How to buy a house?

Okay, so at first glance this may seem like a pretty obvious question. But, as anyone who has ever experienced it will tell you, buying a house or flat can be trickier than it seems.

To help you, here are six of the core stages to buying a home – your at-a-glance list to what you should expect, both now and after you've found "the one".

How To Buy 1

1. First things first, find an estate agent

Your estate agent will fast become your best friend throughout the buying process. They’re here to guide you through the buying process, answering your questions and will act as your go-between with the seller, giving you one less thing to worry about.

When you register with Douglas Allen, we’ll listen to your requirements and advise you of the best possible matches plus some alternative options that could suit you just as well. Our local knowledge is second to none – so even if you’re new to Essex, we’ll guide you through the local schools, transport and general feel of the area.

2. Search online for your new home

Did you know that 95% of property searches begin online? While nothing is better than seeing your next home in person, browsing through property listings online can help you to create a shortlist of houses or flats you’d like to see.

We list all of our properties on Primelocation, Rightmove, Zoopla and On The Market – making these a great place to start. Failing that, try our website. You can even experience a virtual tour for some properties on the Douglas Allen website, allowing you to fully explore every nook and cranny from the comfort of your couch.

3. Arrange your mortgage

It’s usually a good idea to secure a mortgage agreement in principle ahead of your viewings. This way, your seller will know that you’re already in a great position to progress with the sale.

To make things easier for you, in every major branch of Douglas Allen, we have an in-house Mortgage Advisor who can guide you through your options and even find the most suitable mortgage for you.

4. View some properties

Nothing beats seeing your new home in person so we suggest that you book a viewing as soon as you’ve decided that you like what you see online. Get in quickly as some properties, particularly in Essex, can be sold almost as soon as they’re put on the market.

5. Submit an offer

Now the fun really begins... Once you've found your perfect home, decide what you’d like to offer and then get in touch with your seller’s estate agent. For help on what to offer, take a look at our guide on how to make an offer on a house.

6. Get in touch with a conveyancer

While you’re having your offer mulled over, be proactive and open a file with a solicitor or conveyancer. We can even help you to find a conveyancer. They’ll handle the legal side of the sale, from the searches and title deeds to the exchange of contracts. We have our own conveyancing team who offer their services at a fixed fee, with nothing to pay until you reach completion. So, if the worst should happen and your purchase were to fall through, you wouldn’t have to pay for their services.

Start looking for your new home