So, Your Offer’s Been Accepted; What Now?

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Added on March 31st 2022

Finally, after weeks and maybe months of searching estate agent websites, heading out to viewings and feverishly crossing your fingers, your offer has been accepted.
You can allow yourself to jump around for a few minutes (and maybe crack open something fizzy…), but once the excitement has subsided, you need to get on with the rest of the process. This process also involves some trepidation, as nothing is certain until the contracts are exchanged.

The accepted offer is only the start

Buckle up and knuckle down…

Contact your mortgage provider ASAP

The chances are you already have a mortgage agreed in principle, but if you don’t, you need to make sure that you can get the right finance for the purchase. Even if you do already have everything in place, you need to let the lender know that you’re ready to proceed as they’ll need to value the place before approving the home loan.
Engage a solicitor or conveyancer

Your solicitor (or your conveyancer) will take care of the legal side of things so that your buying process can move forwards.

Organise a property survey

You’ll need a property survey to pick up any hidden or impending problems. Your lender will almost certainly require a survey in order to approve the mortgage, too.

Your solicitors prepare the draft contract

The draft contract formalises the agreement between you and the vendor. The contract will detail the price you’re paying, how much of a deposit you’re putting down, what (if any) fixtures and fittings are included in the sale and also detail the duration between exchange and completion (usually between one and four weeks).
Once it’s prepared, both parties’ solicitors need to approve it – this can be one of the most stressful periods in the buying process as nothing seems to happen. It’s also the point at which delays or snags can crop up, including:
– The vendor withdrawing the property from the market
– The vendor accepting a higher offer (AKA the infamous gazumping)
– Your mortgage application is rejected, and
– You might change your mind about the property and withdraw your offer

The exchange of contracts

Thankfully, most property purchases go relatively smoothly and once you’ve jumped through all these hoops, you can exchange. Have one last check over the contract with your solicitor before you sign, just in case there’s anything missing or a mistake and then you can transfer your deposit.

Completion

Once you’ve exchanged, you can start the clock to completion. On completion day your conveyancer will transfer the remaining money you owe into the vendor’s conveyancer’s account. You’ll also need to pay your mortgage account fees, conveyancer’s fees and your stamp duty. Your conveyancer will register the sale with the Land Registry and arrange the resulting stamp duty for you, then you have 30 days from the completed sale to pay it.

Completion day is one of the most expensive days you’ll ever have, but it does result in a new home!

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