Determine your budget: Before you start looking at properties, it's important to figure out how much you can afford to spend. This will depend on several factors, including your income, savings and your credit history.

We recommend speaking to a whole-of-market mortgage broker who can fully advise you on affordability, budget and which lenders are best for your circumstances.

Start searching for properties: Once you have a budget in mind, you can start looking for properties that fit your criteria. There are many websites and apps that can help you with your search.

However, it’s still good to register yourself with local agents and sign up for their mailing lists. This means you’ll be the first to find out about the new properties the agent has on their books.

Viewings: Once you've found properties that you're interested in, it's time to schedule viewings. It's important to view a property in person before making an offer, so you can get a sense of what the property is really like. During the viewing, take note of any issues or concerns you have or ask the agent whilst at the property.

Remember the agent will be calling you for feedback after your viewings, it’s helpful to provide at least some background as to what you did or didn’t like about a property, it helps us to let you know about properties that might be more suitable.

Make an offer: If you've found a property you like, it's time to make an offer. Please do not be surprised when you’re asked to provide lots of information and documents to the estate agent as part of their AML compliance.

Instruct your solicitor or conveyancer: You’ll need to choose a solicitor or conveyancer and you will need to instruct them to begin the conveyancing process. We can assist with obtaining quotations from our panel of recommended conveyancers. Alternatively, you can ask family and friends for recommendations.

Conduct a survey and/or your mortgage valuation: Once your offer has been accepted, your broker will make your mortgage application, and your lender will likely send a surveyor to carry out a mortgage valuation, it's important to remember that this is not the same as a survey. A survey can help you identify any issues that may not have been apparent during the viewing, such as structural problems.

Searches and enquiries: Your solicitor or conveyancer will conduct a number of searches to ensure that there are no issues with the property you are buying. This may include searches with the local authority, planning permission, environmental issues, water and drainage and chancel repair liability. Your solicitor or conveyancer will also raise enquiries with the seller's solicitor. These enquiries may relate to any issues that were identified in the searches.

Exchange contracts: Once you and your solicitor are satisfied with everything, it's time to exchange contracts. This is typically done through your solicitor, who will make sure that all the necessary paperwork is in order. A completion date will be agreed with the seller. At this point, you will also need to pay a deposit on the property.

Completion Day: The final step is to complete the sale. This typically involves transferring the remaining funds to the seller's solicitor, who will then transfer the ownership of the property to you. Once the sale is complete, you will be able to collect the keys to your new home!

Remember, buying a property can be a complex process, so it's important to work with professionals who can help guide you through the process. We’re here to help every step of the way.