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Brand Vaughan's guide for buyers

Here is our guide to buying a property with Brand Vaughan.

When you start your hunt to buy a property in Brighton, make sure you register with Brand Vaughan – either through our website, or by phoning or visiting our branch in Kemp Town. As new properties meeting your criteria come on the market, we’ll alert you by email and/or telephone. If you are interested in viewing a property, contact us quickly as our properties don’t hang around for long!

When, or ideally before, you start your property hunt, it’s worth making sure you have your finances in place. If you have money in savings or shares, make sure you can access them easily and that there aren’t any fixed timelines to withdrawal. If you need a mortgage, we can recommend a mortgage adviser who will work out with you what figure is likely to be available to you. Don’t forget to budget for any renovations and removals, plus stamp duty, which is currently charged at these rates:

Purchase price of
residential property
Stamp duty rate
(% of total purchase price)
£0 – £125,000


£125,001 – £250,000


£250,001 – £500,000


£500,001 – £1 million


£1 million or more


TIP: Make sure you instruct a solicitor as early in the process as possible, so that once a sale is agreed, they can swing into action for you without delay. We can recommend a solicitor to you if you don’t have one.

Once we’ve found a property for you that you like, discuss with us the offer you would like to make. We will ask you to confirm how you intend to fund the purchase of your property and availability of the deposit (usually 10% of purchase price). If you already have a mortgage arranged, we will ask you to provide an agreement in principle (AIP) document and we will require the details of your financial advisor so that we can clarify the time frame that will be involved for processing your application. If you are buying without a mortgage (a ‘cash buyer’) you will also need to provide evidence of finance.

TIP: Although we’re working on behalf of the seller, and are therefore obliged to maximise the value we achieve for their property, we of course make sure our offer advice to you is realistic. After all, a sale will only happen if both parties are satisfied, and a mortgage will only be granted if the offer price is sensible.

If you are buying with a mortgage, a survey of the property will be booked by a surveyor on behalf of the mortgage lender. This is to protect their interests by valuing the property and highlighting any major defects that would negatively affect the security of their loan.

TIP: Usually you are able to ‘upgrade’ the valuation to a home-buyer’s report, which gives a little more detail on the condition of the property. For many buyers this can be a low point in the process as the survey often highlights a catalogue of defects of which they were not aware. Remember however that a surveyor’s professional reputation would be damaged if they overlooked a defect which turned out to be costly.

Once your mortgage lender has received the survey report and are satisfied the loan amount is realistic given the valuation, they will issue a mortgage offer to your solicitor.

Once an offer has been agreed between you and the seller, we will contact each party’s solicitors to confirm the details of the sale. Offers are not legally binding until contracts have been exchanged. From now until exchange, you will need to be in close communication with your solicitor and our Sale Progression Manager will also be in regular contact with you and your solicitor, as well as the the sellers and their solicitor, and the solicitor of any other people in your chain to make sure that your purchase goes through and on time.

Exchanging contracts is the moment when the sale becomes legally binding on both sides. You can only exchange once you have paid a cleared deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) to your solicitor’s account. Your solicitor will tell you and us when contracts have been exchanged. The completion date is then set by mutual agreement and is also contractually binding.

Completion, when your property purchase is finalised – the moment you’ve waited for! Your solicitor and mortgage lender will transfer the outstanding balance to the seller’s solicitor. Your solicitor will contact you and us when the money has cleared into their account and we will then release keys to you, and it will be time to move in!

We Recommend


Josie Flint: Engleharts Solicitors

Engleharts Solicitors
Vallance Hall,
Hove Street Hove,
East Sussex BN3 2DE

T: 01273 204411


Neil Hayes: McMillian Williams

11 Prince’s Street

Entrance at 178 Edward Street

T: 01273 447 884



Alex Sherwood: Sherwoods Solicitors

The Little Globe
153 Edward Street
Brighton BN2 0JG

T: 01273 608221

150 jim

Jim Maye

JSDP Mortgage Solutions
Brand Vaughan Preston Road office
219 Preston Road

T: 01273 504 441 ext 3



Cambridge Residential

Although we specialise and focus solely on selling, we have partnered with a lettings specialist, Cambridge Residential, who can advise you or a potential buyer on the likely rental value of your property.

Cambridge Residential

117-118 Western Road

T: 01273 204037


  • ask at least three removal companies for a quote. We can recommend some
  • arrange mail-forwarding with Royal Mail
  • parking: ask the Council Parking Office to post a no-parking restriction outside your property for moving day (
  • if you need hotel accommodation during your move, book it well in advance, especially during the summer
  • inform the following of your change of address
    • your gas, electricity and telephone companies, and take meter readings on the last day
    • DVLA (
    • Southern Water (
    • your dentist, doctor, optician etc
    • your mobile phone company
    • council tax office (
    • TV licensing (
    • your employer
    • your bank/s or building societies and credit card companies
    • Inland Revenue (
    • any schools
    • cancel any newsagent or milk deliveries
  • it’s a good idea to pack separately anything you’ll need quick access to – clothing, medicines, toiletries, paperwork, mobile phone charger
  • pack a snack box of food, milk, tea bags and drinks for moving day – very important!