Property In The United Kingdom - A Buyers’ Guide

Every international location has rules and regulations regarding the purchase of land or property by foreigners and it is important to be aware of what will be expected. Below is a general guide to the property buying procedure in the UK.

Buying property in the United Kingdom is a relatively straightforward process and there are no separate procedures for foreign nationals.

We will gladly guide you through each step of the process to ensure you are fully informed and that you avoid any potential pitfalls. Click here to speak to a specialist.

Using an Agent

Unlike in some countries, UK estate agents are licensed bodies of fully trained specialists, and all estate agents must pass strict exams to become legitimate professionals. A real estate agent can act on behalf of the vendor, the buyer or indeed for both parties but their commissions are charged to the vendor.

A good agent is essential when you buy a property and always carefully examines your particular requirements and provides a selection of appropriate options from the database. In addition, we can recommend all related professional services you will need to make a safe, reliable purchase. Most of our properties for sale in the United Kingdom are within off-plan developments as they offer the best value for money and represent current general demand.

Making an Offer

The UK buying system allows for a good deal of bartering before the selling price is agreed and this is all the more true in the light of current market conditions. It is common practice to offer a good deal lower and then leave it to the estate agent to negotiate with the vendor on your behalf.

Some buyers are making the most of a general “Buyers’ Market” throughout the UK, achieving bargain prices on prime properties for the purposes of buy-to-let investment and/or long term capital growth when the market finally picks up.


Deposits are not always necessary if a 100% mortgage is agreed on the property, which is often the case; however, lenders charge slightly higher interest rates for the privilege. A minimum deposit of 10% of the property value ensures you will not have to pay a Mortgage Indemnity Fee.

For off-plan purchases, typical reservation fees are around 1,000 GBP with 3.0 - 3.5% deposit payable within 28 days (minus the reservation fee), Another 3.0 – 3.5% installment will be due a year later and another the following year, with the final balance payable upon completion a year later.

Appointing a Solicitor

It is wise to appoint a conveyancing solicitor to ensure all legal paperwork is dealt with professionally. Once the price is agreed, the vendor’s and buyer’s solicitors liaise to finalise the deal. Our advisors can recommend a good lawyer who will carry out all necessary checks on the property or land in the UK and fulfill all the legal requirements of the sale.


It is customary to carry out a structural survey prior to purchase. The depth of survey you contract of course depends on the age and type of property you are purchasing. It’s your responsibility as the buyer to be certain that the building is structurally sound as the seller has no legal obligation to declare or ensure that this is so. Sometimes you will need to alter your initially agreed price, which was made subject to a satisfactory survey.

Once the survey is complete, purchase can go ahead once you have received a written mortgage confirmation.


A wide range of mortgage products is available in the UK and it is usual to obtain an “Agreement in Principle” in writing to assess and agree your ability to pay the loan.

Today, due to rocketing prices, many investors, particularly young couples, are struggling to take their first step onto the property ladder. Some mortgage lenders have been offering special packages, such as the “Share to Buy” mortgage, allowing up to four parties (normally a group of friends or family) to enter into a joint mortgage with reduced costs.

Equity Release

If you possess property in your own country and would like to borrow against this in an equity release plan, we can introduce you to an independent financial advisor who will help you raise the necessary finance. Alternatively you can request a quotation for a mortgage from our experts.

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