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Buying your new home in Norfolk

Published: 23/04/2021

Prior to becoming an estate agent I enjoyed ten years service as an Army officer where I very soon learned about the six P’s – Prior Planning and Preparation Prevents Poor Performance - and I’d say it’s just as relevant and important in the house buying or selling process as it is in any military operation. Especially in a market as energised as our current one.

If buyers want to plan for success the most fundamental preparation you can do is ensure you’re ready to move at the drop of a hat. You need to make sure you have all your financial arrangements in place before registering your interest or booking a viewing.

If you’re looking to use a mortgage to fund part of your purchase then at the very least you’ll need an Agreement in Principle (AIP) from a lender because possession of such is all the proof agents need to convince us that you’re serious.


At Sowerbys we always recommend Broadland Consultants to help and advise at these stages. Not only do they help buyers in this respect but they often help sellers with financial planning and wealth management.

The second essential piece of preparation is instructing a solicitor to act for you. It’s extremely unlikely that a solicitor will start acting for you until they’ve carried out their ‘know your client’ procedures - and it’s unlikely they’ll do anything without being in funds to do so.

Telling an agent you’ve already got this in place before you view a property is a clear demonstration that you mean business - and your agent will almost certainly prioritise you at the top of their tree of their prospective buyers.


This second fundamental is even more a part of prior preparation for the seller than it is for the buyer. After a sale is agreed one of the most usual time consuming processes is when a seller has forgotten to instruct a solicitor.

As well as the basic ‘know your client’ requirement sellers must also complete (and return) the protocol papers to their solicitor - which need to include the fixtures and fittings form in addition to
the property information questionnaire.

These aren’t huge documents and no one like fitting out forms, but these must be completed and returned before a seller’s solicitor can begin the conveyance process.


Doing this before you go on the market will have a huge impact on your sales performance down the line. In fact sellers who take their preparation really seriously take it one step further and instruct their solicitors to apply for the Local Authority Searches.

Such searches are the responsibility of the buyer, but sellers can sell them on at cost and immediately reduce the conveyance period by at least two weeks.

In fact one of the most common frustrations of buying and selling is how long the conveyancing can take - but it doesn’t have to be. By only applying the first three Ps of the whole six you can largely prevent the last two.

As with the property itself, it’s all in the planning.

Spencer Cushing, Branch Manager - Burnham Market