Buying a First Home

Buying a First Homes property is reservation-led and on a first-come, first-served basis. It is advisable for you to speak to a mortgage broker or solicitor before reserving a property. During the sales process, you must liaise with your broker and solicitor who will be able to advise you of the progress of your purchase.

The sales process

The purchase process is as follows:

  • Speak to a developer about a First Homes property.
  • View the property, and if you are happy, pay the reservation fee.
  • Complete the application pack. The developer and your mortgage broker must help you do this.
  • Once complete, the Developer must submit the completed application pack along with any supporting documentation to the Council.
  • We will review your application to assess whether you and your application are eligible for First Homes.
  • Once satisfied that you are eligible, our Legal team will issue an ‘Authority to Proceed’ form to the developer, mortgage broker and your solicitor. We will also send a conveyancer pack to your solicitor with instructions.
  • Your mortgage broker applies for your mortgage and your solicitor follows the conveyancer instruction pack.
  • Once your solicitor has completed their legals tasks, they submit the full legal declarations and undertakings to the Council.
  • Our Legal team will review and assesses the conveyancer pack and legal undertakings. Once they are satisfied that the sale is compliant, they will issue the Authority to Exchange form, the Compliance Certificate, and the Title Restriction Certificate to your solicitor.
  • You pay your deposit and contracts are exchanged.
  • Your Solicitor requests funds from your lender and completes the sale.
  • Your solicitor conducts the final legal confirmations and registers the restriction at H&M Land Registry.
  • Your solicitor notifies the Council of the completion. We update our records.


A sale cannot proceed until we have issued the Authority to Proceed form. This essentially confirms that the sale can proceed to the next stage. You should not apply for a mortgage before receiving this confirmation. We aim to have assessed your application within 5 working days from the date it is submitted.

Incomplete or incorrect applications will be rejected. It is the responsibility of you, the developer, your mortgage broker and solicitor to ensure that all sections of the form have been completed correctly, and all supporting documentation submitted. First Homes operates on a first-come, first-served basis; we will only progress applications that are eligible and have complete submissions. The Council will not chase incomplete or incorrect applications.

A sale cannot exchange or complete until we have issued the Authority to Exchange form, the Compliance Certificate, and the Title Restriction Certificate. This essentially confirms that our Legal team are satisfied with the legal undertakings of your solicitor, and that the sale is compliant. Your solicitor must not proceed to exchange of contracts or completion without having been issued these forms. We aim to have assessed the conveyancer pack and legal undertakings within 5-7 working days from the date they are submitted. Any variance to this timescale will be communicated with your solicitor. Any queries raised by our Legal team must be answered by your solicitor satisfactorily for your application to proceed.

Last updated 17 May 2024