expertise of our consultants, who will work hard to facilitate an agreeable outcome to everyone’s satisfaction.

The legal side of buying a property

Choosing a solicitor

The successful purchase of a property is reliant on the instruction of an efficient and experienced solicitor. We recommend using a local solicitor as they will have experience with the area that you’re moving to and will most likely have encountered any potential problems with these types of properties or specific streets before.

A solicitor or conveyancer will handle all the legal aspects of buying or selling a property for you.

Carries out searches

Carries out local searches on the property and highlights any potential issues.

Arranges legal contracts

Examines contracts for buyers and sellers and raises queries

Communicates with everyone involved

Negotiates with all the parties involved in the property purchase

Finalises your move

Arranges the exchange and completion of your new home


Arranging a survey

If you are getting a mortgage, then a basic survey will be booked by a surveyor on behalf of the mortgage lender to identify any structural problems and advise on the property’s value.

Depending on the condition of the property you may also want to instruct a home buyers or building survey.

These types of survey are more in depth and will touch on aspects such as advice on defects that may affect the value of the property with repairs, and ongoing maintenance advice.


Exchange contracts

This occurs when the terms of the sale have been agreed and the move becomes legally binding. It’s our job to keep you updated throughout every step – especially if you’re dealing with a chain.Most of the negotitating and paperwork will be carried out between your solicitors, it’s just up to you to sign on the dotted line.

At this stage, you usually release your deposit to your solicitor, who then transfers it to the seller’s conveyancer to release them. Once contracts are exchanged you officially have a new home.



Completion day is the last step in the process of buying and selling. It is the day when ownership is transferred from seller to buyer, the buyer gets the keys to the property (Yay!) and it’s time to move in!

You’ll have to sort out your move — either by hiring a professional removals company or by bribing your friends and family with fish and chips.

Ready for your next move?


Buying a House

We’ve compiled a list of the most common questions when buying a property. For further expert advice, talk to us.

How quickly can I buy a house? + -

It depends. The average time it takes to buy a house is around 3-6 months, from getting a mortgage approved in principle to completion. But there are so many factors that can speed things up or slow them down. You may have delays with surveys or be stuck in a chain. On the other hand, things can move more quickly if, for example, you’re a cash buyer and everyone’s motivated. Every sale is different.

Can you pull out of buying a house? + -

You can, but depending on where you are in the process it can be tricky — and it might cost you. If you back out after the exchange of contracts, you can lose your deposit. If you back out before, you can still lose anything you’ve invested so far — like surveying fees. It’s certainly not a decision you should take lightly.

Do the sellers have to clean the house? + -

Yes and no. According to Citizen’s Advice, there isn’t a legal obligation to leave the house clean — though they are responsible for removing their personal belongings. If you want to be sure that your new home is left in a good state, you can arrange a final walkthrough or even add a clause into the contract that requires the home to be clean and tidy.

What are the best months for buying a house? + -

Officially speaking, Spring. Statistics from HMRC show that house sales tend to spike in March and again in the summer months, so that’s likely to be when more houses are on the market. That being said, there are also larger market trends that make a difference. If the market is hot in your area, the time of year might not matter as much — a boom tends to make more of a difference than any particular time of year. And it might be the right time for you to buy, based on events in your life — so just keep an eye on the listings and do what’s right for you.

Can I move on completion day? + -

Normally, yes. On completion day, your solicitor will take the funds they’ve received for the house (either from you or your mortgage provider) and transfer it to the seller’s solicitor. Once they confirm that they’ve received funds, you get the keys and can move straight in. But sometimes there are snags in the process. If your transfer gets held up or a solicitor isn’t on the ball, they might not receive the funds early enough to release the keys that day — so keep that in mind. Your estate agent should be able to talk you through the process.

Will current affairs have any effect on the housing market? + -

Yes, Some experts think that the market has already seen the Brexit effect and evened out — especially now that the Brexit bill has been signed into law. But trade negotiations still have to take place and that can affect the pound and everything else, including the housing market. Then there’s the Coronavirus effect, which put the market on ice for a few months and the full effects may last much longer. Ultimately, only you know if it’s the right time to buy for you.

How long does it take to buy a house if you are paying with cash? + -

Buying a house with cash tends to go faster because you don’t have to go through the mortgage approval process or a mortgage valuation — plus, there’s no chain on your end. That being said, you can still run into the same snags, gazumps, and unexpected survey issues. You can speed up the process, but it’s still a process.

What are the stages of buying a house? + -

Good question. Normally there are viewings (you'll probably view a property multiple times before you buy it), offers, and negotiations — then your offer is accepted. Congratulations! But nothing is binding until you exchange contracts. After contracts are exchanged, there is often a break before "completion", which is when the home is really yours. You'll agree on the completion date when your conveyancers are doing the contracts, so they'll be sure to find a day that works for both of you. Then, you can move in!

How long does it take to buy a house? + -

To be honest, it depends on a lot of factors. Anyone who guarantees a quick sale may not be being 100% honest. We've found that the average time is anywhere from 15 to 24 weeks, from when you start viewings until moving day. W


Get Instant Property Alerts

Don't miss out on the perfect property. Sign up to get alerts of properties that match your criteria as soon as they hit the market.


Mon – Thurs 9am – 6pm
Friday 9am – 5.30pm
Saturday 9am – 4pm

Find out what your property is worth

Thinking of selling or letting your home?

Get a free, no-obligation, accurate market valuation from your local property experts.


Are you ...