So what exactly happens when you’re buying a property?

Your Toomey Legal step-by-step guide 

This is a very brief step by step guide of the purchasing process.

There may be additional things come up which means that one or more of the stages are not applicable or they may be delayed due to individual circumstances.

Toomey Legal know moving home is stressful. We reduce that stress by always answering your phone calls, never leaving you in the dark and by guiding you through the whole transaction from start to finish.

Toomey Legal currently take on average 12-16 weeks from instruction to completion, depending on your circumstances, surveys and whether you have a mortgage or not.

Step 1. Make an offer.   

Or negotiate the price which is usually done via an estate agent.

Step 2. Offer is accepted. 

You would then need to instruct us to act on your behalf in the purchase.

Step 3. Confirming Instructions.  

We will confirm our instructions to yourself and set out our terms of business and fixed fee costs. You will need to attend our office with your identification documents.

Step 4. Contacting the other parties.  

We will contact the seller’s Conveyancer to obtain the contract pack.

Step 5. Obtain your mortgage.  

If you are purchasing with the assistance of a mortgage now is the time to discuss this with your broker.

Or cash purchaser?  
If you are a cash purchaser or obtaining funds from a third party by way of a gift you will need bank statements for us to assess the source of the funds. We would also need additional documents from any third-party providing funds and to discuss this with them directly.

Step 6. Obtain a Survey  

It is ALWAYS advisable to arrange a survey on the property or arrange for the services such as gas, electricity, water, and drainage to be checked by a professional.

Step 7. Checking Title Deeds.  

We will check the contract pack, assess the legal title, raise pre-contract enquiries, carry out the necessary searches and obtain a copy of the mortgage offer.

Step 8. Preparing Legal Documents.  

We will prepare a draft transfer deed and completion information form and send these to the seller’s Conveyancer for completion.

Step 9. Answering Enquiries.  

The seller’s Conveyancer and the seller will answer pre-contract enquiries and return these to us

Step 10. Reviewing the legal title, searches, and mortgage offer.  

We review all the answers to our enquiries. If acceptable we then report this all to you, including the results of the searches and the mortgage offer. You then need to consider this report carefully and raise questions on anything that is unclear.

Step 11. What if there is a problem?  

If the replies to enquiries are unsatisfactory, we will either raise further enquiries, take instructions from you on how you wish to proceed, or if necessary, report it back to your mortgage lender or the valuer for further instructions.

What problems could arise?  
There could be an issue with the title deeds, concerns about entries on the searches or your survey may reveal defects in the structure of the property which need to be carefully considered by your mortgage lender or valuer. Whatever problem may arise you can be assured we will never keep you in the dark about this and will discuss everything with you to achieve a sensible and correct outcome before proceeding.

Step 12. Signing legal documents.  

When you and your lender are happy to proceed, arrangements will then be made for you to attend our office and sign all your legal documents. This stage does not make the transaction legally binding, it just allows us to do that for you at a later stage.

Step 13. Payment of Deposit.  

We arrange for the deposit to be paid to us in readiness for the exchange of contracts.

Step 14. Exchange of Contracts.  

You and your seller, and anyone else in the chain, will agree on a completion date, and contracts are formally “exchanged” meaning both parties are legally committed to the transaction.

Step 15. Pre-completion.  

We then carry out pre-completion searches and apply to your mortgage lender for the mortgage funds. If you are a cash buyer, we will ask you to pay the purchase money to us at least one day before completion.

Step 16. Day of completion.  

We will send the purchase funds to the seller’s Conveyancer and the seller must vacate the property by the agreed time. Once the funds have been received the seller’s Conveyancer authorises the estate agents (if there is one) to release the keys for the property to you.


After completion. 

The seller’s conveyancer will then send the Title Deeds and Transfer Deed to us with a legal undertaking to repay any existing mortgage the seller may have on the property.

Legal obligations on your behalf. 

We will apply to HMRC and pay any Stamp Duty on your behalf within 14 days of completion. Once we have received the Title Deeds, Transfer Deed, and proof that the seller has paid the outstanding mortgage we will apply to HMLR to register the property in your name.

New title deeds. 

Within approximately 4-6 weeks (could be over a year if it is a transfer of part or a new registration given the Land Registry’s current backlog) we should receive a copy of the new registered title from The Land Registry. Any documents required by the mortgage lender to be retained by them are sent by us.

Keeping documents safe. We will send you a copy of the new registered title and any other title deeds relating to the property which must be kept safe! They could be required when you come to sell the property in the future.