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What should you do after reserving a new-build home?

Oct 30, 2023
You’ve found the perfect place and you’re keen to make your move… but how does reserving a new-build home actually work? And once you’ve made your reservation, what happens next?

Because buying a home isn’t something we do often, it’s normal to feel a bit unsure about the process and all the steps involved. This article will help you understand what you need in place before you reserve, how you actually reserve a new-build home, and what needs to happen next to help you proceed from reservation to completion as smoothly as possible. Here’s the process when buying a new-build home.

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How to reserve a new-build property


When you’ve found the right home, it’s time to put down your reservation fee. This holds the property for you for an agreed amount of time so that no one else can reserve it. Once the sale goes through, you’ll get the reservation fee back (it will be deducted from your purchase cost). To make the process faster and more likely to go smoothly, it can be a good idea to get a mortgage in principle before you reserve.


What to do after reserving a new home - 5 step guide


With the reservation made, things just got a lot more exciting and real. Yet before you can start dreaming about colour schemes or new sofas, it’s time to take some definite actions to get the homebuying process moving.

1.     Arrange your mortgage

Once you’ve reserved your home, you’ll need to secure your mortgage. If you already have a mortgage-in-principle (and you’re happy to proceed with the same lender) go back to the lender to secure a formal mortgage offer. You’ll need to have your mortgage application accepted before you can proceed to the next step. Whether you’re a first-time or existing buyer, we have a range of offers to help you make your next move.

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2.     Hire a solicitor or conveyancer

Now is the moment to appoint a solicitoror conveyancer. They’ll oversee the buying process and fulfil the legal requirements involved in transferring home ownership to you. Your conveyancer or solicitor will also handle any legal searches, such as those with the local authorities or Environment Agency.


Once a solicitor or conveyancer is appointed you may also want to conduct a survey of the property. You can do this by hiringa surveyor, who will check the structural integrity and other details of your home.

It’s worth mentioning that a property survey is not the same as a mortgage valuation. A mortgage valuation is where your mortgage provider requests a valuation of your new home’s worth as part of their mortgage application process.



3.     Prepare your deposit and get ready to exchange

Before you can exchange contracts on your new home you will need to have everything in place to put down a deposit. It’s likely this will need to be at least 10% of your final purchase price.


Once your mortgage is accepted, a solicitor/conveyancer is in place, everyone’s happy with the checks and searches that have been made, and you have your deposit ready, the process of exchanging contracts can begin. Your solicitor will help to arrange this.


Once you have exchanged contracts, you are legally committed to buying the property. When exchanging contracts, you should also agree a completion date with the developer which will help you with planning your move-in date.

4.     Get packing

Now that you have an agreed completion date, it’s time to start packing up your belongings. We’ve created a handy checklist of things to do and tips to make the experience smoother.


One bigger thing you may need to sort is a reliable removal company. If you don’t have a recommendation from a friend, there are lots of websites that can help. Which? Trusted Traders is a useful place to find reliable local tradesmen, including removal companies.

5.     It’s moving day!

On the date of completion, you finally become the legal owner of your new home and the full cost of the property will be transferred from your solicitor to the developer. Then the keys are yours – and you can move into your brand-new home.


It’s sure to be a tiring day, but nothing beats that feeling of sitting down in your new home with the last box safely through the door.


If you’ve managed to resist to this point, now you’re in you can really start thinking about what your home will look like. Explore platforms such as Pinterest for ideas on how to decorate your home. Or for new-build inspiration, David Wilson Homes has a selection of articles dedicated to the latest interior trends, tips and tricks and advice. 

Find inspiration here.



Additional tips for what to do after reserving a new-build property in the UK


The 5-step guide above gives you a good idea of the process of buying a new-build home. But there are some other things to consider before you’re ready to complete.

Read the reservation agreement carefully

Before you do anything, make sure to carefully read the reservation agreement, or any other paperwork related to the new-build property you’re looking to buy. This document will outline all the terms and conditions of your reservation, including the deposit amount, any additional fees you’ll have to pay, the completion date, and any additional information.

Get a snag list completed

A snag list is a list of any unfinished work or defects that you might find in your new home on completion. It’s really important to make sure you get the snag list completed as soon as possible, so that the developer can rectify any problems before you move in.

What are the benefits to buying a new-build home?

There are lots of benefits to buying a brand-new home, like lower maintenance and generally hassle-free living. Often, new-build homes are more energy-efficient than older homes, so you should also save on your energy bills.

This article has a full breakdown of why you might wish to consider buying a new-build home instead of renovating an older property.