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Buying a property - the process

Hudsons guide to buying your new home.

For a brief explanation of each step in the buying process simply click on each sub-heading.

If you would like further information or advice please contact our office where our experienced staff will be pleased to help you.

  1. Your requirements: make a decision
  2. Mortgage arrangements
  3. Costs to Consider
  4. Register with Hudsons
  5. Viewing a Property
  6. Making an Offer
  7. Sale Agreed
  8. Legal Process
  9. Appointing a Surveyor
  10. Mortgage Offer
  11. Contracts Exchanged
  12. After Exchange
  13. Completion

Your requirements: make a decision

Decide what your prerequisites are. What style of property would you like? How many bedrooms will you need? Do you require outside space? And location, transport links and any other must-haves are also worth consideration.

Mortgage arrangements

Prior to viewing any property it is important to review your mortgage options, if applicable. Obtaining advice and a mortgage offer should be investigated as early as possible once you begin your property search to ensure you are viewing properties that are within your price range and saving valuable time once you have found your ideal home.

Independent Mortgage Advice
Earnings Calculator
Mortgage Calculator
Repayment Method

Costs to Consider

There are a number of costs to be taken into account when buying a property and it is advisable to budget your finances. Typically this will include:
  • Solicitor's fees
  • Stamp duty (up to 125,000 0% / 125,001 - 250,000 1% / 250,001 - 500,000 3% / 500,001 or more 4%)
  • A Survey/Valuation (if required)
  • Land registry
  • Local authority search fees
  • Bank transfers
  • Insurance
  • Mortgage arrangement fees (if applicable)
  • Redecoration costs
  • Removal costs
It is always a good idea to retain a little of your budget as an 'emergency' fund for any unforeseen costs that may arise. Our staff will be happy to advise you on the likely costs of any of the above.

Register with Hudsons

Once you have registered with Hudsons we will immediately begin assisting you in the search for your new home, using our database of central London properties and in-depth local knowledge. The more specific you can be about your requirements, the more able we are to match you to your ideal future home.

Please register with Hudsons by calling in at our office at 24 Charlotte Street or by using our online registration form. You will find our contact and registration details by clicking on the Register Now or Contact Us links.

Viewing a Property

We will strive to arrange property viewing appointments at times that best suit you, and will accompany you on weekdays, evenings and, by appointment, on Saturdays. The more properties we view with you, the better equipped we are to understand the kind of property you desire.

Making an Offer

Once you have found your ideal home and decide to make an offer, we will submit the offer, on your behalf, to the seller both verbally and in writing.

Any offer you make on a property will be subject to contract, and is not legally binding, for you or the seller, until the exchange of contracts.

Sale Agreed

Once your offer has been accepted we will arrange for the agreed sale terms to be confirmed in writing to all parties. It is at this stage of the process that the exchange of contracts and completion dates should be agreed/targeted. At this point you will instruct your legal representative to begin the coveyancing process and your mortgage advisor to proceed formally with your mortgage application (if applicable). It is usual for your mortgage company to appoint a surveyor but non-mortgage buyers may wish to organize an independent survey.

You should be aware that although this stage is commonly referred to as 'sale agreed', the terms are not legally binding (England and Wales) until the contracts have been signed and exchanged.

If you have not used a solicitor before, we are happy to recommend one of our trusted solicitors.

Legal Process

When the vendor's solicitor has obtained the property's title deeds and any other relevant documentation, they will prepare a draft Contract of Sale. Your solicitor will then examine these papers, this should include a copy of the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) and raise any queries or concerns about the property.

Once your solicitor has received responses to any enquiries, satisfaction of a local search, confirmation of your mortgage offer and a signed contract and deposit, they may then proceed to Exchange of Contracts.

Appointing a Surveyor

If you are applying for a mortgage, a lender will normally require a surveyor to carry out a mortgage valuation to check for any major structural problems. This will not involve a detailed survey of the property and does not obligate you.

However, you may choose to instruct a surveyor to carry out a Homebuyers Survey and Valuation Report, or a building survey. This will provide a more detailed inspection of the property and highlight any potential problems.

Our staff will be happy to recommend a local surveyor to act on your behalf.

Mortgage Offer

Upon formal agreement of your mortgage offer copies will be sent to your solicitor and yourself. This will confirm the terms of your mortgage and the deposit value required.

Contracts Exchanged

Subject to completion of formalities, both purchaser and vendor will sign the contract. A deposit, usually 10% of the purchase price, is forwarded to the vendor's solicitor. It is at this stage contracts are formally exchanged and the transaction becomes binding for both the seller and purchaser.

The completion date, agreed by both parties before contracts are exchanged, is normally between two and four weeks after the exchange date.

After Exchange

After the contracts have been formally exchanged, your moving arrangements must begin. If you are selling and buying a property simultaneously, this will involve a considerable amount of organisation and it is advisable to begin arrangements in plenty of time. Key issues will be:
  • Furniture removals
  • Confirm change of home address
  • Contents insurance
  • Transference of utilities
  • Buildings insurance (if not included with a service charge)
  • Redirection of post
  • Arrange for parking permits if required, this may include changing the address of where your vehicle is registered.


your solicitor to the seller's solicitor. Once the property has been vacated and the seller's solicitor confirms that the money has been received, completion can take place.

Once this has happened, congratulations are in order as you can now collect the keys to your new home!

Having an idea of the cost of extending a lease can be an important factor when selling or buying a property with a short lease. Click here for useful lease extension advice from The NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents)

"I have dealt with many agents in the past 6 months and purchased 3 properties. The service I received from Hudsons sales team rank no 1 for me. They made me feel that I am a little bit more special and not just another client. Thank you for all your help, I will definitely recommend Hudsons to all my friends."
Janice Yulo, London

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