What a Hoot – All Aboard The Business of Home Buying

September 29, 2016 Paul Hajek

If you’ve not seen our rather lovely new animation about conveyancing then why not click here for a quicky shufty? You’re missing a treat. But why did we create it?

Well, the whole house buying process can seem complicated, a tad boring and let’s face it a bit stressful, which is why we decided to explain it in simple sea-going terms to make the journey as calming as possible and lot easier. So what does it cover?

Setting sail

Ahoy there! Setting Sail

You’ve found your dream home, your offer has been accepted and you’re on your way. So what can you expect to happen next!?

Contracts, Title Deeds & Enquiries

First off, your conveyancer will be sent the draft contract by the solicitor representing the person selling your house. Along with the contract will be the Property Information Form and Fixtures and Fittings Forms. Make sure you check those forms yourself to make sure any agreement you made with the seller has been included – they might have agreed to include carpets and curtains, for example. If your conveyancer is happy that everything seems ship shape, you’re off to your next destination. Searches.

What will searches reveal?

Ahoy there! Searches

The search rocks, as they’re referred to in our new animation (have we mentioned this, by the way?), cover things like local authority, environmental, water and drainage searches.

Local authority searches will establish whether there are any plans afoot to build a new road right through the middle of your dream home, for example. Whilst environmental searches would discover if your property has been built on something it shouldn’t have been, like an ancient burial ground or the like.

Once all the search boxes have been ticked, it’s time for a survey.


Sometimes it feels like things are being suggested for the sake of it, but a survey is something you shouldn’t stint on. It’s like a complete medical for your house and will tell you if anything’s wrong with it at the moment or whether there are likely to be any problems in the future. If you’re house gets the all clear, give a sigh of relief and head off to your bank. If everything is not Ship Shape and Bristol Fashion you can always try and renegotiate the price


Mortgages used to be easy to arrange, but no so much these days.

The sooner you can find out how big a mortgage you can get, what deposit you’ll need to put down and the payments terms you’ll be facing, the better so when you find that perfect home, you’re ready to get your mortgage in place as soon as possible.

Conveyancing Chain

Cap’n Hoot refers to this stage as the “Sea of Becalming” although it can feel anything but calm for you, as you’re no doubt desperate to get moving. Literally.

Unless you’ve sold your property and there is no forward chain on the property you’re buying, it takes some time for everyone in the house of cards to sort out their paperwork, find a buyer etc. Batten down the hatches as you might be becalmed for a while.

Exchanging Contracts

Ahoy there! Exchange

The legally binding bit, that is, when everyone in the chain is ready; all contracts agreed; the same moving in/out day (the Completion Date) agreed; searches clear; enquiries answered and any mortgages in place.

The conveyancers line up on the phone and formally bind you to the contract to buy (and sell if you’re doing that at the same time).


Completion day

Ahoy! Get your ducks in a row

Your final leg of the journey. But, the pressure is still on you to get your ducks in a row before the Big Day (we explain all that for you here).

Once the balance of purchase monies has been paid to your solicitor’s bank account, the Solicitor will request the Estate Agent to release the keys of your new property to you. All being well you should get the keys around lunchtime.

Time to celebrate we’d say.

Enjoy your new property!

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