What Happens After an Offer is Accepted on a House?

Congratulations! You’ve had your offer accepted on your dream home. This is the first big milestone in the home-buying process.

However, it is worth being aware that at this point the sale is not legally binding and there are several steps to complete before you can move into your new property.

What happens if the seller changes their mind after accepting your ?

Until you have exchanged contracts there is the chance the seller may change their mind, this could be due to them receiving an offer that is more appealing to them, usually this would be due to someone offering more money and ‘gazumping’ you – or perhaps the seller wants a quick sale and a cash buyer approaches them.

In these situations, you can submit a counter offer, however it is entirely down to the seller whether they accept or not.

Here’s our guide to what happens once your offer is accepted.

  1. Instructing a Solicitor or Conveyancer

Once you have had an offer accepted it is time to instruct your conveyancer to start working on your behalf; they will handle all the legal aspects of the purchase for you. Often, estate agents will have conveyancing solicitors they recommend, however you are not obligated to use them. Make sure you choose the best conveyancer for your circumstances.

They will carry out the necessary searches, review the contract and other legal documents, and ensure that the property is legally transferred to you.

  1. Applying for a Mortgage

If you require a mortgage to finance your purchase, you will likely already have an agreement in principle, however now is the time to formally apply for it.

Whether you are working with a mortgage broker or approaching a lender directly, you will need to provide them with all the necessary documentation, such as proof of income, bank statements, and details of the property to be able to complete your mortgage application.

  1. Property Survey and Valuation

Your mortgage lender will have the property valued to make sure it’s worth the amount you’re borrowing. At this point, it is important to be prepared for the lender valuation to differ from the asking price of the property. If the value decreases, you may need to renegotiate with the seller or have extra funds available to cover the difference.

Additionally, it’s advisable to have a more detailed structural survey completed to identify any potential issues with the property. There are different levels of surveys available, from a basic Home Buyer’s Report to a full Building Survey. Make sure you look into the different survey types to help you decide what kind of survey you might need.

  1. Searches and Inquiries

Your conveyancer will conduct various searches to uncover any potential issues that might affect the property. Typical searches include local authority searches, environmental searches, as well as drainage and water searches.  Your conveyancer may recommend additional searches, for example if the property is located in a former coal mining area.

Your solicitor will review the draft contract and other title documents sent by the seller’s solicitor. This contract will outline the terms of the sale, including the price, property boundaries, and any fixtures and fittings included in the sale. You should review this contract carefully and discuss any concerns with your solicitor.

They will also raise inquiries with the seller’s solicitor regarding any concerns or discrepancies within this documentation, such as whether any alterations have planning permission or whether there are adequate rights of way to access the property.

  1. Exchanging Contracts

Exchanging of contracts happens once both parties are ready to proceed and particularly where all the buyer’s legal checks have been concluded. Once contracts are exchanged, the sale is legally binding. If you pull out of the sale after this point you may lose your deposit and could face legal action.

  1. Arranging Insurance

It’s essential to arrange building insurance for your new home from the date of exchange. This is often a requirement of your mortgage lender. Building insurance will cover the cost of repairing or rebuilding the property if it is damaged from an insured risk.

  1. Completion Day

Completion is the final step in the process. This is the day the remaining funds are transferred to the seller, and you receive the keys to your new home. Your solicitor will handle the transfer of funds and register the property in your name with the Land Registry.

  1. Moving In

Once the sale is complete, you can move into your new home. Make sure you have planned your move in advance, including hiring a removal company if needed and notifying utility companies of your change of address.

The journey from having an offer accepted to moving into your new home involves several important steps. By understanding what happens after an offer is accepted, you can be better prepared for the process and ensure that your purchase goes as smoothly as possible.

If you are thinking of buying you get your free conveyancing quote today.

Alternatively get in touch to speak to a member of our team who can help you with all your conveyancing needs.

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