Guide to Buying a New Build Home

Buying a home is perhaps the most important purchase you will ever make and the Sandersons Land & New homes Team will offer you all the support you need throughout the purchase process.

There are 4 key stages in buying a new build home:

  1. The Reservation Process
  2. The Conveyancing Process
  3. Exchange of Contracts
  4. Completion
Please click here for our Jargon buster with terms you are likely to come across over the course of buying your new home.

Stage 1: The Reservation Process

When you have chosen your property, you will usually need to complete a reservation form. This will clearly set out the agreed price for the property and the time by which contracts must be exchanged. The reservation will also be subject to paying a reservation fee, at which point the chosen property will usually be removed from the market and a period of exclusivity granted. However, if you fail to exchange contracts within the stipulated time frame the property may go back onto the market and you may lose your deposit and incurred costs, such as legal fees.


Ensure you have received a copy of the Consumer Code for Home Builders, as this sets the mandatory requirements that all Home Builders must meet in their marketing and selling of New Homes and their after-sales customer service. It also sets out the terms by which any deposit will be held.

Stage 1: The Reservation Process
Stage 2: The Conveyancing Process

Stage 2: The Conveyancing Process

NB. This assumes a 28 day exchange deadline


Week One


  • Instruct a solicitor/firm of solicitors and establish who will be dealing with your purchase
  • Put your instructed solicitor in cleared funds so searches can be applied for. These can take up to 28 days to be returned, so it is vital this is done without delay.
  • Complete the mandatory checks for Anti Money Laundering Regulations with your solicitor
  • Apply for a mortgage (if applicable)
  • Put your mortgage provider/financial adviser in funds for your survey/valuation fees
  • If you have a related sale, ensure that your buyer will not delay the exchange of contracts deadline

Week Two


  • Ask your solicitor to raise any enquiries
  • Ensure that an appointment is scheduled for your survey/valuation

Week Three


  • Check with your mortgage provider/financial adviser that your survey/valuation has been carried out and when you expect to receive your mortgage offer
  • Check with your solicitor
    • Any enquiries have been responded to
    • All searches have been received and that any enquiries arising from the searches have been raised
  • Put your solicitor in cleared funds of your deposit and in sufficient time to achieve your exchange deadline.

Week Four


  • Ensure your mortgage offer has been received
  • Make an appointment with your solicitor to sign appropriate documentation for the contract and mortgage offer

Stage 3: Exchange Contracts

During the reservation period, your solicitor would have undertaken the entire necessary due diligence to enable you to be in a position to formally exchange contracts. When all parties are happy with the agreements, the contracts can be formally exchanged at which time you will sign the contract and pay the deposit, which is usually 10% of the purchase price. After exchange of contracts you are legally bound to purchase the property.

Stage 3: Exchange Contracts
Stage 4: Completion

Stage 4: Completion

At the time the initial reservation deposit is paid, an approximate completion date will have been given. This is often nothing more than a season in a given year (ie. summer/autumn) or an approximate date in the future. Depending on the timescale of the development, you may receive a revised target date for completion after exchange of contracts.


You will be served with a completion notice via your solicitor which will formalise the date you will be expected to complete. The period of time between this notice and your completion date will have been set at exchange of contracts.

During this period you will need to:


  • Ensure mortgage funds are available. Your solicitor will liaise with your lender once notice has been received but it would be prudent to converse with your IFA or mortgage adviser.
  • Put your solicitor in funds for completion. This will be the purchase price, less the sum of deposits and reservation fees already paid.