A very important step is to get a solicitor. Once your offer is accepted you will need to have this sorted out pretty fast, so you may want to do it earlier. I am just telling you what we did....
There are two sorts of solicitors as far as I can tell. Those who do a fixed cost and those who are more variable. At the end of the day you usually get what you pay for. We had picked out a couple of fixed cost ones - average basic fee was 1000 and outlays (what they have to pay on your behalf) of about 700. So, we were looking at around 1700 with them.
But after talking to a few people we were told that this was the basic service and they would charge us for every little thing and it would be much higher. In the end we decided to go with a firm who have a good reputation. I got a quote and it was about 500 higher, but so far we have found them very good. Of course we have not even signed contracts yet, so it is a bit soon to say for definite.
Whatever road you decide to go for, be sure to do it in time. Both the auctioneer/estate agent, and also your mortgage provider, will want to know who it is.