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Here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions on how to buy a new property.

How do I register?

To register with Royston and Lund, you can visit us at West Bridgford branch, request a call back from one of 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. - See more at:

When should I arrange my mortgage?

Most mortgage lenders will be able to provide you with a Mortgage in Principle (MIP or AIP, Agreement in Principle). This provisionally lets you know how much you can borrow, subject to finding a suitable property in a specified time. This can then be used to prove to a seller or estate agent, that you have the necessary funds available to finance your purchase. MIP’s are still always subject to survey and credit checks.

How long does it take to buy a property?

The length of time it takes to take buy a property varies and no two transactions are the same. On average, we find that it is usually around 8 to 10 weeks before contracts are exchanged, but this can vary depending if the property is involved in a chain. Due to the extra work involved with conveyancing, leasehold properties will usually take a little longer to go through than freehold properties.

How and when do I instruct a solicitor?

Once your offer has been accepted you will need to instruct a conveyancing solicitor. It is essential that you instruct someone you can trust to work with you to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible. If you would like a recommendation, we can confidently recommend one of solicitor’s practices that we frequently work with.

Will the property remain on the market if my offer is accepted?

Depending on our client’s instructions, usually a property will be taken off the market to show ‘good will’. This will only be once we have received full proof of funds i.e. Mortgage Agreement in Principle, along with proof of deposit, confirmation of which solicitor you will be using and identification for all purchasers involved.

New developments and reservations

The process of having an offer accepted on a new build can vary from developer to developer, usually once you have chosen the particularly plot which you are interested in, a reservation fee will be payable.

What is the process with Sealed Bids/Best and Final Offers?

If there is more than one person interested in buying a property, it is quite likely that we will request all offers to be put forward by a deadline specified by the vendor, often referred to as Best and Final Offers, or Sealed Bids. This process ensures that all potential buyers are given a fair and equal opportunity to make their best offer. A date and time for the receipt of a sealed bid is set and then we would ask that you put your offer to us in writing, via email. The offers will then be discussed with the vendor in order for them to make a decision.

What is the difference between exchange and completion?

In order for contracts to be exchanged, you will have to have your mortgage offer or cash funds available and your cleared funds for deposit lodged with your solicitor along with signed contract. All aspects of the conveyancing will need to have been completed. Exchange of contracts make the deal legally binding and a completion date is then fixed. The completion date is when you take possession of the property and the purchase monies are transferred to the other side.

What is Stamp Duty?

The price you pay for a new property increases, so do the rates of stamp duty. You pay a percentage of the cost, and the rate payable leaps up at a set of thresholds - but, you only pay the proportion of the purchase price that's actually above the thresholds at the higher rate.

What stamp duty rate will I pay?



Up to £125,000 0%
£125,000.01 - £250,000 2%
£250,000.01 - £925,000 5%
£925,000.01 - £1,500,000 10%
£1,500,000.01 + 12%
Correct from 4 December 2014

Click on the link to use the Stamp Duty Calculator:

What is the difference between Freehold and Leasehold?

In brief, Leasehold means that you do not own the land that the property stands on, usually applicable to a flat or maisonette. Freehold property means you own the property and the land that it is built on. Under the terms of a Lease, maintenance insurance and ground rent are usually payable to the Freeholder (or their agent) which can sometimes be owned jointly between the leaseholders. Freehold property can also include maintenance payments (for private roads, gardens, window cleaning etc.)