Preparing for Your Property Search

There are a few important things to consider before you start your property search!

We suggest you make a list and think about what your important requirements are; how many bedrooms do you need? Does it need to be close to schools? What about transport links? What is your budget?

It can be challenging to find a property with everything on your list, that is also within your budget, so try to be open minded and consider a compromise, especially if you find a property that has most of your wish list.

You also need to find out what you can afford, are you selling a property to buy somewhere? Have you had it valued? Do you require a mortgage? We advise you to have your property valued (if you already own one) and speak to a Financial Advisor.

We can recommend trusted Financial Advisors, who can advise you of your budget and the best rates available.

How to Fund Your Purchase

There are a few ways you can purchase a property, the most common is by cash funds or a mortgage.

Cash - Some people can fund their entire purchase with cash, which may have accrued from savings, inheritance, or from the proceeds of a sale. This is a very attractive proposition to a vendor if a purchaser has cash funds readily available in the bank. Upon receipt of an offer, we will ask to see proof of funds to confirm they are not tied up in an account with unexpected penalty fees.

Mortgage - Others may require a mortgage to fund their purchase. To speed up the process and avoid disappointment, we advise you to speak with a Mortgage Broker to confirm how much you can borrow. They will provide you with an AIP (application in principle) or a Mortgage Promise which will confirm how much they are prepared to lend, subject to terms and conditions. This will give you and the vendor confidence that finance is available before you start your search.

Registering with Us

We love it when clients contact us to register their details and tell us what they are looking for, there are so many benefits compared to relying on property websites.

We always offer properties to our registered clients before they are advertised on the internet so you can jump the queue and will be the first in the know!

There are a few ways you can register with us; either by online registration, email, call us or pop into our office which is located in the heart of Nyetimber Village, on Pagham Road.

Once registered, we will then keep in touch with you by phone, email or post. You will receive regular property updates of properties coming to the market that match your wish list.

Viewing Your Shortlisted Properties

Once you've found a few properties that are suitable and affordable, we suggest you arrange a viewing as soon as possible, as there will likely be other interests.

We can provide a fully accompanied viewing service, we appreciate it isn’t always easy arranging appointments around work and home commitments therefore our dedicated team will always do our best to ensure an appointment has been arranged at your convenience.

Initial viewings usually last around 15 minutes, our friendly team are always on hand to answer all important questions you may have, and arrange additional viewings for a longer period of time.

Your Feedback

Following your viewings, we will contact you to find out your thoughts and feedback, to pass onto our vendor.

Feedback is very important for our vendors and we invite you to be as honest as possible, as it will help them achieve a future sale, and will also help us gain a better in depth understanding of your property search.

Making Your Offer

Once you have found a property that ticks all your boxes and is within budget, you will need to contact us to make your offer. Your offer can include any items of interest that the vendor may be willing to sell, such as a washing machine, cooker, garden items, etc.

We will ask for proof of funds depending on your situation, such as your AIP or a bank statement if you have cash in the bank, etc.

If our vendor has rejected your offer, you can make additional offers and all offers will be followed up in writing to all parties.

All offers are STC (subject to contract) and usually subject to a survey. Nothing is set in stone until the Exchange of Contracts.

Sold / Sales Progression

Once your offer has been accepted by our vendor, we will advertise the property as Sold S.T.C and advise you to instruct a solicitor to deal with the property conveyancing. We work with a lot of local solicitors that we can recommend to you, that offer our clients an excellent and competitive service.

It is very important to find the right solicitor rather than the cheapest solicitor. The conveyancing process is quite lengthy, it can take between 6-16 weeks, but this all depends on the chain and the parties involved. You need someone who you can trust to be efficient and on the ball at all times.

The solicitors will write to all parties concerned, exchange paperwork, searches, enquiries and contracts.

We have a dedicated sales progression team who will chase the chain and solicitors for updates and keep you regularly updated.

Your Surveys

If you are getting a mortgage, you will also need to instruct your Financial Advisor or Lender to formally proceed with your mortgage valuation survey. It is a requirement of your mortgage company for them to survey the property.

There are 3 types of surveys as explained below, it is advisable to organise your own survey such as a Home Buyers or Building to highlight any potential issues which you may not be aware of – this could save you thousands in the long run!


Your lender will organise a mortgage valuation to determine the value of the property and whether the agreed purchase price is in line with market value. They will also inspect the basic condition of the property; the purpose of their visit is to carry out their own due diligence to protect the agreed loan amount.

Home Buyers

This is the most common type of survey organised by the purchaser, the purpose is to list any pressing or significant defects and detail any present or future problems which may have an impact on the value and safety of the property. The objective is to provide an in depth report using a traffic light system of 1,2,3 which will assist the purchaser in making an informed decision. The surveyor will also comment on the agreed purchase price and whether they feel it reflects the true value, given their findings.


This survey is suitable for all types of property whether conventional or non-standard. A Building Survey is far more comprehensive and in depth than a Home Buyers and includes information regarding the materials used to construct the property as well as the condition, continuing with the traffic light template. It shows a vast variety of information, such as details you may consider insignificant to more serious defects and the survey is tailored to fit the client’s specific requirements.

We work with many reputable surveyors who can assist with any type of survey you require. We always recommend organising a private survey to protect your money and could potentially save you from making a purchase you later regret.

Exchange of Contracts

Once you are satisfied with the survey reports, all of the conveyancing processes have been finalised, you have signed and returned your contract, your solicitor will be in a position to organise an Exchange of Contracts. A mutually convenient completion date will be agreed in advance of Exchanging Contracts. This date must be agreed by the whole of the chain and there is usually a week between Exchange and Completion, however, this can be longer if required. You will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit which is most commonly 10% of the agreed purchase price but can vary.

Once Contracts are Exchanged, the transaction becomes legally binding. Don’t forget to organise a removal company before you Exchange, we have local companies we can recommend you can travel out of the area if required.


Congratulations, it’s finally your completion date!

Today your transaction will be completed and you will officially become a homeowner (perhaps not for the first time).

More often than not, completion takes place around lunchtime and we will inform you as soon as you can collect your keys – this will happen once the vendor’s solicitor has received the balance of funds.

We understand this isn’t always a happy day for all, it can be emotional and stressful to get the timings right but our team is here for you, we will always do our best to help and look after you.

Don’t forget:

  • Take metre readings (if applicable)
  • Redirect your post
  • Pass over any keys

You can use our change of address checklist to make sure everyone who is important knows that you have moved.

The above is intended as a guide, and no two purchases are the same.

If you have any questions about buying a property, or would like any recommendations, please contact one of our friendly team who will be delighted to assist you.

Reviews 5 / 5

We’ve had the pleasure of helping lots of people find their perfect property. Here’s what some of our previous clients have to say about working with us:

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Matt Ellison
Matt Ellison

From the initial contact to point of completion Joanna from Whitlocks was lovely. Prompt with...

Hannah Baker
Hannah Baker

I cannot thank Joanna and the team at Whitlocks enough for the support they have offered me during...

Jess Coppin
Jess Coppin

The service we have received so far from Whitlocks has been brilliant. The girls are all very lovely...

Tomos Bohanna (TomosBmusic)
Tomos Bohanna (TomosBmusic)

We contacted Whitlocks estate agents after discovering a property that was perfect for both my...

Mikey Morris
Mikey Morris

I recently had the pleasure of using Whitlocks Estate Agents for my house purchase, and I must...

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