Buying Guide

A guide to buying with Mapesbury Estate Agent

Step 1 - Arranging your mortgage

To arrange your mortgage you will need to speak to a mortgage broker (arrange via your bank or contact a private broker). They will help you to plan how much deposit you will be putting towards the purchase of a property from savings, as well as preparing for the mortgage application in order to have an offer in principle. Mapesbury can also recommend a mortgage broker for you. Contact us on or 0208 451 8999.

Step 2 - Register your interest

You can register your interest in a property with Mapesbury Estate Agents either through our website, by giving us a call on 0208 451 8999 or by coming to our office at 84 Walm Lane, Willesden Green, NW2 4QY. We will take your contact details in order to inform you of suitable available properties and keep you updated with the progress of any offer you make.

Step 3 - Finding the right property

You will need to consider your budget, desired areas, distance to amenities or schools, transport links and desirable qualities. When we have all these details we will be able to send you information with suitable matches. You can also check our website which is regularly updated at

Step 4 - The key to successful viewings

When Mapesbury have found you a property to view, you will need to make a checklist of requirements. Take your time to find out about any past works, renovations or improvements that have been done to the property. Our agent will give you a property floorplan and brochure for your viewing to help you get a real feel for the property. We will generally ask for feedback after the viewing so we can pass this information on to the vendor. Please note: if you are delayed getting to your viewing please give us as much notice as possible, so that we are able to accommodate you.

Step 5 - Instructing a solicitor

You will need to instruct a property solicitor or conveyancer in order for them to handle the legal documents and administrative details. If you are a first time buyer you can find a local solicitor or conveyancer or look online. Otherwise, if you are an experienced buyer you can use your current solicitor. The solicitor will be able to talk you through all of the legal implications, such as whether it is a leasehold property or whether there are any issues in the title deeds. Mapesbury can recommend a solicitor for you. Contact us on or 0208 451 8999.

Step 6 - Making an offer

When you have found your ideal property, you will need to send one of our staff an offer in writing along with your solicitor’s details. Take into consideration any costs on top of the purchase price (stamp duty, mortgage, solicitor’s fee or cost for renovation if intended etc.)

Step 7 - Offer agreed

We will inform you whether your offer has been accepted or declined by the seller. If it has been declined then you will need to re-think your offer. Our agent will be able to help you with this and give you advice on what to offer next. If the offer is accepted then we can move to the conveyancing stage by sending out a ‘memorandum of sale’ to solicitors for the seller and the buyer.

Step 8 - Conveyancing

Your solicitor will respond to enquiries raised within the 'seller's pack' which includes, the contract, vendor's questionnaire form, fixtures and fittings form, planning consent, building regulations and guarantees. In the case of leasehold properties this will include accounts, and projected future works to the property etc. When the solicitor is satisfied with the purchase, a report will be sent to you.

Step 9 - Survey and mortgage offer

Contact your lender to arrange for a survey/ valuation through your mortgage broker. When the survey is completed, your lender should approve or reject the mortgage offer within 3-10 days. If you are a full cash buyer, you need to arrange for your own survey to be done by a chartered surveyor. The RICS website has a list of recommended surveyors.

Step 10 - Exchange of contracts

When the contract is ready to sign you will be required to give a deposit which is usually 10% of the purchase price (subject to your mortgage requirements). Your solicitor will deal with this and they will also set up a completion date. Upon completion you will need to pay the stamp duty.

Step 11 - Completion

On completion day the money and deeds of the property are transferred. Your solicitors will contact you to confirm that completion has taken place. This takes place a short time after the exchange of contracts (usually within 28 days). Any outstanding money will be paid by your solicitor to the vendor's solicitor.

Step 12 - Moving in

The seller has to leave the property by the completion day. You will be able to collect the keys directly from the Mapesbury office at 84 Walm Lane, Willesden Green, NW2 4QY or from your solicitors office. At this point, it is important to bear in mind removal and delivery of furniture and taking gas/electric meter readings for utilities.

Mapesbury Estate Agents are always here to help. Please get in touch with our team on or 0208 451 8999 if you require any further assistance.