Your future home may well be already built, in the process of being built, or an ‘off plan’ plot within a development. After reserving your plot, or property, with a reservation fee, you will normally have 28 days within which to exchange contracts after buying a new build home.

Once the exchange has taken place, you are legally committed to purchase the property. If you have exchanged on a property that has not been finished, you will exchange with completion ‘on notice’, which means the purchase process will take longer to complete. Once the property construction has been completed, notice will be served by the Developer’s conveyancer to us and completion of your home purchase will take place within approximately 5-10 working days.


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Things to consider

Preferred Conveyancers

Whilst we may be one of the preferred conveyancers for several developers, we do not work for them. Each developer has their own conveyancer that deals with their involvement in the sale of a plot. We are listed as a preferred conveyancer as the developer/housing association wants to do their utmost to ensure:

  • you receive excellent customer service
  • you use a conveyancer that has full knowledge of new build transactions
  • that the exchange deadlines are met.

A developer’s preferred list details conveyancers they are confident can do this.

Purchasing ‘Off-Plan’

When you are purchasing a new build property, you may well end up purchasing ‘off-plan’. Purchasing a home in this way, means you will be purchasing a property that has not been built yet. Although this sounds quite risky, there are advantages to buying ‘off-plan’. You may find you can secure one of the best plots available in advance, be able to have a say on finishes and specifications of your home, as well as potentially receiving incentives towards the purchase.

The downside of purchasing a property ‘off-plan’ is that there might be delays with the build and your home may take longer to complete than expected. With mortgage offers being valid for fixed periods of time, you may need to reapply and secure a new mortgage during the purchase process.

New Build Lease

If you are buying a flat, you will be buying a leasehold property with the right to occupy and use your property for a set period of time- referred to as “the term”.

The lease is a legally binding contract between you, the leaseholder, and the Landlord. As with most residential leases, the lease covers the rights and responsibilities of the Landlord, you the leaseholder, what you can and can’t do.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

You must pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if you buy a property or land over a certain price in England and Northern Ireland. The tax is different if the property or land is in Scotland or Wales. The current SDLT threshold is £125,000 for residential properties.

There are different rules if you’re buying your first home. You get a discount (Relief) which means you pay less or no tax if: You complete on or after 22 November 2017; the purchase price is £500,000.00 or less; you and anyone else you’re buying with, are first-time buyers. To find out more about how much you pay visit:

You pay the tax when you:

  • buy a freehold property
  • buy a new or existing leasehold
  • buy a property through a shared ownership scheme
  • are transferred land or property in exchange for payment, e.g. you take on a mortgage or buy a share in a house

You must send an SDLT return to HMRC and pay the tax within 30 days of completion. We will file your return and pay the tax on your behalf on the day of completion and add the amount of our fees.

How it works

Step 1

Liaise with a mortgage broker and get an agreement in principle to ensure affordability.

Step 2

Reserve a property with the developer.

Step 3

Receive a list of preferred conveyancers.

Step 4

Appoint a conveyancer.

Step 5

Apply for a mortgage with your mortgage broker.

Step 6

Developer’s conveyancer sends out Memorandum of Sale (confirmation of your reservation).

Step 7

Developer’s conveyancer issues contract.

Step 8

Your conveyancer raises any enquiries they need.

Step 9

Developer’s conveyancer responds to our enquiries.

Step 10

Mortgage offer issued (if required).

Step 11

Exchange within 28 days of the issue of contracts.

Step 12

Completion – this is either a fixed date or once notice is served (approx. 5-10 days from build complete).

Things to know

You are reserving a property from plans/brochure without seeing the property. Specification changes can happen but the developer must inform you of these.

The reservation will give an anticipated build completion date but this is not guaranteed.

You need to exchange on your property usually within 28 days of the contract being issued, although this can be less.

If you miss the exchange deadline, the Developer can remarket the property.

A mortgage offer has a shelf life – you will need to renew your offer should this time lapse.

The developer will notify on build complete (Completion on Notice) and you will need to be in a position to complete within approximately 5-10 days even if you have rent or other mortgage commitments.

The team behind helping you to buy a new build