Buying guide

Randalls Property Agents represent the vendor of the property in the process of selling a property. However engaging and communicating with the buyer is important if the process is to proceed quickly and successfully. Vendors like to know how a buyer is progressing and buyers likewise need to know how the vendor and conveyance is progressing. Randalls Property Agents bind these channels together, providing a smooth sales process. Here are a few tips.

  • If you’re a first-time buyer, you could get up to £3,000 from the Government by saving with a Help to Buy ISA. You’ll need to put away up to £200 each month, and the Government will add 25% on top (so, a jammy £50 for every £200). You can also save an extra £1,000 when you first open it, meaning you can save £1,200 in the first month and you'll get £300 extra. The maximum that the Government will contribute is £3,000, meaning you've saved a total of £12,000 to put towards your first home. It will take around four years to reach this level. The scheme is set to launch in autumn 2015.


  • There are two main types of survey. The first is a homebuyer's report. This normally costs £300-£400 and is suitable for conventional properties less than 50 years old. For older or quirkier residences, consider a full structural survey. These are super-detailed, covering everything, and can cost up to £1,000, but often they're well worth the expense. It could well give you ammunition to haggle down the price. Sadly, even those buying new builds still have to get out their wallets. Snagging surveys pinpoint defects and unfinished bits, so you can push the developer to correct them before completion.
  • Don't forget to take a camera and tape measure on every viewing you go on - the camera is so you can avoid having to rack your brain about which property had the lovely en-suite. With cameras built in as standard on most mobile phones, this is easier than ever. But remember to always ask permission with the agent or owner before taking any pictures. The tape measure is for you to see if your large/favourite pieces of furniture will fit in the rooms.


Prepare to buy


Check your credit file. There are two main credit checking agencies in the UK. They are Experian and Equifax and you can link to them by clicking the name. You do have to pay to get a copy of your credit file and the cost is about £10-£15, but it is a useful and interesting tool.


If you’re not a cash buyer and need a mortgage it may be a good idea to seek the advice of a mortgage company or a broker before you start looking for a property. Some agents insist on this. At Randalls we simply advise it. A few lenders offer actual mortgages if you've no property in place - they offer a ‘mortgage in principle' (MIP). This provisionally lets you know how much you can borrow, subject to finding a suitable property in a specified time. Proof of your deposit and an MIP can give you a big advantage when putting in an offer. It may mean a credit check, though one mark on your file isn't too big a deal. It's best to talk to a decent mortgage broker who'll often be able to help give an idea of what you can borrow. Do bear in mind MIPs give absolutely no guarantees - they are subject to valuation. Mortgage rates shift daily, so always check whether a better deal has become available.

Before you offer.

Try to see as many properties as possible. A lot of buyers pull out before completion because they change their mind or find a property they prefer. We would always recommend a second viewing before making an offer on a property.

Main Questions

How long does it take to buy a property?

Generally exchange after offer is 4-6 weeks. Completion is generally 2-3 weeks after exchange.

What happens if I change my mind?

Provided a buyer has not entered into a buyer’s contract and/or placed a deposit there is no loss or penalty to pulling out of a property purchase.

If I make an offer will the vendor take the property off the market?

It is the vendor's decision as to whether or not they take their property off the market on receipt of an offer. Any request to do so from a buyer is best accompanied with evidence to show that the funding is in place to buy the property.

Other Questions

Randalls Property Agents are members of the Property Ombudsman and operate a complaints procedure. Should you wish to make a formal complaint then please do so in writing or email to

Can't find the answer?

Fill in the form below and we will answer as soon as possible.