Time to get on the housing ladder!

Exciting times lie ahead but don’t rush in as you can easily get carried away and if you make a mistake when you’re buying a house, it can be costly! At Bradleys, we will help and guide you with your first property purchase and have the expertise to ensure you receive the best advice available to you. A further advantage of registering with us is, not only will we be able to contact you with properties before they go on the internet, but will also be able to help you source the best local services to help with your purchase.

Our staff will be happy to arrange a viewing for any properties that you like the look of and then meet you there to show you around and get a feel for the property, we are not pushy sales people. Mortgage Advisers are essential in initially establishing your affordability and then finding the best deal when you are ready to apply for a mortgage. With conveyancers, surveyors, home insurance departments all based locally, we are able to help you with all things property.

To register on our mailing list and keep informed of the latest available properties or arrange an appointment with an Mortgage Adviser contact your nearest branch or our Customer Services team.

Where to start?

We have put together a timeline of the key events that should provide you with a guide of what to do and when. These aren’t set in stone but will give you some good guidance when getting on the housing ladder.


Establish mortgage affordability

A mortgage is a specialist loan term when borrowing money to purchase a property/land. It is essential to know what you can afford and then you can be confident when you start looking at properties as to what is realistic. We can arrange for a free consultation with a mortgage adviser to discuss this with you.

Before you go house shopping, just like with any other shopping venture, it is always best to know how much you can spend before you get carried away. In this instance the best place to start is by arranging an appointment with a mortgage adviser who has access to the whole mortgage market. Initially this should not cost you a penny and will provide you with how much you can afford as well as a useful insight into the process and requirements of obtaining and repaying a mortgage.

There are various types of mortgages available and our advisers will discuss the differences between them and, by taking various details from you, will be able to help find the right type of mortgage for you.

There are also various types of Mortgage Advisers and it is worth doing your research into this to ensure you are getting the best advice and mortgage deal. There are further details about this on our mortgage pages including information that will be useful when establishing your mortgage affordability. It is often recommended to seek an alternative opinion from another ‘whole of market’ mortgage adviser to check you have been recommended the best deal available to you. In theory the same mortgage deal should be chosen by both advisers.

Speak to a mortgage adviser


Viewing Properties

First of all, don’t be shy in asking to view a property or multiple properties if they are of interest. It doesn’t cost you anything, our staff will be pleased to meet you there and show you around. You should view a range of properties before committing to offering on one, even if you go back and offer on the first one you viewed. The main thing is not to jump in without exploring your options.
Viewing Properties

The fun starts here! You have checked your affordability and researched the market to identify some properties you like the look of, now it’s time to get viewing inside them! Viewings can be arranged by email, telephone or in one of our offices.

Don’t hold back in viewing a property, if you feel there is a chance a property could be right for you then go ahead and ask to arrange a viewing. At Bradleys, we like to show potential buyers around a house, so that we can be on hand to answer any questions and also help you feel more comfortable in someone else’s home, which can be a little unnerving. Unfortunately we cannot always be present but we certainly try to be where possible.

Viewings typically can take anything from 15 minutes to 30 minutes depending on the size of the house. When potentially spending the largest amount of money you have spent on any one item, it is important you ask questions about anything you are not sure of.

We will try to provide you with any useful information to assist with your move. We cannot be sure of what is important to you so we would love to help you by answering any queries you have and if we don’t know the answer we will endeavour to find out.

Following each viewing, we will contact you to find out what you thought and in turn be able to tell the sellers of your feedback. Please be honest, it is impossible that everyone will like every house, but there could be some useful details that could help us and/or the seller change something that will help sell the property. You never know, those changes could make you want to buy the property after all!


Finding your dream home

Once you have found the property that gives you that tingly feeling and you just somehow know it is the right one for you, you should contact your Mortgage Advisor and let them know the price to double check the repayments and affordability for you. Some advisers will even put an offer forward on your behalf should you wish.
Finding your dream home

Many people say that you know when you find the right property, whether it was one particular aspect of the property or an overall instinctive feeling, the main thing is you just know.

When you are in this position, it is advisable to check you are still in a position financially to make an offer on the property by contacting the Mortgage Adviser you spoke with and explain what’s happened. If they haven’t already obtained an agreement in principle (AIP), also known as a decision in principle (DIP) with a mortgage lender then they will do so at this stage. This gives you, the mortgage lender and most importantly, the seller the peace of mind that you are able to obtain a mortgage (subject to a terms and conditions).

When you have an AIP/DIP from a lender, it is important to keep this to show us (or any other agents) you have it, they are likely to want to take a copy for their records, this will also help support any offer you make. If you like a property, it is always a good idea to view the property for a second time and perhaps take a friend/family member to get a second opinion or potentially spot other things you hadn’t thought of.

For more information about AIP’s/DIP’s then visit the mortgage page.


Make an offer

Many sellers will consider an offer lower than their asking price, so feel free to test the water with a figure that you consider to be fair and see what happens. You could always go back with a higher offer should your initial offer be turned down.
Make an offer

The excitement steps up a gear now; you like a property, you know you can afford it and now you are going to show the seller how much you like it by making them an offer for their home. There are no set rules about making an offer but if you are genuinely interested then you don’t really want to offend the seller by making a really low offer. That said, many sellers would rather receive an offer than not at all!

If there is a lot of interest in the property be prepared to make a good offer close to the asking price, if not the asking price, to give yourself the best chance of securing the property. Many mortgage advisers are happy to put an offer forward on behalf of their clients, particularly if it is their first time. By law, all offers must be put to the seller and then we will confirm the offer in writing to both you and the seller.

If your offer is turned down feel free to ask us why and if there is any guidance as to what would be accepted, although we do act for the seller so don’t expect us to give you a figure unless the seller has given us permission to do so. It is a good idea to highlight the timescale in which you would be able to move in to the property and whether you are flexible with the seller’s position, as that may make the difference between your offer and another person offering on the same property.

You can continue making as many offers as you like, although it usually becomes clear quite quickly if you and the seller are likely to be able to agree on something or whether you are poles apart on the value of the property.


Find a solicitor to do your conveyancing

Conveyancing is the legal term for the transfer of a property or piece of land from one person to another. A Conveyancer is a qualified individual who specialises in this area. We are in a position to provide you with a local firm that we will know, from our experience, will provide you with a quality service on a no sale, no fee basis.
Instruct a Conveyancer

If you haven’t already thought about instructing a Conveyancer, now is a good time to do so. There are many options for Conveyancers and, as with most things, you can search until you get confused.

Here are some key points that will usually help you make a good choice like choosing a local firm that you could visit should you wish to do so - local firms will also be aware of maintaining a good reputation and therefore generally provide a good service. Being able to contact your CSonveyancer is essential and so ensure you have access to the person you will be dealing with. Modern technology allows things such as case trackers, so you can log on and see what progress is being made at any given time.

We have established relationships with many local companies that we can instruct on your behalf. The advantage we also have is that they will provide your conveyancing on a ‘no sale, no fee’ basis when instructed by us and we can also select the firm that can provide you with the best service at any one time. To find out more you can visit our conveyancing page.

S Talk to us about Conveyancing


Offer accepted – getting your purchase underway

Once you have an offer accepted you should confirm the seller’s position (whether they are buying another property or not) and agree on a timescale to aim for and then ensure you provide your conveyancer and mortgage adviser with everything they require to move forward.
Offer accepted – getting your purchase underway

Excellent news, you have had your offer accepted! Now to get things moving you need to confirm the timescale you will all be working towards so that we can send a sales memorandum to all parties involved highlighting the details agreed.

If you are not sure then we will discuss this with you and advise on what is realistic taking into account the sellers position. To ensure the process gets underway swiftly it is best to book another appointment with your mortgage adviser at the soonest opportunity where you will select the best mortgage deal for you and apply for it.

If using one of our panel firms for conveyancing they will send you the required paperwork to complete including a request for identification. In order to get your purchase moving forward, complete these and get them back to your conveyancer ASAP.


Mortgage Valuation or Survey?

Your chosen mortgage lender will inspect the property you have agreed to buy, this is what is known as a mortgage valuation. A mortgage valuation simply checks whether the property is worth the money you have agreed to pay for it. You may wish to consider having a homebuyers report or building survey carried out which will be far more in depth, particularly if it is an older property.
Mortgage Valuation or Survey?

If you wish to be cautious and also protect your investment, then it is worth investigating the option of an upgraded survey. There are two ways in which you could instruct a more detailed inspection of the property you wish to buy, the first is by upgrading your mortgage valuation to a more detailed survey.

An upgrade means you will pay an increased amount of money and the lender will co-ordinate the surveyor to carry out the valuation and survey at the same time. The second would be to instruct an independent surveyor to carry out the more detailed report. The advantage of the latter choice is that you control who visits the property ensuring it is someone local and of good repute. The disadvantage is that it is likely to cost you more as you will still have to pay for the mortgage valuation.

For more details you can request a call from our survey team and they will confirm the most suitable type of survey for the property you are buying and provide you with details as to the varying costs. For more general information you can visit www.bradleyssurveyors.co.uk


Sales Process

You can contact your conveyancer at any time and get an update as to the progress of your purchase, this is the same for your mortgage adviser. We will automatically contact you on a regular basis as well and discuss whether you are on track to achieve the timescale set out.
The Sales Process

You are on the way to owning your first home! It is all very exciting but there are various aspects of the process that can take time and so if you are unsure at any stage you should contact either ourselves, (or the estate agent you are buying through if it is not us), your Conveyancer or mortgage adviser depending on what it is regarding.

Don’t be shy in asking questions if you don’t understand, this is your first time and you are not expected to know it all, in fact many experienced buyers don’t know many aspects of the process as it is not a regular occurrence for most people. Throughout the process we will update you on a weekly basis and as part of that discuss the dates that were targeted at the outset and confirm whether they are still realistic.

The speed of your purchase will be determined by all parties doing what is required at the earliest opportunity. Our role will be to co-ordinate the relevant information and prompt any one that hasn’t done what they need to but don’t wait to hear if you feel you should, pick up the phone!

Your mortgage adviser will be the best person to give you an update on your application and let you know the timescales you can expect to receive the formal offer of the mortgage (known as a mortgage offer). Different lenders will have different procedures which the adviser will know in advance and be able to advise you accordingly. The mortgage offer will also be sent to your Conveyancer to check through and in turn a mortgage deed will be forwarded to you for signature.

Don’t forget the case tracking option with our panel of conveyancing firms. You only need an email address and access to the website and you can see what has been done and what is outstanding 24/7!!


Home Insurance

You will need to arrange a home insurance policy as a condition of obtaining a mortgage and it will be advisable to have insurance to protect your first home. Depending on whether it is a house or flat will determine whether you will require a buildings and contents policy or simply contents. You can easily obtain a quote via our Home Insurance Department.

Time to start preparing for being a home owner! As soon as you have agreed a purchase you may want to check the cost of insuring your first home. There are many ways in which this can be done and our Home Insurance Department is one.

We will be able to get you a quick and hassle free quote and will have access to the property information should you buy through us and if not, we will either ask you or the estate agent selling the property the details required to get you a quote. You will need to confirm your home insurance policy just before you exchange contracts (legally bind your purchase), however it is always advisable to be prepared and get a quote nice and early.

As the sale progresses towards the exchanging of contracts you will have saved yourself a bit of time and can simply give us the go ahead to put your policy in place for the date you require.

Your Conveyancer is likely to want to either see a copy of the policy or at least confirmation that you have a policy in place.

Obtain a quote


Exchanging Contracts

This is when both parties have agreed to the terms of the deal (signed a contract) and your solicitor will then send your deposit to the seller’s solicitor to legally bind the deal. The deposit is typically 10% of the purchase price, although this can vary. At this stage a completion date will be confirmed.
Exchanging Contracts

You are nearly there! Hopefully you will experience a hassle free purchase with very few, if any, delays and all parties have been kept informed of developments throughout the transaction. Before you legally bind your purchase your conveyancer will send you the contract to read through and sign. It is best to ensure you take the time to read this and maybe ask friend/family member to go through it with you for peace of mind.

You will need to send your conveyancer your deposit monies for them to be able to use, be aware that you will have to allow time for monies to clear should you chose to send a cheque, so you may prefer to transfer the monies via online banking or similar transfer method. Once you have signed the contract and sent it back to the conveyancer and they are in receipt of cleared deposit funds you are ready to exchange the contracts and legally bind your purchase.

We will have been liaising with you and the sellers about completion dates (moving dates) and a date must be agreed before an exchange of contracts can take place. Your conveyancer will call you before going ahead and exchanging to confirm you are happy to do so and confirm the date and then call you after exchange of contracts has taken place and that you will be getting the keys to your first home on the agreed completion date!

It is a good idea to let your mortgage adviser know when exchange of contracts has happened.



This is when your conveyancer will send the remainder of the purchase monies to the seller’s solicitor. Once the monies are received they will inform us (the estate agency selling the property) and we will in turn contact you so that you can collect the keys to your first home. Well done - you’re a homeowner!

Time to celebrate becoming a homeowner! On the day of completion your conveyancer will ring you to confirm they have sent the remainder of the house purchase monies to the sellers’ solicitor and that you should wait for a phone call from us (the estate agent you are buying through) to confirm you are able to collect the keys.

There is often a delay between the two events happening, maybe an hour or so, which is normal so don’t panic if you don’t hear immediately. Once the monies have been received, you are officially a homeowner, congratulations! You can collect the keys from our office but if you are unable to collect them in person then inform the estate agents beforehand of who will be collecting them and ensure that person has identification.


Contact us to find out more...

Contact us to find out more...