Purchasers' solicitor guidelines

This section explains what you should do before you exchange contracts with the purchasers’ solicitor

a photo showing people on site wearing site safety clothing and hard hats shaking hands

What you should do before exchange of contracts

  • Check that the contract includes Buildmark cover and details the name of the person or company that will be providing that cover.

  • Check that the person or company offering the Buildmark cover in the contract is a NHBC registered builder/developer. You can check the Buildmark cover information via NHBC Conveyancing Portal. The vendor must provide you with a Policy Number and Activation Code so that you can locate the plot and complete your checks.

  • Check whether the vendor of the property is the same as the builder/developer offering the Buildmark cover. If not, check with us that the vendor has our authority to sell the homes on an 'unregistered vendor' basis. PLEASE NOTE; in the case of an 'unregistered vendor' the deposit and any other payments received under the contract will not be protected by NHBC if the vendor becomes insolvent after exchange of contracts/missives and before completion/date of entry.

  • Check that the builder/developer named on the Buildmark offer is active on the NHBC register. If they have left our register after the home has been registered for cover, but before exchange of contracts, then they may no longer be entitled to offer Buildmark cover.

  • Explain to your client the terms of the Buildmark policy and its limitations. After exchange of contracts/missives and prior to completion/date of entry your client will have the benefit of deposit protection under Buildmark policy only.

What you should do between exchange and completion

  • Advise your client that they should not complete the purchase and/or move into the new home before an NHBC cover note has been issued.

  • The cover note will not be issued unless we are satisfied that the standard of construction substantially complies with NHBC Technical Requirements. If mortgage funds are required, these will generally not be released until a cover note has been issued.
  • Login to the Conveyancing Portal and confirm date of exchange of contracts/missives and client details to activate the deposit protection provided by Buildmark.

For more about when the cover note is issued, see Purchasers' solicitor FAQs

What you should do after completion

  • Log in to the Conveyancing Portal to confirm date of legal completion and accept the Buildmark policy.

  • Download the insurance certificate and all associated documents to send to your client, the lender (if applicable) and keep a copy for your files.

If you have any queries, please contact Customer Services on 0344 633 1000.

Purchasers' solicitor FAQs