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Buyer FAQs

Frequently asked questions about buying a property through Fresh.

The Property Search

How can I find out how much I can afford to spend on a property?

Before applying for a mortgage you’ll need to think about more than just whether you can afford the monthly repayments. Mortgage providers will be looking at your income and outgoings to see if you can keep up with repayments if interest rates rise or your circumstances change.

You can get advice directly from a lender who will discuss their own products. You can also speak to an Independent Financial Adviser to find out about a range of different lenders’ mortgages.

Our in house mortgage brokers at Fresh have access to mortgages from the whole of the UK mortgage market and they’ve saved our clients thousands of pounds over the years on their mortgage repayments.
Book a mortgage appointment now.

If I have a property to sell, do I sell or find first?

This is one of the most common questions. In truth, if you find a property and fall in love with it, chances are others have too, and it’s the party in the best position wins!

Our advice would be to get your own property on the market whilst you’re looking for a property to buy, if you find a buyer and you haven’t found, your buyer will wait for you if they like your property enough, if they don’t wait, we’ll find another buyer, but by having a buyer waiting for you puts you in the best position possible for when you find that dream home. Book a property valuation now.

What can I do to get the pick of the best properties?

To get first refusal on new to market properties, register with Fresh or call your local office and register for email alerts and phone calls. As soon as a property comes on the market you’ll know about it first, before it even hits the internet sites. Register now.

After An Offer Is Agreed

How long will it take to complete my purchase?

There are certain factors that can speed up or delay the completion of a property purchase, but ordinarily we would expect a straight forward transaction to complete within 8-12 weeks of the purchase being agreed and solicitors being instructed.

A purchaser or seller should NEVER commit to delivery of goods, taking time off work, or a date for works at the property until the solicitor confirms the actual completion date.

How much will the solicitor’s fees and costs be?

Solicitors fees can vary significantly from firm to firm but most set their fee according to the value of the property being purchased. It’s important to get any quote in writing so you can see what exactly is covered. Outlays such as registration costs and stamp duty will be the same regardless of the solicitor you use.

We’ll have a selection of solicitors that we work with on a regular basis who we’re happy to recommend. Get a recommended solicitor now.

How much stamp duty will I have to pay?

Stamp duty rules changed in December 2014 so that the tax is no longer charged at a single rate for the entire price of a property. You now pay stamp duty at different rates on portions of the price according to the following:

* Nothing on the first £125,000 of the property price

* 2% on the next £125,000

* 5% on the next £675,000

* 10% on the next £575,000

* 12% on the rest (above £1.5 million)


If you buy a property for £275,000, you’ll pay £3,750 of SDLT. This is made up of:

Nothing on the first £125,000

£2,500 on the next £125,000

£1,250 on the remaining £25,000

For more information head over to the HMRC website and this will provide you with up to date rates and thresholds. We also have our stamp duty calculator on hand too.

What kind of survey do I need to get?

The Lender will always carry out a valuation of the property. It’s important to note that the survey carried out by the Lender is for their purposes only to assess the value of the property compared to the loan amount you’ve requested. Their report is not to advise you on the condition of the property.

You may choose to get a Homebuyers report at your own expense or a more detailed structural survey. We’ll have a selection of surveyors that we work with on a regular basis who we’re happy to recommend. Get a recommended surveyor now.

When do I have to pay the deposit?

The deposit will be payable to the sellers solicitor within 5 days of both the seller and buyer having signed and exchanged the contract.

Can the seller just pull out on me if he gets a better offer?

Until the contract has been signed by both the seller and purchaser, and their respective solicitors both have a copy of the signed contract, either the buyer or seller can pull out of the transaction at any time and for any reason. No money will be payable as compensation by the person pulling out of the property sale.

When am I in contract and bound to purchase?

You’re deemed to be what is known as “in contract” when both the seller and purchaser have signed the contract, and the buyers solicitor has received a copy of it.

When do I sign the contract?

Your solicitor will ask you to sign the contract once they’re satisfied that the sellers solicitor has provided all the necessary searches, certificates and other documentation, as well as answering any queries about the property that they might have raised. Generally you’ll not be asked to sign the contract until the Solicitor is in receipt of your mortgage offer.

What happens to my title deeds on completion?

Once you get the keys to your new house there’s still a significant amount of registration work that will be carried out by your solicitor. As such, 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 time and where do I get the keys from?

Normally you’ll collect the keys from us at your local office. Unless the contract specifies otherwise, the seller normally has to vacate the property by 12noon and have the keys available for collection from us by 2pm.

What items must the seller leave at the property?

Most items can be removed from the property, even carpets, light fittings and more can be taken. A list of fixtures and fittings will be provided by the seller prior to the contract being signed which will set out what they intend to remove and what they’re prepared to include in the house price.

In some instances they may offer items for sale for the purchaser to consider. Any items on this list to remain at the property must not be removed on the day of completion.

What do I do if lots of rubbish has been left at the property by the seller?

Contact your solicitor and they will contact the seller via their solicitor requesting that the rubbish be removed immediately at their expense. If they fail to do this your solicitor might suggest that you get a third party company to remove the rubbish and send them the invoice so that it can be forwarded to the seller’s solicitor for them to obtain payment.

Have you got any questions that haven’t been asked here?
If so, please call 01268 522290 or send us an email to

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