The buying process

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1. Registering with Wards

Our experienced Sales Advisors will need as much information as possible about the type of property you are looking for and are experienced in helping you find your ideal home.

We will listen to your requirements and advise you of the best possible matches plus some alternative options that could suit you as well.

Be clear as to your budget and what is important to you and what types of properties are available in your price range.

Our Sales Advisors have excellent local knowledge – so even if you are new to an area they can help you understand about local schools, transport and the area in general.

To register with Wards you can:

Visit or call your local branch


Register online


2. Searching for your ideal home

Whether you are experienced at moving home or a first-time buyer we can help you secure the home of your dreams or help you take that all-important first step on the property ladder.

Once we have a clear understanding of your requirements we will access all properties that match your criteria. We will send you full colour property particulars and can help you search in the branch through our wide range of properties, or you can simply use our brand new website to search in the comfort of your home.

We also list our property on Rightmove, Find A Property and Move with Us so there are a number of ways to search online!

We always recommend early viewing as the best properties always move quickly.

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Prime Location logo
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3. Searching your mortgage

In order to put you in a stronger negotiating position we recommend that you secure an Agreement in Principle as this will speed up a mortgage application and please your vendors.

At Wards we have our own in-house Mortgage Advisors who can advise you on hundreds of mortgages to find the most suitable one for you – so that’s one less moving matter to think about!

To find out more about an Agreement in Principle please refer to our Jargon Buster.

4. Viewing properties

After you have identified a property you like, you will be ready to view it in person. This allows you to form a better opinion on how suitable it is for you.

Viewings are arranged through your local branch and our staff are always happy to accompany you if you feel you may need further advice.

5. Making an offer

Once you have found a suitable property, we will put your offer forward to the seller, both verbally and in writing. Any offer is subject to contracts being signed and exchanged. Until such time as exchange takes place there are no legal obligations.

6. Conveyancing

You will need to instruct a solicitor or conveyancer to handle all the legal paperwork, arrange searches and liaise with the vendor’s solicitor. We have our own conveyancing panel which we recommend to our clients as they operate a fixed fee with no hidden extra costs. We find that by keeping the conveyancing in-house a smooth and easier transaction is more often achieved because we can monitor this more closely on your behalf. Our panel work extended opening hours to assist you and also offer a No Sale, No Fee service.

7. Sale agreed

Once your offer is accepted, you will need to instruct your chosen solicitor to proceed. At this stage you will also need to instruct your Mortgage Advisor to proceed with your mortgage application and make arrangements for a survey. Our partners Anderson & Associates is an independent firm of Chartered Surveyors that specialises in residential property survey and valuation services.

8. Draft contracts

The seller or vendor’s solicitor will now draw up a draft contract and send this to your solicitor, who will then raise preliminary enquiries and make a Land Registry search to prove Title ownership of the property.

9. Searches

Your solicitor will carry out a search with the Local Authority which will reveal any planning consents granted for the property and any local issues, if applicable. Any questions that arise from this search are sent to the vendor’s solicitors for further clarification.

10. Survey & valuation

Your mortgage lender will require a survey to identify any structural problems and to advise the lender as to the property’s current value. If you require a more detailed report, this will need to be instructed at this time. Anderson & Associates can advise you on the different surveys they provide and which is right for you.

11. Contracts approved

Once your solicitor is satisfied with all results from the searches, survey and preliminary enquiries, the contract can be approved.

12. Formal mortgage offer

This document will be sent to your solicitor for you to sign. Once signed and returned, the mortgage is in place and you are ready to exchange contracts.

13. Exchange of contracts

The contract is signed by both you and the seller. The deposit (usually between 5-10% of the purchase price), is telegraphically transferred or paid by the buyer’s solicitor in the form of a banker’s draft. At this stage the transaction is now legally binding and completion dates are set.

14. Completion

This is the date agreed by both parties. On completion day the balance of payment is transferred from your solicitor’s account to the seller’s solicitor’s account. Your solicitor will notify you when you have completed and then you can move into your new home.

Congratulations, you are now the legal owner of your new home!