FAQs about buying

Property search

Reeds Rains has over 150 years of experience in successfully helping people to find a property to buy. These are our most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about buying property.


Embrace Financial Services usually charges a fee for mortgage advice. The amount of the fee will depend upon your circumstances and will be discussed and agreed with you at the earliest opportunity.

Where is the best place to search for a property?

Approximately 95% of home movers start their property search online due to its convenience. You can browse the widest number of potential properties available in your chosen location, on your chosen device from the comfort of your armchair. On the Reeds Rains website you can you save your searches and receive email alerts of new properties - so why not register with us today?

How much can I afford to spend?

This will depend on your individual circumstances. We would recommend that you see a mortgage adviser who can help you work out how much could afford each month for your mortgage and any associated insurance costs. In the meantime, you can get an idea by using our budget planner.

How much does it cost to buy a house?

There are a number of costs to consider when buying a property such as mortgage fees, broker fees, surveys, conveyancing, removal charges, etc. 

What is stamp duty land tax?

Stamp duty land tax is a tax paid by the buyer on residential properties over £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland [announcement 8th July 2020 stamp duty holiday]. To find out more about the temporary reduced rates and exceptions when you don't have to pay stamp duty, see www.gov.uk for details.

How do I know how much to offer?

You could look at recently sold, comparable property in the local area to get a feel of what property is generally selling for. Speak with the team in your local Reeds Rains branch for their opinion on your offer, and whether they believe it will be successful. They will have an idea of what the seller of the property will accept.

What does exchange of contracts mean?

Exchange of contracts is the point at which you are legally bound to buy the house and nobody can back out of the transaction.

Does offering on a property commit me to buying it?

No. You are not legally bound to buy a property in the UK until you exchange contracts, usually at the end of the sale. However, your financial adviser will be able to talk you through when your offer becomes legally binding as there are some exceptions.

What are the different types of survey and what do they do?

There are four different types of survey. A Condition Report is the cheapest, and is a very basic ‘traffic light’ survey suitable for homes in good condition. A HomeBuyer Report is a survey suitable for conventional properties in reasonable condition and will note any structural problems. However, it doesn't look below floorboards or behind walls. The Home Condition Survey provides the same level of in-depth inspection as a building survey. A building survey is the most comprehensive survey and is particularly good for older homes or homes that may need repairs.

The lender you choose may also request you have a survey if they think the property has structural problems.