What Happens after Your Offer is Accepted on a Property in the UK?

As soon as your offer is accepted, ask the seller to remove the property from the market. This step helps prevent other buyers from making higher offers, a situation known as ‘gazumping.’ The estate agent will likely request details of your solicitor and your mortgage offer in principle to proceed with this.

Complete Your Mortgage Application

If you're not paying cash, you'll need to finalize your mortgage application. This involves submitting necessary documents such as proof of identity, proof of income, utility bills, and bank statements.

Choose a Conveyancing Solicitor

Selecting a conveyancing solicitor is crucial. Your solicitor will handle the legal aspects of the purchase, including:

  • Preparing and reviewing contracts.
  • Conducting local authority searches.
  • Corresponding with the Land Registry.
  • Managing payments and transferring funds.
  • Providing ongoing legal advice.

Arrange a Property Survey

A property survey is recommended to assess the condition of the home. You can choose from three types of surveys:

  • Level 1 Survey: Basic condition report.
  • Home Buyers Survey: More detailed, including potential problems.
  • Structural Survey: Comprehensive assessment of the structure.

Sign and Exchange Contracts

At this stage, the sale becomes legally binding. You’ll pay a deposit, typically 10% of the sale price, upon exchanging contracts. From this point on, neither party can withdraw without facing financial penalties.

Completion Day

Completion is the day the buyer and seller finalize the sale, and funds are transferred. This date depends on the complexity of the chain you're in and the availability of your moving services.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to Complete After an Offer Is Accepted?

The time from offer acceptance to completion averages about three months, but this can vary. Factors like a long property chain or issues found during the survey can extend the timeline.

What Happens If My Offer Is Initially Accepted but Later Rejected?

Although your offer was accepted, the seller can still entertain other offers unless the property is formally taken off the market. If another buyer presents a higher offer and the seller accepts it, you’ve been 'gazumped'. This can also happen if the seller prefers a buyer with no mortgage requirement or a quicker completion timeline.

Is an Offer on a House Legally Binding?

No, an offer isn’t legally binding until contracts are exchanged. Either party can withdraw from the deal without legal consequences before this stage.

Does ‘Under Offer’ Mean the House Is Sold?

No, 'under offer' means the property has received an accepted offer and is usually removed from the market, pending the buyer's completion of the purchase process. The sale is not finalized until contracts are exchanged.

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Looking to buy a property? Contact your local Chewton Rose branch today to start your search. Be among the first to see new and off-market homes for sale in your area!