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First Steps

Bournemouth & Poole property lawyers helping you through the first steps in selling & buying a house in Dorset.

Buying and selling property can be a daunting process. Coles Miller Conveyancing Solicitors aim to take the worry out of moving home.

Once an offer has been accepted on your existing home and you have had an offer accepted on the property that you would like to buy, it's time to start the conveyancing process. This is a quick guide to some of the things you need to consider at this early stage.

Here at Coles Miller, our property lawyers want your sale or purchase to go without a hitch and are committed to giving you as much help and guidance as they can.

1. Make a firm decision to sell

There is nothing more frustrating for a buyer than setting his heart on a house, instructing solicitors and paying a survey fee only for the owner to say that he is not serious about moving yet. The advice here is that you should avoid putting your home on the market until you are ready.

2. Instruct an Estate Agent

It is always advisable to use an estate agent that has been recommended to you, or one that you have used in the past. Always find out their charges and what kind of service you can expect. As is often the case, cheapest may not necessarily be the best.

3. Get a mortgage agreed

If you are going to need a mortgage to buy your new home, it is best to get it approved in principle at an early stage. This is not the same as obtaining a formal mortgage offer, but it gives a good indication as to what a bank/building society would be prepared to lend you. This enables you to go house hunting knowing exactly what you can afford to buy and will help to convince a seller that you are serious and are able to fund the purchase.

4. Wait for an acceptable offer on your home

We recommend that you wait until you have an acceptable offer on your home before making offers on others although this doesn't stop you from looking. This way you will be in a position to proceed straight away and there is less chance of someone else having an offer accepted on your chosen property, whilst you are still trying to sell your own.

5. Should I accept the offer

Before accepting an offer you will wish to know something about the position of the person making it. Are they genuine? Can they afford it? If they can afford it, are they cash buyers or do they need a mortgage? Have they sold their own property? It is quite common for buyers to say that they are cash buyers when in fact what they mean is either a) that they have some money saved for the deposit or b) they will not need a mortgage but have a house to sell. Be careful to check what they mean - a "cash buyer" is someone who has all the money in the bank and does not need to sell.

A good estate agent will obtain this information from the buyer at the time that they make their offer. You are therefore in possession of all the facts and are then in a position to decide whether or not to accept the offer. In an ideal world a buyer will not require a mortgage and will not have an existing property to sell. Unfortunately this is rarely the case and you will have to rely on your estate agent and solicitor for advice.

For a free initial chat with one of our expert conveyancing solicitors 

to discuss how we can help you please contact us now.

Meet the team

Anna Taylor

Trainee Legal Executive

Deborah Bradburn

ACILEx Paralegal and Assistant to Roger Leedham

Inga Pope

Associate Solicitor

Katie Owen

Associate Solicitor

Laura Hall

Associate Solicitor

Lianne Clenton Bray

Associate Solicitor

Michelle Vick

Partner, Associate

Pam Coniam

Conveyancing Executive

Jason Barnett


Roger Leedham

Senior Partner, Head of the Residential Conveyancing Department

Alice Henley

Legal Secretary

Anja Lloyd

Legal Secretary

Emma-Jane Toop


Georgina Ellis

Solicitors Apprentice

Joanne Cameron

Legal Secretary

Katie Harvey


Kayley Watkins


Liz Moynehan

Legal Secretary

Lois Phillips

Legal Secretary

Lydia Wragg

Solicitors Apprentice

Nikola Safronova

Solicitors Apprentice

Sophie Morton

Legal Secretary

Susan Stainton

Senior Secretary

Laura Bowie

Holly Scoular

Trainee Legal Executive (ACILEx) Maternity Leave