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New Homes Buyer's FAQ's

Answering questions for new property buyers


Everything you need to know about buying a property

How do I register with Prospect Estate Agency for new homes?

To register with Prospect, you can visit us at your local branch, request a call back from our expert agents or complete our online registration form. Let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll start searching for properties that meet your criteria.

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How long does it take to buy a new home?

The length of time it takes to take buy a property varies and no two transactions are the same. When you reserve a new home, you will be committing to a 28 day deadline to exchange contracts but it then depends on the build stage as to how long until you will move in.

This will be explained to you in greater detail before you reserve a new home.

How much deposit do I need and when do I need pay it?

It is usual to pay 10% of the asking price, though your mortgage company may require more. If your purchase is dependent on a sale, your solicitor will typically use your buyer’s deposit for your related purchase.

If you're purchasing using the Help to Buy Scheme, you will need to pay a deposit as little as 5%.

Many developments may also require a reservation fee. This varies from development to development so the best way to get answers to this would be to call our New Homes team on 0118 979 7775.

Should I arrange a mortgage before I start looking for properties?

If you know that you will need to take out a mortgage in order to buy your property, then it makes sense to seek financial advice at an early stage.

Once you have provisionally arranged for the required mortgage funds to be made available to you, it is a good idea to obtain a mortgage certificate from the lender. This can then be used to prove to a seller or estate agent, that you have the necessary funds available to finance your purchase.

Should I retain the services of my existing Solicitor?

If you have a solicitor who you know can work quickly and efficiently where conveyancing of properties is concerned, you can continue to use that firm. However, if you have any doubts we can confidently recommend one of our excellent solicitors.

It's important to consider the faster than average exchange times for new homes, compared to a “second hand home” which usually takes 6-8 weeks. Prospect works with a number of proven solicitors who can effectively work within the short timeframe of just 28 days.

Will I need to get a survey on the property before I purchase it?

If you are arranging a mortgage, then your lender will appoint a Valuer to inspect the property.

A New Home comes with a 10 year warranty (either NHBC or the equivalent) and supersedes any form on structural survey a buyer can have, therefore any survey other than their mortgage valuation is unnecessary.

Can I pull out of my property purchase?

You will be rquired to pay a reservation fee and could stand to lose up to 50% of the reservation fee if you withdraw from the purchase prior to exchange of contracts.

The terms surrounding the reservation fee are unique to each developer and will be discussed with you in detail before paying the reservation fee.

How do I know if my offer on a property has been accepted?

If your offer is accepted, your personal Client Manager will contact you to congratulate you! We will speak with you about dates for completion and discuss exchanging contracts on your behalf, before you agree the timescales and next steps for exchanging and completion with your Solicitor.

What does 'Exchange of Contracts' mean?

A house sale or purchase becomes legally binding at exchange of contracts. The solicitor for both parties will hold signed contracts – if either party fails to honour the obligations, this will constitute breach of contract.

Do I have to come into your office to sign the contracts?

Exchange of Contracts is the process whereby all the parties in the chain commit themselves. Their Solicitors will telephone other Solicitors in the chain and promise to put their own client's contract in the post that day. The parties themselves do not need to be present.

When will I find out what date I can move in?

The date set for you to move into the property, known as ‘completion’, will be agreed with your seller during the sales process. This date is usually confirmed by the Solicitors.

This is dependant on the build stage of the development. It can be a week, but could also be up to 6 months after exchanging contracts. An anticipated build completion date will be discussed upon making the offer or view the property.

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