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First-time buyer? Here’s our guide to the legal process

by Iain Mason

Published on 4th December 2017

House-buying is a major undertaking, even for those who have bought and sold several times. So if you are a first-time buyer (or perhaps you’ve not moved for some years, so are a little rusty), then you may have little or no idea of the process.

So here’s a guide from the legal team here at Optimum Professional Services to take you through the legal process, step by step.


House-buying: what will happen


  • Do get in touch with us, your conveyancing legal team, as soon as you have found a property you’d like to buy.
  • We will ask you to complete one or two forms from the outset which will help to avoid any delays later on.

We will recommend that you instruct a qualified surveyor to carry out a homebuyer’s survey (or a structural survey depending on the circumstances)  and we will provide you with some useful information to help you throughout the transaction

  • As soon as we have received the title documents and a draft contract from the seller’s solicitors, we will put in hand the various searches, investigate title and raise enquiries, as appropriate.
  • We will keep you updated about progress and advise you of anything likely to cause a delay.
  • As soon as we have received satisfactory replies to our enquiries, search results and a copy of your mortgage offer, we will report to you with the contract for signature.
  • A deposit is required from you at this stage for exchange of contracts.
  • Assuming that all parties are in a position to proceed, a completion date is agreed on and exchange takes place.
  • You will now be in a position to confirm your removals.
  • We will liaise with you before completion to ensure that you have all financial means in place and will request your mortgage funds.
  • On completion, we will send the balance purchase monies to the seller’s solicitors; as soon as they have received them, we will telephone you to confirm that you may pick up the keys.


There are many stages to the process, but rest assured we’ve been through this thousands of times with our clients. We’ll keep you informed every step of the way, and make the process as smooth and swift as possible.

For any advice or help with buying or selling a property, or if you are a first-time buyer, please get in touch with the team here at Optimum Professional Services.

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