Buying Property

Buying Property

Helping with all Aspects of Buying Property

Buying property is very likely to be the largest purchase you will ever make and this can be a daunting prospect for some. When making a decision with significant financial consequences, it is helpful to work with a team of professionals who can take the stress out of buying property, handling the legal issues while you focus on the excitement of your new home.

The residential conveyancing department at Fraser Dawbarns have a huge range of experience to offer someone who is buying property. Whether you are a first time buyer, whether you are growing your property portfolio or whether you are looking to buy your retirement home, this should be an enjoyable and exciting time for you.

Our experienced team have helped thousands of people to realise their dream of home ownership by removing the stress and helping you navigate the process of buying property as smoothly and quickly as possible.

Our Specialists

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Adele Satur

Associate Solicitor - Downham Market

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Adrian Lazell

Solicitor, Senior Associate - Wisbech

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Carla Tirrell

Licenced Conveyancer, Senior Associate - Kings Lynn

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Dawn Tegerdine

Associate Conveyancing Executive - Downham Market

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Hannah Walker

Residential Conveyancer - Downham Market

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Iain Grimes

Managing Partner, Solicitor, Joint Head of Conveyancing Department - Downham Market

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Jack Fitzjohn

Paralegal - Wisbech

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Katie Cooper

Solicitor - Wisbech

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Kirsty Haines

Associate Residential Conveyancer - Ely

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Stella Norris

Associate Conveyancing Executive - March

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Services for Buying Property

Not every property purchase is the same and our team will adapt our service to best suit your particular type of purchase. Below are some of the ways we can help you with buying property.

First Time Buyers

Buying property can be most daunting for first time buyers and we can tailor our service to suit your requirements. We understand that buyers who have never been through the process before will have more questions and we will be happy to explain the process to you.

Many first time buyers will also be eligible for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) relief and if you are eligible, the residential property team at Fraser Dawbarns will make sure that you get any tax relief that you are entitled to. 

New Build Purchases

New build purchases can be more complicated and there are extra steps involved when buying new build properties. There will often be extra cost associated with buying a new build, such as reservation fees. A special type of survey exists for a new build purchase called a snagging survey which is to discover any defects or problems with the property. The conveyancing team at Fraser Dawbarns will guide you through every step of buying a new build property.

Buying a Retirement Home

Buying property for your retirement can often come with its own set of issues. Properties within a sheltered housing complex or within a warden controlled property will usually be sold on a leasehold basis and will often come with detailed terms and conditions, such as age restrictions. Fraser Dawbarns will help you overcome any issues associated with buying a retirement home, giving you total peace of mind that you can make the most of the years ahead.

Buying a Shared Ownership Home

For many people, especially first time buyers, getting on to the property ladder can be difficult. The shared ownership housing scheme allows you to purchase between a quarter and three-quarters of a property and pay rent on the rest. Once you own the property, you have the option to increase the share that you own at a later date. 

Fraser Dawbarns can help you purchase a property using the shared ownership scheme or help you if you decide to share ownership with other people instead of buying through the scheme.

Get A Quote

By completing the short form below, one of our expert conveyancing lawyers will be in touch to give you a quote for the approximate cost of your transaction.

    I would like to receive further communications from Fraser Dawbarns.

    What do I Need to Know about Buying Property?


    Especially for first-time buyers, the process of buying property can seem to be long and convoluted and some of the terms can be unfamiliar. The following information should help you understand the process better. 

    Getting a Mortgage 

    Most people will need to apply for a mortgage as a first step. Asking for a ‘decision in principal’ from your mortgage lender will let you know how much you are able to borrow. This will help you make a decision on the size and location of the properties that are available to you. 

    Finding the Right Solicitor

    A solicitor will help you through the property buying process. Often, estate agents will recommend solicitors from firms that they are connected with, but you do not have to go with their suggestion. You may prefer to use a solicitor who is based locally to you as they will know the area and you will be able to meet them face-to-face if you would like. Fraser Dawbarns are part of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme, which is available to solicitors who meet high standards of client service and technical expertise. 


    Once you have found a property that you would like to buy, you will want to know as much as possible about it before making any financial commitment. Your solicitor will arrange searches on your behalf. Issues that could affect the value or liveability of your potential new home will be discovered here. These include issues such as: planning constraints, issues with land contamination or legal disputes relating to the property. 


    Other issues, such as rising damp or any structural problems can be picked up by a specialist surveyor. If the surveyor finds any issues, this can be grounds to renegotiate the price that the seller is asking. Sometimes buyers choose to save money by avoiding a survey only to be landed with significant expenses after completion.

    Exchanging Contracts

    Once you have decided to go ahead with the property purchase, both you and the seller will exchange contracts. You will sign your contract and the seller will sign theirs, after this your solicitor and the seller’s solicitor will exchange these signed contracts. Your solicitor will also transfer your deposit to the seller. This is a legally binding contract. After the exchange neither side can pull out without consequences. A buyer could potentially lose their deposit and be liable for other legal costs if they pull out after exchanging contracts. 


    Completion takes place when the rest of the money is transferred to the seller. Your solicitor will also pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) and other fees on your behalf. Once completion has taken place, you will receive the keys and be able to move in. 

    How Long Does Buying a Property Take?

    No two property transactions are exactly the same so it is not easy to give a definitive answer, particularly when there is a chain of buyers involved. Other factors can influence the time it takes to get to completion such as the speed of searches and whether any problems are encountered during the transaction. Buying property usually takes 8 to 12 weeks although in some circumstances can complete in about 6 weeks. The residential conveyancing team at Fraser Dawbarns understand that you will want to get into your new home as quickly as possible and will work hard to complete your purchase as quickly as possible. 

    Buying Property Pricing

    For a general idea of the cost of a basic property purchase, please see our residential conveyancing pricing page. Fraser Dawbarns tailor our service to your individual circumstances, so the best way to get an accurate quote is to contact our team who will be happy to provide you with a quote.

    Leaseholds and Freeholds

    The main type of property tenures in England and Wales are leasehold properties and freehold properties. It is important to know the difference between these and to understand which type of property you are buying.

    Buying a Freehold Property

    If you buy a freehold property, you will own the property and the land it is situated on.

    Buying a Leasehold Property

    If you buy a leasehold property, the situation is more complicated. You are essentially leasing the property from the freeholder for a number of years. If you are trying to buy a leasehold property with a lease shorter than 80 years, you may find that many lenders will be reluctant to lend. Likewise, when you come to sell you may find that the property value is affected if the lease is shorter than 80 years. 

    What We Will Need From You

    We will need some documents and details from you if we are instructed. These could include the following:

    • personal identification documents
    • a copy of the energy performance certificate (EPC) for the property (if you have one)
    • details of when you want to move in
    • details of how you intend to pay for the property

    We will also need to know whether: 

    • you have applied for a mortgage
    • you intend to do some work on the property
    • you are buying with another person
    • the seller is buying another property
    • you are also selling a property 


    Neil John, our solicitor, was honest and fair, giving me independent advice on how to proceed with my claim. I felt supported throughout and although I was disappointed with the outcome, I was fully aware that it was the best outcome available. I cannot recommend these solicitors enough.
    Client - Wisbech Office

    Why Choose Fraser Dawbarns to Help You?

    Fixed Fee Service 

    It is important to us that our clients know exactly what they will pay and the scope of the services they will receive at the beginning of the transaction. That is why Fraser Dawbarns offer a fixed fee service for clients who are buying property with no hidden costs or unexpected charges. When quoting for our service, we will also detail any fees that will need to be paid to other agencies. These include stamp duty land tax (SDLT), Land Registry fees, VAT and search fees. 

    Pricing Options

    Some people would prefer to have enhanced levels of contact during their property purchase. In order to accommodate the different requirements of our clients, we offer a choice of service levels so that you can choose the level of contact that best suits your needs.

    Contact Us Today

    Our team will help you from the beginning of your case to the end, giving you total peace of mind. If you would like friendly, client focused advice on a wide range of legal issues, get in touch and see how we can help you.

    Call or email us today and find out how we can make your life easier. 

    Wisbech: 01945 461456
    March: 01354 602880
    King's Lynn: 01553 666600
    Ely: 01353 383483
    Downham Market: 01366 383171
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