Our 10 step guide to buying a house

1. Decide if buying a house is right for you

Although 86% of people in the UK want to own their own home, it’s not always right for everybody all the time. There are a number of things you need to think about before setting off on your house hunting quest, not least whether you can actually afford it.

2. Decide if you should sell first

If you are already a homeowner, decide whether you want to sell your house or flat before you buy. It can be dangerous in a rising market, but there are upsides. In particular, you will be able to pounce quickly when you do find the house of your dreams, and you won’t be trapped in a housing chain.

3. Decide on your budget

How much do you want to spend? This might be dependent on how much of a deposit you can pull together. Don’t forget all the other hidden costs involved in buying a house. These can add an extra 15% to the final costs – more if you are doing serious building or redecoration work.

4. Get your finances in place

Decide what sort of mortgage you want. While you can’t get a mortgage before you buy, you can get a mortgage in principle, which will put you in a stronger position. A mortgage broker can be particularly helpful if you need advice on mortgages, advising you if you have special circumstances, such as being self-employed.


5. Decide where you want to live

If you want to move to a new property close to where you already live, there is little to decide. If you want to move to a different part of town, or across the country, then choosing an area is more difficult and time-consuming. This is a very important decision. Get it wrong, and you will either be unhappy with where you live, or face the costs of moving again. You must do your research thoroughly.

6. Choose a specific property

Once you know the area you want to live in, you should start researching the properties in that area so you really get to know the local market. You then need to speak with local estate agents. Visit as many properties as possible, and make sure there are no hidden surprises.

7. Make an offer – and get it accepted

Make sure you are in the strongest possible position as a buyer. Decide how much you want to pay, including for fixtures and fittings. Make the offer to the estate agent, and seal the deal. You might be asked to pay a small holding deposit of £500 or £1000 to show you are serious. It will be repaid if the sale falls through.

8. Arrange a mortgage

Ideally, you will have got your finances in place as much as possible before making an offer – see step 4. If so, you now just need to go back to your mortgage company with the agreed offer and complete the process. If you haven’t got your finances in place, you must do so as quickly as possible before the buyer loses patience. It is worth looking at the steps you can take to improve your credit rating to help your mortgage application.

9. Hire a solicitor or conveyancer

Once you have agreed an offer on your house, you need to get a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal work to transfer ownership of the property to you. With HomeOwners Alliance conveyancing, you can compare quotes to find the cheapest, nearest, and best-rated conveyancers from our panel of 150 conveyancers. Your mortgage company might require you to go with one that is on their panel, which might make the decision easier for you. Don’t necessarily go with one suggested by the estate agent. Work out how much conveyancing will cost you with our guide.

10. Complete the sale

Completion is when you pay for the property and take ownership of it. This takes place at a certain time of day – often midday. On the day of completion, the money and the deeds of the property are transferred between each side’s conveyancer.

What our clients say

I would not hesitate to recommend Art Estates to anyone wanting to sell their property they were brilliant from the valuation to the end Jordan was very helpful.

Louise Wright

I have had a very positive experience with this estate agent. From the very first meeting I was impressed because the agent was very open about the way to market my property.

Andrew Lee

Recently I had a problem which required help from the agency. Art Estates were very professional and patient, and gave me great support. Would recommend them to anyone.

Daniel Naptali

Our Sales Team

Joshua Banks


Joshua has been working within the property market for over 20 years. In his spare time, he is often found fly fishing or spending time with his children.

Andy Newton

Sales/Lettings Manager

With 10 years great experience within the sales and lettings industry, Federico will be able to provide a honest and personal service.

Sharon Moran

Sales Negotiator

Qualified with Associate member of The Guild of Property Professionals for sales Sharon has over 4 years experience in Residential Sales.

Alison Whitewind

Accounts Manager

Alison recently completed her AAT accounts qualification and has a vast experience in all aspects of accountancy and estate agency.

Ready to take action?

Do you want to know how much your property is worth in today’s market? Book a Free, no obligation valuation.
Are you looking for a new tenant? Book an appointment for an experienced letting agent to visit your property.
Art Estates allocates every client their own dedicated Property Manager to provide the service their tenants expect.