First Time Buyers - Young smiling couple holding their new house keys

First Time Buyers – A guide to purchasing a property

First Time Buyers – Are you purchasing a property for the first time? Gaddes Noble Property Lawyers are here to guide you through the conveyancing process step by step.

Quotation and Instruction

Your first step will be obtaining a quotation from us.  You can do this by telephoning the office or by sending us an email, we also have an option for first time buyers on our website so that you can obtain a quotation online.

Whatever method you choose, you can be assured to receive a fixed quote allowing you to budget for the other things you will need to pay out for including your valuation fee to your lender, removal services and items for your new home.

Unlike many other first time buyers conveyancing service providers in the market, we do not add-on extras to your quote at the end of the process.  The quote you receive will be the price that you pay.

First Time Buyers – The First Steps

Once you have instructed us we will open your new purchase file and we will make initial contact with the seller’s solicitors.

We will request that they send to us an initial contract documentation pack which will include the Contracts, a Fittings and Contents Form, a Seller’s Property Information Form and the Title Deeds.  They will also send to us any warranties and guarantees that the property comes with.

Once we have the pack we will review this in detail on your behalf and raise enquires with the seller’s solicitors for clarification on any of the documents that need further explanation, any missing items and for items of title.  At that point, we will report to you on the information provided so far sending you copies of the documents that we have received so that you can review these in your own time together with a copy of the Land Registry title plan which identifies the legal boundaries to the property.

We will ask you to review the information provided and ask you to contact us with any questions, your comments and if you would like us to raise any specific enquiries of your own with the seller’s solicitors.

We will also send you a copy of our enquires for your records and let you know when we receive a reply, together with additional information that we receive.


We will also submit property specific searches on your behalf.

The searches are essential to tell you and us about any issues to do with the property that we cannot see from the information provided, your own inspection of the property and that your surveyor cannot see.

We usually submit a bundle of three searches on your behalf:

1. Local Authority Search

This search reports on essential information held by the Local Authority.

A search of the local Land Charges register shows matters such as compulsory purchase orders, tree preservation orders, planning enforcement notices and financial charges registered against a property.

A Local Authority search reveals important information about a property, such as planning permissions and building regulation consents, proposals for road schemes, environmental and pollution notices and whether any part of the property is registered as common land or as a town or village green. A local authority search will only reveal matters that affect the property being searched against. It will not disclose matters that affect neighbouring properties.

2. Coal Authority Mining Search

A coal mining search provides details of past, present and future coal mining activity at a property. The search also indicates if there are mine shafts on the property and whether any mining activities may cause subsidence.

3. Water and Drainage Search

The replies to drainage and water enquiries show whether a property is connected to the mains water supply and mains drainage. The replies may also show the location of public sewers within the boundary of a property and other such matters that may restrict development.

We also recommend that you carry out an Environmental Search on the property and any other relevant searches dependent on the area in which you are purchasing the property.

An example of this would be if you were looking to purchase a property in Cheshire, then we would recommend that you carry out a Cheshire Brine Search and if you were looking to purchase a property in Devon, Cornwall or Somerset we would recommend that you carry out a Tin Mining search.

A further example of recommended searches is a flood risk search which gives a high-level assessment of the risk to the Property from the four main types of flooding (river, coastal, groundwater and surface water).

It is important to know this information before committing to buy a property, as it can affect the value of the Property and the terms of your future buildings insurance.

We report to you by email on the results of your searches, attaching copies of the searches for your information and reporting to you any issues and the next steps.

First Time Buyers – Mortgage and Help to Buy ISA

We act on behalf of your mortgage lender when we act for you.  We’ll interpret the mortgage offer on your behalf and ensure that it matches your requirements as first time buyers. We also provide your lender with a Certificate of Title when we request your mortgage funds from them for completion.

We are authorised and registered with the Help to Buy Scheme and can apply for your bonus through the government portal on your behalf.

Meeting and Signing

We prefer a face to face meeting with our client.  At this meeting we can explain the documents that you are signing and we can answer any further questions that you may have.

You will sign, a Contract to purchase the property, a Transfer Deed to transfer the legal title on the title deeds into your name, a Mortgage Deed to secure your Mortgage advance and, where applicable, a Help to Buy Isa First Time Buyer Declaration.  However, if it is more convenient for you, we can report on everything to you by post or email and ask you to return your signed documents by post.

Once you have signed we can arrange a Completion Date on your behalf.  We ask you for your deposit and your authority to exchange contracts and arrange a fixed completion date when you can collect your keys.

Completion and Keys

On the day of completion your file will be set up and ready to complete in the morning.  Your keys will usually be released between 12 and 2 pm and we will call you to confirm this.

We will write to you at your new property to confirm legal completion and that we will then be attending to post completion formalities and registering you on the Title Deeds with Land Registry.

We will look after you and guide you through each step of the process.  You are encouraged to ask us any questions and ensure you are fully informed and in control throughout the process.