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Buyer's Guide


Area Guide

Discover the beauty of South Oxfordshire, with these simply area guides



Can I afford to move?

The first thing to consider before you begin your search for your new home is whether you have the funds in place to make a purchase. We have an Independent Financial Advisor who will listen to your personal circumstances, before giving professional advice relating to your affordability, thus allowing you to be confident in your ability to purchase a property. 

It is important to consider other costs such as Stamp Duty (link to our SD calculator), legal feels and removal costs, as well as keeping funds aside for any renovations you may need to spend to finish your new home.

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What happens once I find my new home?

The Estate Agent managing the property you are buying will ask to see your financial position. This will involve sharing personal details and providing proof of funds, to confirm your ability to buy, along with any financial approved mortgage information.

Once all funds have been verified, you and all other parties involved, will receive a Memorandum of Sale that will confirm all details of the purchase agreement.


Legal process

Once you have agreed your purchase, you will need to instruct a solicitor to handle the legal process on your behalf.  Although independent from any solicitor, we are able to provide a list of recommended companies that we work with regularly within the area.  Instructing a solicitor with local knowledge can often enable the legal process to proceed more smoothly.  As a local Solicitor, their reputation is directly associated with the area in which they work.  Do ask if you would like a recommendation from us.

Once instructed, your solicitor will undertake searches, raise questions, check all documentation provided by other parties and handle the finances received to complete the transaction.   This legal process can take on average between 8-12 weeks to complete, depending upon the individual complexities or issues raised in each instance.


Whether you require a mortgage to buy the property, or  need to establish the structural integrity of the building,  a survey is a standard part of the purchasing process. Mortgage lenders will require a valuation survey, through an appointed surveyor of their choice. This is undertaken to confirm that the property is, after professional consideration, worth the price that you are paying for the property. 

If you have any concerns about the property or wish to make changes to the structure or fabric of the property, then you should commission your own independent RICS (qualified) surveyor to undertake a buildings survey upon your behalf.  Do ask if you would like a recommendation from us.


Exchange of contracts

Up until the exchange of contracts, you are entitled to withdraw from the transaction.

Exchange of contracts is a legal undertaking to buy or sell.  Upon exchange of contracts a completion date is agreed and all parties are legally bound to complete on the date set within the contract and pay the associated funds, if relevant.  The completion date is the date legal ownership changes and therefore usually the date all parties agree to move on (if applicable).


Completion date

Congratulations! This is when the property legally transfers to you, and officially become the home owner. The Estate Agent will await confirmation on completion day funds have been received by all solicitors within the property chain. The Agent will check with their clients when they have vacated the property, if applicable, which will enable you to move in. The Agent or solicitor will  provide to you the keys to your new home or property once funds are received.  You will be required to provide proof of identification to collect these keys.


"Throughout the whole time since I first approached Douglas and Simmons I have been quite amazed at the support, commitment, trust and quiet professional encouragement shown in this whole exercise. I have had no such experience with any of our previous estate agents over the last 40 years"
Patrick D

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