What happens after your offer on a house has been accepted?

It’s finally happened! After all the stress and time which has gone into searching for your next home you’ve finally found your perfect home, placed your offer and it’s been accepted! As exciting as this is, it can leave you with yet more questions, what happens next? What do you have to do? When will everything happen? All of these might be unclear to you, especially if this is your first time, but don’t worry, we have you covered!

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Mortimers
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Secure a Mortgage

Mortimers Mortgage AdviserMost buyers will be reliant upon using a mortgage to secure their purchase. If you have reached the stage of having an offer accepted on a house, then you will have already been through the process of applying for a mortgage and will have been offered an Agreement in Principle, or AIP. (Sometimes referred to as a Decision in Principle or a Mortgage Certificate). This is a document that states that based on the information you have provided them, they would be happy to consider offering you a mortgage.

Your next step is to go back to your lender, or mortgage broker and explain you have now had your offer accepted – there will be some paperwork for you to complete and sign off, and you will need to send them various documents such as proof of earnings, photo ID and proof of address.

Talk to our dedicated team of Mortgage Advisers here.

Arrange a Surveyor Report

SurveyorYour lender will then arrange for a valuation to be carried out on the property you are buying. A qualified surveyor will visit the property and carry out a basic inspection, in order to satisfy your lender that the amount you are borrowing is reasonable, and that the property is free from any serious defects.

At this stage you have the option to have a more in-depth survey carried out. There are a few different levels of survey which vary on how in-depth they go, but the vast majority of people will choose what is called a Home Buyers Report. This is a relatively thorough report on the property, often about 30 pages long, and will advise you of any problems with the property or areas which could become a problem over the next few years. These cost around £400-£500 but can become more expensive the bigger the property is, and you’ll hear the results around a week after the inspection was carried out.

Once your lender has sent a surveyor to the property, they will hopefully give you a big thumbs up and tell you they are happy to approve your mortgage! But sometimes, it’s not so straight forward… They could tell you that the property has some issues that need fixing before offering you the mortgage, or they could “down value” the property which means they don’t feel it is worth what you are paying for it, and won’t lend you as much as initially planned. In this scenario, the estate agent will negotiate between you and the seller to work out a way forward. Don’t panic if this happens! It is not unusual, and estate agents deal with this on a daily basis and will advise you of your options.

Instruct a Conveyancing Solicitor

Regardless of whether you are a cash buyer or using a mortgage, you will need to instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf. Your solicitor will transfer a property from one person to another – this process is often referred to as the conveyancing process. There are a vast amount of checks your solicitor will make, but ultimately, it is their job to ensure the house you are buying is legally sound, and that you will not encounter any problems in living there, or selling the property in the future. You will be expected to complete some paperwork for them and provide proof of ID for them to act for you.

Your solicitor will liaise with the seller’s solicitor whilst carrying out these enquiries, and eventually reach a point where they are satisfied for you to purchase the house. On average, it will take around 12 weeks to reach this point, but this is where it gets really exciting! The solicitors will “exchange contracts” where you are legally bound to purchase the property and a “completion date” is agreed. This is the date you move into your home!

Speak to our conveyancing team here