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Useful articles to help you buy and sell new homes.

Frequently asked questions when buying new homes

Searching for a new property in the UK can be time-consuming, stressful, costly and frustrating at times.Here are a few of the questions  we are frequently asked.

I can’t get into the New Home I am wanting to buy what do i do?

Buying a new home is similar to buying a new car. If you can’t get into the exact house you are interested in, you can normally find a similar house within the developers portfolio. Some developers have the benefit of having their own show home on site for this very reason, although sites will often not provide show homes for all the layout and designs available on the development. To dress and stage the house from top to bottom, can cost thousands of pounds and so the developer likes to hold onto the selected show house as long as possible for viewing purposes. Developers will arrange for you to view the new home that you are interested in, only when it is  safe to do so.

What should I check for when viewing a new home?

Check for the developer build quality, the room layout, finish and specification. Try to imagine your furniture in the house and how the layout works for you and your family. View the house at different times of the day so that you can be satisfied that there are no hidden surprise’s with the property or the location.

What is the biggest advantage of buying off plan?

Potential buyers can personalise the house to their own style and budget at this stage, really putting their own stamp on the house. For example, buyers can choose different styles of kitchen units and work surface’s; they can choose wall and floor tiles for kitchen and wet rooms, rather than going with the developers choice. Sometimes, depending on the stage of contraction (and the developer) you can even personalise the positioning of extra electrical sockets in certain rooms. Be aware, making changes will most certainly come at a cost to you, with developers often asking for this amount up front on reservation, so don’t get too carried away.


Our offer has not been taken seriously by the developer?

This is where our reputation as a New Homes professional comes into its own. The Agents will have a good relationship with the developer and will know what information the developer wants to know about potential buyers, in order for them to seriously consider the offer on the table.  A good Agent can help potential buyers through this process and ensure that their offer is being put forward in the best possible light.

Why do I have to put down a reservation deposit?

In the new homes industry, it is normal practice for interested potential buyers to reserve a house by depositing a cheque. You must read the developer reservation form thoroughly and be aware what agreements you are entering into before handing over any reservation monies. Deposits range from £250 to £10,000. Firstly, ensure you have this money in your account (it is not a good first impression if the cheque bounces!). The guidelines say that a developer can only retain “reasonable costs incurred”  if you decide you pull out of the sale. If you do pull out for any reason, then you would normally look to receive back 50% of the reservation amount – the other 50% being retained by the developer. Again, the buyer needs to check this with the site representative on reservation. If a developer pulls out of a sale with a buyer for any reason, then in most cases the buyer should get back their full deposit however, this situation is rare. We would recommend that buyers do not pay by cash and that all monies are transferred through the banks and handled by the buyers/developers solicitors.

The builder wants us to exchange within 28 days, is this possible?

Yes this is possible, we have known some property transactions  to go through the same day, but only when there is full cooperation from both solicitors and the buyer has their money on account. In this instance, we recommend you see your mortgage broker before you reserve and make another appointment on the day of the full reservation to get this process moving straight away. We also recommend you use a local solicitor who has experience in new homes, as these are aware of the urgency in turning such cases around quickly.

When is the best time to buy a new home?

There is never a “best time” – new homes in popular locations, or good plots, sell regardless of the time of year and market conditions.

I am a property investor,  when is a good time of year to negotiate with a developer?

PLC developers have a year-end normally in December or June so if you are buying a new home from a PLC developer, these are the months to negotiate deals. The amount of discount will vary on the developer, the site/plot and the build stage of the house you are interested in.

What kind of incentives can I ask for when making my offer?

This varies hugely on the market conditions and at what build stage the new home is at. Usually, developers market their homes competitively in the first instance to get viewings and buyers will have to pay the asking price to get the home off the market. However, depending on the build stage and the amount of interest the developer has had, they may provide the potential buyer with flooring throughout, upgrade something in the kitchen or put down turf to the front or rear garden in order to strike a deal. The discounts you may receive from a developer are not in conjunction with any other offer or promotion being advertised at the time.

What is the process of Part Exchange?

Firstly, you agree a price for the new home and this plot goes on hold. The developer will ask three independent Estate Agents to conduct a property appraisal on the buyers current residential home in question. The Agents are asked to complete and submit a questionnaire and come up with three different prices for the developer. These three prices are  1. A current market condition price, 2. Forced sale price(this is a guaranteed sale price) 3. A four week selling price.  Once the developer has received all three reports back from the Agents, they will advise of their offer price for your current home. Generally speaking, this is the average price taken from the three Agents and most developers base their offer on the forced sale price. Once agreed on by both parties, you will be asked to complete a full plot reservation.