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Buyer FAQs

Find out more about frequently asked questions when buying a house

I want to buy a property. What do I do first?

Before you start searching for a property, the first thing you should know is how much mortgage you are likely to be offered, what the costs of buying could be and how much deposit you could afford. 

We have provided a number of calculators on the website to help you understand your finances. 

Find a calculator

Getting financial advice

If you would like a more accurate view of what the process will cost and how much you could borrow as well as help finding the best mortgage deal for you you can speak to Embrace Financial Services.

Speak to a mortgage expert

I've found a property I love. What do I do now?

Once you've found the property you want, the next step, if you haven't already, is to apply for a mortgage and find a solicitor so you can make an offer. The JNP Partnership offer both of these services to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible for all our clients. 

Find out more

What if I want to buy a property with another person?

There are two main options.

Becoming joint tenants is ideal if you are a couple, particularly if you’re married. It means you will both jointly own the whole of the property. If the worst happens and one of you should die, the ownership will automatically pass to the other. The second option is to hold the property as tenants in common, which means each of you owns an agreed proportion of the property. You might decide that you own the property equally, or that one of you will own 70% and the other 30% (for example). Should one of you die their proportion will not pass to whoever is specified in the deceased’s will.

A joint purchase should always be made with the expert advice of a solicitor.

How long will it take to complete my purchase?

Every purchase is different, and your position and the seller’s position needs to be taken into consideration before this question can be answered accurately. If the seller has already vacated the property and you have already secured a mortgage exchange of contracts and completion can happen quickly. However, if you need a mortgage and the seller is still in the property, the exchange of contracts normally takes between 4 and 6 weeks, the completion takes between 2 and 4 weeks. So in total you should expect up to 10 weeks to complete the purchase.

How much will conveyancing cost?

The JNP Partnership use eWAY.

eWay is the new, unrivalled, FREE service provided by JNP Conveyancing, which gives clients access to their conveyancing file from their computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone. If you choose a different conveyancer then there may be a cost. 

How much will stamp duty cost?

When you buy a property in the UK over a certain price you have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). In December 2014 the way stamp duty calculated changed and now you only pay the rate of tax on the part of the property price within each tax band – like income tax.

As of April 2016 the stamp duty levels increase for investors purchasing buy-to-let property and other second properties, such as holiday homes, in which owners do not intend to live full-time.

To find out how much Stamp Duty you will need to pay use our Stamp Duty calculator. 

Stamp Duty calculator

Do I need a survey?

A survey isn’t compulsory, but we recommend that you arrange one whenever you purchase a property. It allows you to see the current condition of the property, reducing the chance of nasty surprises further down the line. There are three main types of surveys with varying costs, but most conventional properties will require a Condition Report.

In addition, your mortgage lender will arrange a mortgage valuation that you will have to pay for in order to secure a mortgage. A mortgage valuation merely confirms that the property is worth what you are being leant and will not give details on the condition of the property.

When do I need to pay the deposit?

The deposit is paid to the seller’s solicitor, usually within five days of the exchange of contracts.

When will my mortgage lender release the funds?

The mortgage will be requested from the lender by your solicitor. It usually takes around 4-5 working days for the lender to release the money being leant. Your solicitor will take this time into account when advising you of the earliest possible completion date.

When do I need to arrange insurance?

We recommend organising home and contents insurance shortly before you sign the contract. Don’t forget, you need all insurance policies to begin from the exchange of contract date.

You should also consider organising mortgage protection so that your family isn’t pressured to meet your mortgage happen in the worst case scenario of illness or death. This should be arranged when you complete you mortgage application. You can find out more from our partner Embrace Financial Services. 

What are searches?

Your solicitor will perform searches of Land Registry and Local Authority information. They will be checking for planning history, and any potential developments around roads, drainage and mining near the property.

When do I sign the contract?

After the sale is agreed, the seller’s solicitor will draft a contract. Your solicitor will confirm the details of the property and perform searches. At the same time, your mortgage lender will need to conduct a mortgage valuation and send you a mortgage offer. Once all of this is complete, you will be ready to sign the completion date.

When is the buyer or seller bound to the sale or purchase?

Until both solicitors receive signed contracts from the seller and the buyer, either party can pull out at any time and for any reason.

How is a completion date chosen?

Once both parties have signed the contracts, the mortgage will be requested from the lender by your solicitor. The mortgage lender will let your solicitor know when the funds will be released, then your solicitor and the seller’s solicitor will consult both parties and agree a completion date.

How and when do I get the keys?

The contract will detail specifically where and when you collect the keys and what time the seller has to vacate the property. The norm is that the seller must vacate the property by 12pm, and the keys collected from the seller’s estate agent at 2pm.

What happens to my title deeds?

Even after you’ve received the keys to your property, there is still a significant amount of work to be carried out by your solicitor. The title deeds of your property will remain with your solicitor for some months before finally being sent to your Lender for storage. They will hold the deeds until such time as you repay in full the mortgage you have with them.

What will the seller leave in the property?

A list of fixtures and fittings will be agreed between the solicitors prior to the contract being signed. This sets out what they intend to remove and what they are prepared to include in the house price. In some instances they may offer items for sale for the purchaser to consider, and some contents can be offered for inclusion as part of the negotiation of the purchase price.


Embrace Financial Services usually charges a fee for mortgage advice. The amount of the fee will depend upon your circumstances and will be discussed and agreed with you at the earliest opportunity.