What Happens When Your Offer is Accepted
Once you have found the perfect home, you will have asked all the questions you need, hammered out the fixtures and fittings deal with the vendor, and checked that the local area offers everything you need. Hurray, you're ready to make an offer.
Once you have made your offer and had it accepted, you're then catapulted into a formulaic stage of events.
Property purchasing in the UK is still pretty archaic in its process and you may find it's better to chase some of it yourself, but as a basic outline of procedure, it goes something like this…
Call the Vendor's Estate AgentSay you like the property and make your carefully considered offer. You and the agent will probably haggle for a bit over the price, and then hopefully come to some arrangement.
What Happens Next?The agent is responsible for handling the sale - that's what the vendor pays them for. So once a price has been agreed, the agent swings into action! It's in the best interest of the agent to facilitate a quick sale so that he can release his commission sooner rather than later.
The Legal TeamThey can advise you on conveyancing solicitors or convenyancers to help you with the legal part of your purchase, but it's advisable to look around and get a couple of quotes from other firms too as it's never a bad idea to have impartial input. The conveyancer will handle not only all the legal side of your purchase such as signing over the title deeds (ownership papers) and so on, but will also facilitate the moving around of money, and the searches too. They also handle the Stamp Duty payment and the Land Registry record, where you will basically need to inform the government that you own the property now.
SearchesApart from having a good nose about in the neighbourhood yourself, you'll also need to do what's called Local Authority Searches (also known as Land Searches) around the area of the property. This covers the surrounding area and will pull up any issues such as water levels and drainage, planning permissions, rights of way, new developments planned, planning restrictions and so on.
SurveysYour mortgage lender will definitely come and have a look at the property to make sure it's worth what you've you agreed. It's important to make sure you have hit on a sensible offer (i.e. not too high) or the mortgage lender may refuse the amount you need.
Apart from the mortgage lender, and depending on the property, you will probably need a Full Structural Survey which goes through the structural condition of the house with a fine tooth comb. Younger properties of less than 30 years will only require a Homebuyers Report, which is less extreme and definitely cheaper.
FinallyAssuming all this is fine, your solicitor or conveyancer will work with you to ensure you and the vendor are happy with the terms of the purchase and draw up a contract, which you both sign. This is known as exchanging contracts and is the pre-cursor to Completion. You will then move the rest of the mortgage money over to the solicitor's account. The date for completion will be set, which is when the solicitor will then transfer the balance to the vendor and you get your keys!
You are now the proud owner of the property.