Determining a budget

Before you can even begin the search for a property, you must determine your budget and how much you can afford to spend.

Some sellers will require you to be financially qualified before you can even view properties. Before making an offer, you will be asked to prove that you are financially prepared, and if you require a mortgage this will include an Agreement in Principle (from a mortgage adviser) and also proof of funds for your deposit. To get an AIP you will need an initial appointment with a mortgage adviser where they will look at things like your income, spending habits and credit score and get a predicted sum of what a mortgage lender would be willing to lend you.

We partner with Mortgages Now who have expert Mortgage advisers available across the North East.

We can also cost up your total move for you including solicitors/conveyancing costs, stamp duty and any other costs that may incur. You can find out more in our guide to mortgages.

Searching for your dream home

What’s the most important features of your dream home? Number of bedrooms? Close to local schools? Garage or Driveway? Once you have your requirements and budget then you can begin your search.

Contact your local branch and we will take all of your details and property requirements and will let you know if we have any properties available on the market that match your requirements. You will also receive emails once a new property comes to the market that meets your requirements. It is also a good idea to search on our website, and the property portals OnTheMarket and Rightmove.

Once you find a property that you are interested in then it’s time for a viewing. We offer both accompanied and unaccompanied viewings, which means that you may be shown around a property by us or by the owner of the property. The accompanied viewer or the owner will be able to answer any questions that you may have.

After the viewing, make sure to provide us with feedback about the property, to help us gain a stronger understanding of your needs and expectations, to make sure that we can find the best property for you.

Making your offer

Congratulations - you've found a property that you want to buy. Once you have made your decision about a property, you should let us know as soon as possible, and we will then put your offer forward to the vendor for their consideration. You will then need to show your proof of funds or evidence of your mortgage in principle at this stage.

Once your offer is acceptable to the seller, we can help you find a conveyancer so that the memorandum of sale can be issued to all parties confirming the agreed price plus any other terms. Sales progression will then be carried out and we will be in touch with you to keep you updated.

If your offer is rejected then you will normally have the opportunity to increase your offer until a deal can be reached.

Arranging your Mortgage

At this point you should again meet with your Mortgages Now adviser. They will search for the Right/most suitable Mortgage for you, and then begin your Mortgage application. Mortgages Now has access to over 12,000 products from over 90 lenders across the UK, and we will be able to find the Most suitable deal, rates, and fees for you.

Arranging Solicitors / Conveyancing

Once your offer has been accepted, you will need to appoint a conveyancer for the purchase (and your sale if you are selling a property). Conveyancing includes everything legal that you need to make the property officially yours, such as local searches and land registry entities.

We can help you to become legally prepared for your move, we can introduce you to a panel of solicitors and offer a No Sale No Fee conveyancing service, with a fixed price (excluding disbursements).

Find out more about our Andrew Craig Conveyancing here.


A survey of the property will then take place by a surveyor, on behalf of the mortgage lender. This can be to identify any structural problems or to advise on how much the property is worth. It is personal preference which type of survey you get on the property; your mortgage adviser may recommend the most suitable survey for you.

There are three types of survey: Basic or Mortgage Valuation, Home buyers survey, and Full Structural Building Survey, with the last being the most thorough. Once the survey has been carried out and the mortgage lender is happy with it, the mortgage valuation report is completed, a formal mortgage offer will then be sent to you and your solicitor which will need to be signed and then returned.

If you have any queries on the back of your survey, it is important that you refer these back to your branch and we will work with you and the vendor to resolve these.

The mortgage lender will usually instruct a valuer to assess the suitability of the property for their lending purposes. This will not normally include any comment on the valuation, or the structure and you can therefore obtain a private survey report if required.

There are two types of private survey generally available; Home Buyers Survey or Building Survey, and some lenders allow you to combine these with a mortgage valuation to save fees.

Once the lender has the mortgage valuation, they will issue an offer of mortgage to you and your mortgage adviser. If you had a more detailed report carried out and you have any queries about us then let us know as soon as possible.

Exchange of Contracts

Once the conveyancer is sure that everything is legally in place, contracts will then be exchanged once all enquiries have been confirmed and agreed. You will at that time have to pay your deposit to your solicitor. Once exchange has taken place, you are legally committed to purchase the property and both sides will agree on a completion date.


Completion of the purchase will happen when the remaining amount of money has been paid to the vendor. Keys will then be released once the funds have cleared.

Congratulations - you are now the owner of your home!