What happens after your offer has been accepted?

Buying a home is a lengthy process, no matter how exciting. We're here to tell you what happens when your offer has been accepted....

Finding the house of your dreams is an exciting process. Finally discovering the abode that ticks all your boxes is like striking a goldmine, but if your dream house is someone else’s version of a dream house, too, then it’s wise to move fast to seal the deal. There’s a lot of work that goes on when your offer has been accepted, but first-time buyers can be a little in the dark about the process. It’s important, however, to make sure you’re as well informed as possible so that you can keep your head above the water and make your dream home a reality.
The legal process of your offer
In the UK, the process of buying a home is only legally binding once contracts have been exchanged. Once your offer has been accepted your property solicitor will move forward with the conveyancing process. Finding a good property solicitor is as simple as asking family and friends, who should be able to recommend someone. Your estate agent may also be able to offer you a name. It’s especially important to make sure you choose carefully when selecting your solicitor as they are responsible for handling contracts, giving legal advice, carrying out local council searches, dealing with the Land Registry and transferring the funds to pay for your property.
At this time it’s wisest to have a home survey done on your future home. A survey by Which? showed that one in ten home-buyers who don’t get a survey end up paying more than £10,000 on property repairs or maintenance. A home survey will inform you of any structural issues well in advance so that you can save money in the long run. Finally, your conveyancer will ask you to read and agree to the terms set out in your contract. Upon exchanging these contracts with the seller, your ownership of the house will become legally binding.
Give yourself a better chance
As the offer acceptance isn’t legally binding, other buyers are free to make their own bids on your dream home whilst you’re trying to get the process underway. To make sure you have the best chance of securing your home ask the estate agent to remove the listing to minimise the chance of someone else seeing the property.
At this time you will also need to complete your mortgage application. You will have agreed this in principle with the lender before beginning the buying process, so now is the time to finalise the application. Other paperwork that you or our solicitor will have to manage include the draft contract or terms of engagement with the solicitor, the forms completed by the seller which will have to be reviewed and the final signing of the contract. In the entire process, costs will run quite high and you’ll be expected to pay for a variety of things, including:
  • Local authority searches
  • The title register and title plan
  • Flood risk searches
  • Water authority searches
  • Chancel repair searches
  • Environmental searches
  • Location-specific searches
  • Confirm your moving in dates and get quotes for a removal company if you’ll need one. If your moving date isn’t too far away you can also begin packing, whilst you wait to hear how the buying process is progressing.


Completing the new home process

Once the process is completed your conveyancer and property solicitor will inform you of the completion date. On this date the mortgage provider will release the funds needed for the cost of the house and you will then legally own the property. Once the transfer of the dates have been confirmed you can pick up the keys and move in.