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Step by Step Process

Choosing and buying a new home is one of the most important decisions of our lives. Our Step by Step guide will help you through the process of buying your new Berkeley property.

You may wish to speak to one of our Independent Financial Advisors (IFA). If you don't already have an IFA, talk to the Berkeley Sales Office who will be able to put you in contact with an IFA.

At this point you may also be asked to choose any options that could be available to you, for example kitchen and bathroom fittings. The options available to you will depend on how far along the build process the property is.

The reservation fee will vary depending on the size, type or price of your property but is typically between £1,000 and £20,000. Reservation is carried out at the Sales & Marketing Suite.

You should appoint an independent professional legal advisor to carry out the legal formalities and look after your interests. You will need to advise your solicitor of the reservation period, which will normally be 21 days, however this may vary depending on the stage of construction of your home. If you have a house to sell you should inform your legal advisor of this as they will have to apply for title deeds which can take up to three weeks to obtain.

Once appointed, please provide the details of your legal advisor to the Sales Team.

This will be specific to the property you are purchasing and will outline the legal requirements of the transaction.

Once you have applied for your mortgage, send the Sales Team details of your application. You may want to chase up any referees that are required for your mortgage application.

Check your mortgage offer, sign it and return it to your lender. Confirm with your legal advisor and our Sales Team that your mortgage offer has been received and that you have accepted the offer.

You will need to:

  • Agree how to pay the deposit when you exchange (this will be 10% of the purchase price)
  • Sign the contract ready to exchange
  • Agree how to pay the balance of the purchase cost on completion

At this point the buyer and seller are legally bound by the terms of the contract. Upon exchange you will be introduced to your Customer Relations Team. The team will now be your dedicated point of contact from this point until completion. Depending on the stage of construction a specific completion date will be agreed or you will wait for notice for completion to be served to your solicitor, at which point a date can be agreed within the notice period.

You can either do this yourself by hiring a self drive van or get a quote from a specialist removals company. Doing the move yourself will cost less but don't underestimate the time and effort required to move home. If you choose to use a removals company, confirm what the quote includes, i.e. packing boxes, doing the unpacking/packing, insurance etc. A number of websites are available with contact details for removals companies including:

The sites listed in the previous Step can also provide contact details of storage companies in your area. Minimise your removals and/or storage requirements by throwing out anything you don't use anymore. Arrange a skip if necessary.

There is a whole range of people and organisations that need to be told about your move including your doctor, utility companies, banks, insurance companies, the DVLA, TV Licensing, schools etc. There are a number of useful websites that can help you through this process, including:

You will also need to contact the Royal Mail to forward your post. You can find out how to do this at:

  • Confirm arrangements with the removals firm
  • Sort out parking problems. You should inform neighbours about any parking issues. Some local authorities may be able to help with parking bay suspensions to allow better access to your property.
  • Cancel deliveries of milk and newspapers and other services
  • Arrange a plumber/electrician to disconnect relevant appliances
  • Make arrangements for pets. The  site has advice for this.
  • If you are doing the packing yourself, start packing non-essential items
  • Clean the house and empty/defrost fridges and freezers if they are being left
  • Remove fixtures and fittings not included in the sale
  • Complete packing all items except those required the following morning - change of clothes, breakfast essentials, overnight toiletries etc
  • Confirm with your Customer Relations Team when you will have access to your new home. This will typically be in the afternoon on the day of completion to allow funds to clear

You'll need to:

  • Turn off central heating, water, electricity etc
  • Note down gas, electricity and water meter readings
  • Lock all windows and doors
  • Arrange for keys to be left with the estate agent for the new owners

You'll need to:

  • Check deeds are exchanged and the balance of the purchase has been paid so that legal completion has successfully taken place
  • Meet with the Customer Services Team to pick up the keys to your new Berkeley property