Buyers: Frequently Asked Questions

All you need to know about purchasing your next property

I want to purchase a property. What am I going to do first?

You need to find out how much the move is likely to cost and see what kind of mortgage deposit you can afford before you start looking for a property. 

I discovered a property that I love. What am I going to do now?

It is recommended that a mortgage lender apply for a Principle Decision and find a solicitor before making an offer. With both of these facilities, Paramount Sales and Lettings can assist you. For more information, just contact your local branch.

How long will it take for my purchase to be completed?

Every purchase is different, and before this question can be answered correctly, your position and the position of the seller must be taken into account. If the vendor has left the property already and you have secured a mortgage, Contracts can be exchanged and completed relatively quickly.

However, if you need a mortgage and the seller is still in the property, it usually takes between 4 and 6 weeks to exchange contracts, it requires 2 to 4 weeks to complete. You should therefore expect to finish the purchase for up to 10 weeks in total.

How much will the cost of conveyancing be?

‘ Conveyancing ‘ sounds like boring legal stuff, but to make the property formally yours is all that needs to happen. It can be a confusing method and you need a solicitor to make it happen. Paramount Sales and Lettings can introduce you to a solicitor.

What is the cost of stamp duty?

You have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) to purchase a property in the UK for a certain cost. In December 2014, the way stamp duty is calculated is changed and you are now only paying the tax rate within each tax band on the part of the property price – like income tax. For further details visit

Buy to let and second home buyers have to pay an additional 3 percent on each stamp duty band from April 2016.

Do I need a survey?

In order to secure a mortgage, your mortgage lender will arrange a mortgage valuation for which you will have to pay. A mortgage valuation simply confirms with the lender that the property is worth what you are being lent and will not provide information about the property’s condition.

When you buy a property, we suggest that you organize your own survey. It enables you to see the property’s present situation further down the line, decreasing the opportunity of nasty surprises. There are three main types of surveys with different costs.

When will I pay the deposit?

The deposit is paid to the solicitor of the seller, generally when contracts are exchanged.

When will the funds be released by my mortgage lender?

Your solicitor will ask for the mortgage from the lender. It generally requires the lender about 4-5 working days to release the loaned funds. When you notify you of the earliest possible completion date, your solicitor will take this time into consideration.

When do I need to arrange insurance?

Shortly before you sign the contract, we suggest arranging home and content insurance.

Don’t forget you need all appropriate insurance policies.  to start from the exchange of contract date, 

In the worst-case scenario of illness or death, you should also consider organizing mortgage protection so that your family is not forced to fulfil your mortgage payments. When you finish your mortgage application, this should be arranged.

What are searches?

The Land Registry and Local Authority information will be searched by your solicitor. They will be checking the history of planning and any potential developments around the highways, drainage and mining near the property.

When am I going to sign the contract?

The seller’s solicitor will draft a contract after the sale has been agreed. Your solicitor will verify the property information and conduct searches. Your mortgage lender will also have to perform a mortgage valuation and send you a mortgage offer at the same moment.

When is the buyer or seller bound to the sale or purchase?

Until both solicitors obtain signed agreements from the seller and the buyer, either party may withdraw without price or punishment at any moment and for any reason until the contracts are exchanged.

How is a date selected for completion?

Once the contracts are signed by both sides, your solicitor and the solicitor of the seller will consult with both sides and agree on a date of completion. If you require a mortgage, then your solicitor will ask for the mortgage after the contracts are signed. The lender of the mortgage will let your solicitor know when the funds will be released, then your solicitor and the solicitor of the seller will consult with both sides and agree on a completion date.

How and when am I going to get the keys?

Once the seller’s solicitor confirms receipt of funds to confirm the completion of the transaction, the estate agent can confirm where and when you can collect the keys.

What happens to my title deeds?

Even after you have obtained the keys to your property, your solicitor still has a considerable quantity of work to do. Your property’s title deeds will stay with your solicitor for a few months before being lastly sent for storage to your Lender.

What will the seller leave in the property?

Before the contract is signed, a list of fixtures and fittings will be decided between the solicitors. This sets out what they intend to remove and what they are willing to include in the price of the house. In some cases they may give items to be considered for sale to the buyer, And some content may be provided as part of the purchase price negotiation.