A Guide to Buying Residential Property in the UK

As international buyers, it is very important to understand the procedure as it is quite different from the very simple process that exists in this region. As the UK has a very long history, the laws have been created over hundreds of years and the property buying process has been streamlined in order to ensure safety for both buyer and seller which ultimately makes the UK one of the most stable and secure property markets in the world.

1. Choose the property.

With the help of your agent, narrow down your search and select the development and unit of your choice. Your agent who knows the market thoroughly will advise on what offer to put forward and help with the negotiations.

2. Make sure your finances are in order

Let your agent know if you will be procuring a mortgage on the property or whether this is a cash buy. Ask your agent to give you an estimated costing of the transaction so you have all the figures with you.

3. Reservation

Sign the reservation form and pay the reservation fees to the developer.

4. Conveyancing process

Instruct a Conveyancing Solicitor from the recommended panel or use your own if you already have one to represent you in the transaction. The seller will have their own solicitor.

Your solicitor will conduct Anti- Money Laundering checks by requesting certified copies of your passport, proof of address and bank statement from which you will be sending funds for the property purchase. They will also advise you of the costs and Stamp Duty associated with the transaction.

They will liaise with the seller solicitors and conduct searches on the property.

Once the contracts are reviewed, they send them across to you for signing and at this point you will pay the deposit into their escrow account.

This is known as the ‘Exchange of Contracts’.

This process takes approximately 2-4 weeks from reservation.

5. Ready or Offplan property

Now, if it is a ready property, the solicitors will then go through the completion documents and will require you to send the balance funds (or your bank in the case of a mortgage). This is known as the ‘ Completion of Purchase’.

If it is offplan property , then you will continue stage payments through your solicitor.

Upon completion of the purchase, the buyer must pay the stamp duty land registration tax to the government. This is calculated on a tier system by the solicitor and is dependant on your circumstances.

6. Title Deed

The solicitor then applies for your title deed. As the UK is paperless, they issue electronic title deeds and the duration to receive your title deed is anywhere between 1-6 months.

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