Buy A Home

Buying “new” is slightly different from buying on the second hand market. Usually buyers have a little more time to get their finances organised and of course the price is fixed so there is no chance of offering and not getting the property – which happens a lot in the second hand market.

 A General Guide to Buying (pdf, 10kb) | A Developers Offer Explained (pdf, 28kb)

Reservation Fee


Low-cost Initiative for
First Time Buyers

Usually buyers have to pay a non refundable “Reservation Fee” which holds the property for them for a period – typically 14 or 21 days. Reservation fees vary but usually they are around £250 to over £1000, depending on the size of the property and the builder.

The Valuation

During the reservation period the buyer will normally have the property valued – this being a requirement of the lender (and most purchasers have loans) If the property is not completed the valuation will be done on the basis of the site and plans.

The Offer

During the reservation period the developer’s solicitor will send the “offer” to the buyer’s solicitor. The offer in this case is usually an offer on behalf of the buyer to buy the property – but prepared by the developer’s solicitor. This ensures all offers for properties on the same development have the same terms and conditions. Once the buyer has his finance in place the buyer or his or her solicitor signs the offer and sends it back to the builder’s solicitor- who signs an acceptance on the developer’s behalf and at that stage the contract becomes binding on both parties.

Offer Conditions

These are often slightly different than in a “second hand” purchase. Sometimes the developer will have in conditions which may allow them to vary the property from the plan advertised, or the finishes.  Usually there are no problems arising here but if buyers have concerns they should take them up with their solicitor. One clause which buyers should be aware of is that the date of entry in the offer will be flexible depending on the completion of the property. Consequently buyers who are themselves selling on the open market have to be aware that dates of entry on their sale and their purchase cannot always be made to coincide.

Moving In

Most builders will allow the buyer to inspect the property prior to moving in and buyers should if possible before moving in ensure any significant outstanding works are carried out. Reputable developers will however usually also deal with snagging work after settlement.

Buildmark Buyers should familiarise themselves with the warranties granted to them under this insurance cover.

General Points For Buyers

Find out if the developer is NHBC registered. The NHBC enquiry line is 0845 845 6422

Find out as much as you can about the developer. Good reputations are hard won.

Keep in touch with the site agent as work progresses. Show an interest in the work. If matters concern you discuss with the agent.